Friday, 11:58am
2 March 2012

Other Londons, other maps

davey spens
the magazine department
Graphic design
Information design

For its next issue, Boat will explore the capital’s complexity and diversity

Boat magazine is a simple idea, writes creative director Davey Spens. Twice a year we pick up our studio and relocate to a city for a month, inviting writers, photographers and illustrators out with us to create a publication.


We choose complicated cities with big stories to tell, and we try to do them justice. We’ve been blown away by the talented people who have come on board to get involved – from Pulitzer-Prize winning writers to helicopter-hiring photographers. After Sarajevo and Detroit (above), comes our third issue – London.

While we had a shortlist of slightly more exotic places, there couldn’t be a better time to tackle our home city. London will be presented to tourists this year with a stage-managed carnival of pomp and ceremony. Those who live here know that a flying visit will bear little relationship to the complicated, diverse city we live and work in.


We’re in the middle of putting the issue together, but we wanted to give you a glimpse of the some of the talent at work. One focus of this issue is to reflect the city’s heterogeneity. Last weekend, we teamed up with illustration publication Ammo to see what other people’s London look like.


We asked illustrators to create a depiction of their own London, without any maps, tube diagrams or Google, but mapped in a way a stranger could follow (see above and below). Our hope is that the interests, passions and beliefs of these creators will shine a light on the diversity and creativity of the capital.


The work will be galleried on Ammo’s site, and five of the maps will be chosen to be featured in the London issue of Boat.


Boat issue 3 is published in April. More about the illustration project here.


Eye is the world’s most beautiful and collectable graphic design journal, published quarterly for professional designers, students and anyone interested in critical, informed writing about graphic design and visual culture. It’s available from all good design bookshops and online at the Eye shop, where you can buy subscriptions, back issues and single copies of the latest issue. Eye 81 has the theme of ‘Designers and clients’; Eye 82 is on press tomorrow.