The client wanted a detailed caricature map that would be a fun way to connect visitors and Georgetown students to local businesses and attractions. I designed the map from beginning to end.

Go ahead, open in a new tab and zoom all the way in.


How can local businesses better advertise themselves to seasonal visitors and newcomers? With the saturation of Google, Yelp, and other digital solutions, caricature maps began to look like a fun throwback that was part advertisement, part souvenir.  

Each business paid for space on the map, and chose their building design from small basic storefronts to eye-catching feature buildings.

I worked with our sales team and business sponsors to come up with designs. Sales occurred over June and July; over 3 weeks in August it was my job to lay out, design, and draft every building before the Fall Semester began and the city was flooded with students. 

 Over 40,000 16 by 20′ maps showcasing 70+ local businesses were printed and distributed in August 2016 and 2017. 


Schematic mapping. distances can’t be accurately represented, and take a backseat to the buildings. Viewers still need to be able to figure out where streets and intersections are relative to their location. 

Tailored. Each building has unique requirements of branding, messaging, size, and colors, yet this must be balanced with the interests of their neighbors.

And most Not every building has to be made of pure joy, but there should be enough delightful focal points to keep a viewer’s attention for several minutes.


The entire process was a balancing act of layout, color, and shape due to the intense proximity of so many graphical elements. Building designs had to clash to create interest, yet neatly fit together like lego blocks. 

Layout: M street, the main street, runs east-west in reality and contains the heaviest concentration of businesses. However, I decided that the inevitable chaos of the map needed a central focal point, with Healy Tower viewed head-on being the central defining feature. Thus, a very crowded M street runs down instead of along the map. 

Some buildings held several businesses and organizations. Leavey Student Center held a dozen sponsors, some with specific design requests. Everything must connect in a single building, and identifiable architectural features still need to be prominent. 

Are you kidding me?
Better, but still gives me anxiety


All designs were both creative and informative of what each business or organization offered. Unless there was a specific request, I made sure every building was architecturally identifiable even with colorful props around them. 

The arrangement of almost every building was a negotiation amongst visibility, accuracy, and pleasing graphic composition.


Many businesses were either represented by a character, or used characters to draw attention. Other characters were simply added for visual interest and variety, and to invite the viewer to try to find all of the map’s small details.


Foliage plays an important role of being felt, not seen. A few dozen permutations of tree shapes, colors, and rotations fill out blank space in the map nicely, and adds a cozy feeling to the map without being noticed. 


I improved upon every aspect of the first map I made in August 2016 by increasing building detail and overall fidelity, adding more characters and creative variety, as well as improving street accuracy,

OVER 40,000 maps distributed in Georgetown, Washington D.C!