For the Love of Maps: Printing Map Posters with Smartpress

For the Love of Maps: Printing Map Posters with Smartpress

A custom map poster printed with America the Beautiful in the middle and landmark names around it.

Poster – For the Love of Maps

What is For the Love of Maps?

For the Love of Maps, a geography-focused art shop run by Chris and Nina Brown, focuses on map-themed word art prints, both as individual states and the U.S. as a whole. Their designs can be found as prints, stationery, bumper sticks, baby onesies, and of course map posters, with hopes of an expansion to other products.


Based just north of Detroit in Rochester, Michigan, this husband-wife duo creates prints in their free time, often after putting their two young daughters to bed. They hope that in the near future, they will be able to turn the business into a full-time job. Although considering themselves creative, neither Chris nor Nina has a background in graphic design.


“If you had told me 10 years ago that I’m going to be making a bunch of money creating any form of art, I would’ve told you you’re crazy,” said Chris.

A hand aligning a stack of custom posters in a printer.

Poster – Cutting

How did For the Love of Maps begin?

“We were looking for something to decorate our kitchen with. My wife is Italian, so the very first print we ever did was an outline of the map of Italy, made up of all Italian foods,” said Chris. After posting a picture of the art on social media, a friend suggested starting up an Etsy shop. He and Nina considered, acted on the suggestion and the rest is history.

When beginning a new online printing project, the duo sits down and decides on a topic to expand on. This often ranges from history (of a state, athletic team, etc.), breweries within a state, city skylines and states “in a nutshell.” From there, they begin brainstorming and create a list of words for their map posters.

Depending on the topic, research is sometimes needed for a more in-depth understanding. The biggest, most popular places, themes or words are placed first in big, prominent spots within the outline and the rest is filled in from there. Due to most of the art being based off typography, Chris says that programming is often minimal.


When necessary however, they mainly use InkScape and Adobe Illustrator before sending their work to a premium online printer like Smartpress. “What sets you guys apart is everything is so easy to do online,” said Chris. “Being able to go in, pick my stocks, set all the different settings that I need for my print job, is so easy.”

Two hands putting putting a stack of custom maps into a shrink wrapping machine.

Poster – Shrink Wrapping

Using Smartpress’ Small Posters, Chris puts a strong emphasis on how important paper stocks are to map posters. One of the main reasons the couple was so attracted to Smartpress originally was because of our nearly-infinite amount of online printing features, including coated and uncoated stocks. Chris and Nina favor our felt weave especially: “The texture makes it look very professional and we like it. We use it for everything.”


Chris believes that without the wonderful customer service that Smartpress provides, his projects would not run nearly as smoothly. “Your customer support is amazing. You get back to us the same day if we have any questions or anything. The turn-around time is brilliant, and you guys do good work,” he said.

For the Love of Maps can often be found at festivals and fairs throughout Michigan in the summer. It’s here that they experiment with various products, such as cards and apparel, in addition to their prints, all of which are printed with Smartpress.

Print Details

Poster Printing

Felt Weave - Bright White, 100# Cover, 11x14 Tabloid

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