80 custom maps for HarperCollins’ ‘Terrible Maps’


Publishers HarperCollins approached Lovell Johns with a requirement for a map design service for their new 2023 title ‘Terrible Maps’. Assembled from the hugely popular social media feed, the publisher was seeking cartographic design of 80 maps in a variety of different styles from the reference material provided by Terrible Maps.


The maps are deliberately clean and simple, with the emphasis on the ‘joke’, rather than detailed content. HarperCollins provided the original inspiration for the reference maps, which we adapted to create new, bespoke images to suit the brief. Topics covered included everything from ‘How Dogs Bark in Different Languages’ to a ‘Map of countries that are often omitted from maps’ to a ‘Map of Roman Air Bases in 2nd Century AD’. Our personal favourites are ‘Saudi Arabia mapped only by its rivers’ and ‘How to find your bearings in Antarctica’! Lovell Johns used a variety of design styles, imagery, photographs and bespoke maps created in-house to create a fun, interesting set of images to be used in the book.


Terrible Maps is on sale now in all good bookshops and online. Catherine Wood, Design Manager, HarperCollins Non-Fiction, Gift & IP commented ‘Thanks for all your help on this, it looks amazing’.

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