Discover the globe 🌎 🌍 🌏

Jan 26, 2018

Lè Shine is inspired by a globe Tristen Brown and I came across. It was sitting in a store: a beautiful relic to set a tone and convey the lifestyle brand of the company. But where globes once helped us enter the larger world as interactive day-dream tools (spin the globe, put your finger down and that’s where we’re headed next), their function has seemingly shifted to a static object within the mosaic of a ubiquitous aesthetic. I cannot blame this usage or non-usage of globes, as I find them incredibly beautiful even as dusty objects. And it’s here where I set off to transfer this globe’s style into an interactive, digital map.

The Globe

Unlike others I’ve seen, this globe has a monochromatic blue color palette. Some of the prominent features we liked were the country distinction through color, beautiful Futura place labels with a hierarchy based on population, predominant ocean currents, and dot-patterned hill shading.

In translating this static map into a digital one, we wondered what this globe would be like if it could move in and out of regions, cities, and places, and what would it look like at these smaller scales. What would Paris look like, or Fresno? What would the road network look like? What would the globe suggest to do with buildings and parks?

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Behind the design

The map is divided into two parts: lower zoom levels present predominant ocean currents, colored country polygons, natural and built-up areas and place networks, whereas mid to high zoom levels show road networks, cities, transit systems, and points of interest.

To keep track of my high-level stylistic goals and ideas, I created a map taxonomy chart showing the rules of the map - road widths, color palette, label hierarchy, symbols, etc. If you want to customize this style, this chart is a good place to refer to as you make changes, especially if you want to change the colors. Since this map revolves around a primary color, it can quickly be transformed to match your brand’s palette.

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Meet the designer

Nathaniel Slaughter designs and styles maps on the cartography team. Get to know him by exploring Lè Shine.