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Katie and I have been asked several times where the idea of City Prints came from, so here’s the story…
I started a traffic counting business while studying at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Traffic counting was as dull as it sounds – I sat at intersections and pushed a button for each car that passed in front of me. It was great money, but mind numbingly boring.
The only part I actually enjoyed was doing a sketch of each intersection I counted. The clients normally expected a “+” representing the intersection with landmarks labeled. What they received was an intricate sketch of individual lanes, medians, landscaping and overpasses. I didn’t get paid extra, but the clients definitely appreciated them. It was here I first began seeing the interesting patterns that streets create. Katie and I dated throughout college and she often joined me on the traffic counts (she was a glutton for punishment too).
After we graduated, Katie and I decided to move to the closest big city – Atlanta. I began a graphic design company since I had a fine art background, but the life of a struggling artist didn’t exactly interest me. Katie began her career at Four Seasons hotel, ending up in in the position of corporate sales manager.
Several years later, I was lucky enough to get Katie to accept my proposal to marriage. And in October of 2011, we were both lucky enough to welcome our first daughter, Annabella, into the world. As those of you with kids know, perspective tends to change when they arrive. Katie and I decided to pool our talents and create a company that allowed us to do something we enjoy and spend more time with our little girl.
While I already knew that prints of city streets produced a visually interesting result, it wasn’t until my daughter arrived that I realized the importance of place. The places we’ve been are an important part of any individual. The places we’ve been have stories – stories that we want to share. I want to show her where I grew up in Charlotte, how I walked to class in Chapel Hill, where I studied in Florence, Italy, and where I’m going to take her on our vacations. All this can be done through maps.
Katie and I hope that our maps help you share your stories. And, create new ones.
Your map maker