I really enjoyed working on this bespoke illustrated map of the historic City of London in the 1700s, commissioned by Dr Johnson’s House. Dr Samuel Johnson was a prolific writer, perhaps best known for writing the first modern dictionary of the English language published in 1755.
17 Gough Square (the house where he lived whilst writing his famous dictionary) is a fascinating place but rather small. I was commissioned to devise and illustrate a walking trail with the aim of allowing visitors to extend their visit outside the house itself, and to give a sense of what the City of London was like during Johnson’s lifetime.
The trail features famous sites such as St Paul’s Cathedral and The Old Bailey, but also hidden gems such as Cutlers’ Hall, St Bride’s Church and Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese pub.
One of the challenges in creating this trail was the rapidly changing skyline of the City of London. With so many buildings seemingly being built, demolished, extended and remodelled every day, I opted to focus in on the details of just the historic buildings, suggesting the locations of more modern buildings with simple outlines.
I also enjoyed the challenge of creating a map which echoes the visual style of maps from the 1700s.