Oliver Gratton-Gagne at his iLikeMaps NSS booth
Oliver Gratton-Gagne has been passionate about maps since childhood, fascinated by their ”geometric shapes and aesthetics.”
“I spent a lot of time looking through atlases, and six years ago began making a living through them,” Gratton-Gagne said of maps, at his iLikeMaps exhibition booth at NSS at this week’s National Stationery Show (NSS) at New York’s Javits Center.
In 2012, Gratton-Gagne founded iLikeMaps as a maker of customized city map-derived prints and decor items, having discovered the wealth of map data that was freely available in open source databases. Most of his product is made up of decorative black-and-white and color prints of maps that serve as framable artwork, but he also brought along new journals and greeting card and postcard lines to NSS.
“Maps are unique, and have an emotional connection with people,” said Gratton-Gagne. “You can have maps of your favorite cities or places where you’re from or have been, and reconnect to your favorite parts--or least favorite parts!”
For the Quebec-based iLikeMaps, Gratton-Gagne learned and then merged three disciplines: cartography, graphic design and software programming.
“I code software to draw the maps,” he said. This, combined with a formal background in marketing and communication, enabled him to conceive and launch the company.