Francophiles and cartographers would probably agree that it’s impossible to adequately convey the magic of Paris on a flat, lifeless map. But French designer Antoine Corbineau has come close in his newest print–a neon vision of the City of Light that resembles pop-art stained glass. With a tangle of streets in white against buildings in bold pinks, yellows, and reds, you can try to use this map for navigation, but you’d probably be better off hanging it on the wall.
Boats with curlicue wakes float down the River Seine and a blue man in a headlamp smiles in the Catacombs. Neon beams of light shoot from the Gare St. Lazare like there’s a rave going on inside. To create the map, Corbineau first hand-sketched his vision of the city on paper, then scanned it and added digital coloring. “The choice of places, monuments, and details was rather spontaneous,” Corbineau tells Co.Design. “I had no intention of being exhaustive. I wanted to show a fresh and free view of Paris.” The whole project took him just two weeks–“probably because I know Paris well,” he says.
Corbineau points to the sex-shop filled Pigalle district as one of his favorite bits, home to the Moulin Rouge and once nicknamed “Pig Alley” for its raunchy reputation. If you look closely, you’ll see a swinging bikini-clad pole dancer. Nearby is Montmarte, once the famous gathering place of artists like Picasso, Matisse, and Pissarro. Then there is Père Lachaise cemetery, the final resting place of Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde, and Edith Piaf, among others, and possibly the rockingest graveyard in the world. It’s marked here by an electric guitar with a large cross for a neck.
Corbineau’s jagged, punk lettering and geometric designs that seem to dance on the page channel Paula Scher’s Maps project, as well as the work of Keith Haring and Stanley Donwood. In his signature, the artist uses an anarchy symbol for the A in keeping with this gleefully chaotic vision of Paris. He plans on designing similar maps of other cities, including New York and Tokyo. The 100 cm x 70 cm prints are available for 50 euro (about $68) here.