If you’ve ever been lost in a new city or totally bamboozled by the proper way to set a table, New York-based designer and inventor Archie Archambault (of Archie’s Press) aims to set you straight. His minimalist diagrams and map illustrations visualize complex forms and ideas in an easy-to-understand way—and they look great too!
Archambault began his chart series when he was living in Portland and got lost. “It was a time before smartphones, and I spent a lot of time riding my bike getting lost in the city without the aid of Google Maps,” he tells My Modern Met. “As I explored more and more, I started putting together the pieces of the city and decided to draw a map, just to get it on paper. What emerged was my very first map, straight from my mind.” Archambault soon began traveling to more places, with the aim to visually simplify complicated road structures and districts with his maps. Each location takes a huge amount of research and up to 40 hours to assemble to final design. “I spent a lot of time with the citizens of each place, talking about the crucial streets, neighborhoods, history, and politics,” he reveals. “Each is a unique challenge as no two cities are the same.”
The idea to get “un-lost” by drawing diagrams soon unfolded into many other subjects, including the anatomy of the human body, food, and even outer space. “I collaborated with astronomers, astrologists, doctors, scientists and food writers to make maps of their specialties,” Archambault reveals. “The big idea is always the same: Turn complicated ideas into something simple and beautiful.”
From the physique of a caterpillar to the makeup of an egg, Archambault’s simple diagrams are sure to reveal something you didn’t already know. Scroll down to check out some of his work. You can also purchase your favorite illustrations as prints via the artist’s website.