A new way to depict maps.
Most city maps are insufferably hard to read. Street names are never big enough, map keys are too complicated, and neighborhoods are rarely delineated; you could wander into the heart of West Oakland and never know it, if not for the symphony of Glocks going off around the corner.
A clutch of city maps by the Hewitt, Texas-based cartography firm Axis Maps offers a clever solution. The maps use typography as the sole visual clue. So everything from streets and highways to parks and waterways are labeled with text. The bigger the thoroughfare or the landmark, the bigger the words. So far they have maps of Chicago and Boston; New York, SF, and DC are coming up. Chicago's shown here: