Where Design Meets London: Tina Bernstein, Mapology Guides

Tina Bernstein is a designer and blogger, and the entrepreneurial brains behind Mapology. Founded in 2014, her series of pocket sized, fold out guides tend to everyday dilemmas. Vivid with illustration, the Mapology Guides help to plot out a path of self discovery by navigating our niggling decisions, worries and relationships.

Coinciding with the news of our London store opening and Design Junction’s spotlight on the city this month, we sat down with Tina and asked her about her inspirations, process and London as a hub of creativity.

James Balston

Hello Tina! Tell us about Mapology and how it came to be.

I studied Graphic Design at Central Saint Martins in the early 80’s and my first love was the London Underground map; it grew from there. While studying at art college in Covent Garden, I would sneak away in my lunch break to hang out at Stanfords, a truly inspiring and iconic map and travel store. Over the years, infographics became fashionable and the idea of what a map could be started to change. Forward 30 years or so and I combined my love for print, illustration, self help and maps.

What is London like as a place for working and creating?

Oh, where do I begin? I remember going to a talk by Sir Paul Smith where he said that you can find inspiration by just walking and looking down at the pavements in London. I couldn’t agree more. I am daily inspired by this city and can’t imagine living or working anywhere else.

You’ve collaborated with some wonderful illustrators, writers and designers such as Michael Abrahams and Ana Jaks. How do you decide who to work with on each project?

Each subject requires a different talent and I try to match accordingly. It's important that there is a synergy, and some commonalities. Working and collaborating with the teams is a highlight point in creating the Mapology Guides.

Do you take heed from your own maps when you’ve a nagging dilemma?

Ha. Good question. By the time we release a new map the subject is ingrained! But yes, I have been known to consult my maps.

Where is Mapology HQ? Can you recommend some local haunts to us?

Mapology Guides HQ is in Islington.

Oh gosh, far too many to list but here you go, some of my favourite local haunts:

Twentytwentyone, Aria, Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, Almeida Theatre, Ottolenghi, Present & Correct, Sadler’s Wells, Screen on the Green, The Albion, Wild Swans, Loop, Paul Young Chocolates, Abigail Ahern, Smug, Diverse and Camden Passage Antiques.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?

I’ve been following Seth Godin’s blog for many years and he always says ‘just ship!’ You can worry about tweaking afterwards. There are so many people that have great ideas that they never bring to life. When Seth Godin liked Mapology Guides - that was a special moment.

We suspect you’ve probably got some great podcasts up your sleeve. Who shall we listen to for some uplifting self improvement?

I listen to Jonathan Fields, who is the founder of the Good Life Project, Elizabeth Gilbert, Marie Forleo, Lewis Howes, Danielle LaPorte…. I could go on!

James Balston

Thank you Tina!

The Mapology Guides are available to buy at Papersmiths, online and instore.

Follow Tina & The Mapology Guides on Instagram

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