We take a look at these unique custom-made map posters from new Finnish company Alvar Carto.
We’re always on the lookout for fresh, new ideas for interior design. Personalised maps aren’t new – they’ve very popular for wedding presents or anniversary gifts, showing, for example, the location where a couple met. However, we have seen a lot of personalised maps that look a little…erm…twee. While it’s lovely to have a unique, personalised piece of artwork, you still want something that fits in with the rest of your decor.
What makes Alvar Carto different, in our opinion, is that their maps look clean and contemporary, with a lot of the intricate detail stripped out for a really modern look.
How it works
Just log onto the website and click on ‘Create a poster’. Enter the name of your chosen place in the text box. (We did some experimenting here, and found that although the search box doesn’t recognise 100% of place names, you can search for a place nearby then drag the map to your chosen location.)
You then choose a style for your poster – sharp, classic, sans and modern – and a colour (black, white or grey). You also have a choice of sizes. The smallest, 30cm by 40cm, is a bit bigger than A4 size and retails at 39 euros (approx 34.50 pounds). The size choices go up to 70cm by 100cm for 69 euros.
You can also choose or customise the text. For example, the map builder will suggest a header of ‘CHESHIRE’/’Knutsford’ then the map coordinates, but you can amend these to your own choice and have ‘CHESHIRE’/’Knutsford – where we met’, or anything else you like.
What we thought
We ordered two 70cm by 100cm posters in the ‘classic’ style, of two different locations, one in France and one in the UK. They arrived very quickly, and we were immediately impressed. The posters arrived wrapped in two sturdy cardboard tubes, and each one was separately wrapped round in waxed paper.
The paper they were printed on was very high quality, and the posters unrolled easily and weren’t creased from their journey from Finland!
The maps themselves were beautiful. Rather than showing Ordnance Survey map levels of detail, they showed a network of roads and lanes, suggesting rather than defining the landscape. The end result was crisp and very modern. Once framed in simple black frames, they’ll make a stunning addition to the hallway and create a strong visual impact.
Considering the quality and unusual nature of the product, we think these are good value for money. Alvar Carto ship worldwide for free, and their delivery speed was great. This is a personalised, unique piece of artwork which will grace the most contemporary of homes, and not even a hint of ‘twee’.
(Disclosure: The maps were supplied for the purpose of the review, but all views and opinions are our own)1