Imagine was tasked with creating an updated, appealing map showcasing the restaurants in historic Boulder City. Jill Lagan, CEO of the Boulder City Chamber of Commerce, wanted a map that represented the historic roots of the city and the chamber but also one that would be joyfully shared by tourists and residents alike. The approach Imagine formulated was to create a cartoon map, complete with illustrations in a retro style to call back to Boulder City’s history and highlight the quaint charm for which the city is known. Printed in small batches, this new map could be a living document — as new clients join the chamber, they will receive their own illustration and placement on the map.
As a former Boulder City resident well-versed in retro illustrations evocative of roadside attractions, Montana Black was chosen as the artist. During her planning stage, she drove around the business district and got a sense of how it could be exaggerated beyond a simple Google Maps outline. To create a sense of cohesion for the map design, the restaurants had to be illustrations, not represented by their logos and branding. (The only actual logo on the map is that of the Boulder City Chamber of Commerce, also created by Imagine Communications.) To this end, Montana researched each establishment to understand how best to represent the food and ambience in a simple glyph.
The back of the map features names, addresses, phone numbers and short descriptions of each of the 30 featured restaurants and bars. This information is worked in graphically to appear as slips of paper taped to a board. A top banner shows the chamber’s website, address and phone number as well as a custom icon featuring a simplified Hoover Dam with a knife, fork and spoon in the same retro cartoon style. Information and graphics advertising upcoming chamber events appear at the bottom.
The result was a two-sided, 11-by-17-inch, fully illustrated map with 30 unique cartoon glyphs, which served as a marketing effort with two target audiences: tourists to the area and other businesses that had not yet joined the chamber. Each illustration impeccably matched its corresponding restaurant, highlighting a restaurant’s theme, a dish made famous there, or in one case, even a caricature of the mobster Jack Dillinger. The glyphs were delivered as individual files, so the chamber has the option of using the art for other purposes in the future.
Since the original release of the map, it has generated interest, enthusiasm and compliments from tourists and those in the local business community, old and new.
Jill gave her seal of approval: “We needed information in an artistically designed map that promotes all of the dining options in Boulder City. Watching guests’ eyes light up when we put it in their hands is the proof we need that we scored a win with this collateral.”