Designer Dennys Hess is always looking for for sources of inspiration, and one of his favorites is historic maps. “Designers always want to find new sources, color combinations, layouts or small styling tricks. For many years, I have been storing different maps on my hard drive,” he says of his fascination. “But then one day I had the idea of sharing these with people.” The result is his Tumblr blog, Beautiful Maps, a collection of old, odd, and always striking maps from all over the world.
The collection includes hand-drawn, watercolor, 3D, and satellite maps. Some show the planet, while others concentrate on a region or even a single mountain. There are souvenir maps, underwater maps, Mercator projections and fanciful imaginings of far-off lands, drawn by people who never went there.