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My Little Secret: Herb Lester

by - Thursday, March 14, 2013

© Herb Lester Associates

Today I have a bit of a confession to make. I've been keeping a little secret, but I think it's about time that I actually told someone about it...

© Herb Lester Associates

My secret is the work of some lovely people called Herb Lester Associates. They literally are, quite fantastic. Please do have a look for yourself, their products honestly deserve your time. 

I originally discovered them through Mod Culture, when P told me they'd posted something he wanted for his birthday, many years ago. What they (mostly) sell, are maps. But these are not just ordinary maps. (aaaaalllbaaatrosssss) They are beautiful, carefully compiled, individually styled and hand illustrated by a different artist for each map. They truly are a work of art.

Each map is based on a country, state or city, and sometimes even a style or service. They fold out to a generous A3, and fold back down to a handy A6, meaning you can keep them in your pocket, your bag, or even tucked inside another map. (Although this one is the cool map to be carrying.) The illustrations are fun and retro, and ooze friendliness, so of course, are the ultimate companion wherever you are. All I will warn you of, is that if you buy one about a place you travelled to years ago, you will find yourself yearning to leap off the sofa and book the next flight there, in order to run around finding all the spots that these maps describe. I certainly did when my 'How to find Old New York' map came in the post!

© Herb Lester Associates

 I am currently trying my very best to build up a collection of herblesters, of all the places I've been around the world. (Although they don't yet make ones for all of those places, but they seem to bring new ones out faster than I can buy them so I know they'll exist sometime). My list is becoming a little bit endless though, with 'Writing Manhattan,' 'Rome: Moods & Places,' (I need another one of those, P won't let me have his) 'Truly Greenwich Village,' 'Paris for Pleasure Seekers,' 'The Map of Spitalfields Life,' 'Brooklyn: 41 Reasons Why,' 'Hello Chicago,' and 'It's Nice to be Alone in Paris.' And then perhaps the rest, because I still love how they look, even if I haven't been there yet.

For the last few months (boy, time flies) I've been planning out how I want to display them, because they're definitely too special to sit on a shelf tucked between books, or suchlike. No, I want them to dress my wall, to compliment the room with their subtle colours and beautiful designs. I also want me, P and our visitors to be able to pluck them from their display and bury their minds in them, whenever the feeling strikes. So, I'm thinking something involving pegs, twine, and some creativity. It's taking me a long time to plan this out (I think if I get it right, it really will be marvellous) so I'm not going to hurry myself. I'm going to search the house to find the best wall, slowly build my collection up and up, and hopefully, with the help of Herb Lester, fascinate our guests with these little gems of genius.

My last point I'll make before letting you run off to their website is that if you can't justify buying yourself a little treat (although at a teeny £4 each, I challenge you to justify not buying one), these do make fantastic gifts. I have continued to buy them for P over the years, and accidentally  bought myself various ones too. I sent one to my best friend in Gloucestershire with her Christmas present last December, and may well end up sending you one at some point in your life. Never underestimate these little maps, they are truly niche and gloriously distinctive.

Go forth and buy a map,

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  1. Joely Giacomelli15 March 2013 at 13:13

    Oh so that's where that map you sent me was from, it was so cute! That website looks amazing, I think I might join you in collecting them :) xxx

  2. Totally! You definitely should, I'm still trying to work out my display for them, still not trying to rush it! They'll need to make one for Korea soon eh!? b_t xxx


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