Maps for storytellers

A map is not neutral. A map takes a position. A map is a [thousand] decision[s]. A map reflects a worldview.

And all too often, every one of those biases goes unspoken and ill-considered.
auut studio is especially adept in making striking and deeply rich cartography. We combine three things in our recipe: an intersectional practice of storytelling, an unwavering willingness to examine who is being left out, plus a handful of open-source tools (QGIS, Leaflet, Mapbox, and others).
Every element in our maps is chosen to support the story. Our cartography is multi-narrational: it recognizes that there are multiple relationships of people present on the same area of land. We do not let a map speak only for the most powerful person in the room. And we strive to produce a visual image that genuinely compels a reader’s curiosity … to reconsider what they thought they knew.

Skills you might need

Interactive maps

We can turn narrative events into a geographic stories that work in the language of every web browser. Perhaps you want to let your audience see the situation unfold, or discover the patterns for themselves.

Still graphics

We can redraw the information revealed by old historical maps using the modern mapping tools that produce eye-catching graphics in PNG. Use them to tell a story that was never allowed to stand out in the original documents.

Some of what we’ve created

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Our Credo

We write clearly and design with a young public in mind. They are intelligent and just as capable of seeing nuance. The future belongs to them.
Generally speaking, let’s keep solutions simple and understandable. So we’re not afraid of small budgets. We like things open-source, and we make things that work in a web browser – laptop, tablet, and mobile – the ubiquitous devices in our lives.
Good design is a tool in the pursuit of educating: we are not satisfied with yesterday’s mold. We think being concise and interesting and not mincing words are complementary aspirations. We are opposed to the ways that white supremacy pervades the public discourse. We’re excited to lift the perspectives of people of color in all of our work.

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Our Passion

When we are not helping clients, auut studio invests in the power of public history. We use the profits from our design work to self-fund important history projects that would never make money on their own. See them for yourself on plaintalkhistory.com »
So what are you working on?

Tell a story geographically to knock assumptions off their feet.