A Word Map of York

Born of a car journey to Scotland the Word Map - constructed of stereotypes, cliches, typecasts, regional specialties, historical facts, indigenous species and local celebrities, aiming to capture the lived diversity of places rather than actual geographical reality - has long been a snowhome favourite.

Now in snowhome’s 20th birthday year, 10 years on from the first map and 1 year on from our own official entry into 42 Gillygate, we thought it was the right time to bring a new word map in to the family: A Word Map of York.

Having spent significant parts of the last 18 months exploring the place we call home, with more time on our hands than we ever guessed we might have, frequent undisturbed encounters with the city in Lockdown has allowed new perspectives. Our appreciation for our home has deepened as has a feeling of how fortunate we are to live here: the moment to launch project Word Map York was perfect.

Foolishly we thought it would be if not easy then a relatively straightforward map to compile: so there’s the Minster… right? Judi Dench? Chocolate and Railways? Vikings? But then you start to work, research, observe and think and you realise that there might be more to it than that.

Maybe the sense of the living city, seen up so close, is a little tighter, smaller and esoteric: more about the spirit and heart of a place? Maybe after those last, often intense, 18 months it should say more?

Perhaps it should offer a two millennia worth celebration of civic-pride: a thanks to a city that has helped us feel grounded and comforted when the world felt very uncertain.

The map will once again be bought to life by Yorkshire artist, Alison Hardcastle, who will take our in-house research and content to create a hand-drawn typographic artwork with the word entries forming the maped shape of the city.

A Kickstarter campaign, launching this September, will allow us to make the map a reality, raising the funds to commission Alison to create the artwork and bring the map onto the shelves in time for Christmas.

The campaign will offer backers a place in the journey of the map with access to the first run of prints as well as exclusive limited edition options.

We would love you to join us in bringing the map to York. We will give advance previews of the campaign to our mailing list members: so to get the latest news of the project and be the first to know when the Kickstarter campaign launches, sign up below.