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I really like the style of Little Switzerland’s new trail map.

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Don’t get me wrong, I love James Niehues’ style and incredible body of work.

As a teenager I’d pored over dozens upon dozens of his maps, imagining lines, wondering how closely each hand-painted tree matches reality, and daydream of trails I’d ski and lifts I’d ride. His art defined a big chunk of skiing’s image for a generation.

But as that generation closes, it’s been interesting to see who and what is being used in place of James and his paints.

Video Game

While I’ve talked about other like Senan Gorman’s North Pole Design, Kevin Mastin’s Stray Horse Arts, and digital upstarts like Utah-based Wander Maps, a recent map for Little Switzerland caught my attention with a style of art I’ve never really seen before.

back side of little switzerland trail map
front side of little switzerland trail map

IF the first thing you think of is a video game, you’re not alone. That’s exactly the thought that came to my mind and, when Stuart shared this a few weeks back, that’s what a follower of his noticed too.

A New Era

I also echo Stuart’s sentiment that, as we move out of the Niehues era, I hope we don’t feel like the only option is to find someone who can wield a physical brush a well as James does.

In case you hadn’t heard, video games are kinda popular. The ability to render scenes in inspiring, mesmerizing, but also accurate and interactive ways has never been more realistic for resorts and more relevant for skiers. So why not try something new, why not start with a bit more of a blank slate and see where fresh ideas take you?

Wherever maps goes from here and however much I still have a place in my heart for a Niehues map, it’s exciting to see some new ideas being experimented with. Nice work, Little Switz.

About Gregg & SlopeFillers
I've had more first-time visitors lately, so adding a quick "about" section. I started SlopeFillers in 2010 with the simple goal of sharing great resort marketing strategies. Today I run marketing for resort ecommerce and CRM provider Inntopia, my home mountain is the lovely Nordic Valley, and my favorite marketing campaign remains the Ski Utah TV show that sold me on skiing as a kid in the 90s.

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