Citee Style

Unique Series of T-shirts which Feature the Map of Your Favourite Cities

Maps have long held a certain allure to designer, Alex Szabo-Haslam. In fact, when at school his careers advisor even suggested he should become a cartographer. But after a number of dead-end jobs and redundancies he retrained in design. His latest personal venture, the Citee was inspired by his hometown.

“Citee came about mainly because I wanted a map t-shirt for my home city, Sheffield, but couldn’t find them,” he tells us. “I thought I’d make my own”. Citee is basically a t-shirt featuring the map of the city of your choice, simple but effective, like most great ideas.

Alex turned to Kickstarter to get the idea of the ground and was overwhelmed to find that the project smashed through its initial funding goal of £2000 in just 36 hours. He found creating the designs for the t-shirts so satisfying that he quickly racked up 80 designs of different cities, but he also does custom requests. “I love maps – especially sprawling cities,” he enthuses.

We were desperate to get the lowdown on this exciting project:

The Plus: What fascinates you so much about maps?
Alex Szabo-Haslam:
The detail, first and foremost. A well-drawn map is a beautiful object in itself. The appeal of maps lies in their aesthetic beauty and how personal they can be: your childhood home, the city where you studied, your first house or a great holiday. Each city is different, so you find these little elements that are totally unique. They’re captivating.

TP: What are your personal favourite cities? And do they necessarily make the best designs?
You learn a lot looking at cities from around the world: many European cities, ancient and shaped by conflict, are constructed in totally different ways to most North American cities. It’s subjective, but some of the European maps blow my mind – Moscow and Amsterdam in particular. I tend to find cities with imposing or unique water features, Orlando and Sydney for example, make for the best-looking maps.

TP: If you could pick anyone in the world, who would you like to see in one of these tees, endorsing them?
My mates.

TP: Have you been surprised by the response you’ve had so far?
Well, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think the project would have an audience – I knew lots of people love maps. But yes, achieving the Kickstarter goal so quickly was a surprise. To be honest I never really know what to expect: I’m not very savvy when it comes to social media, and promoting my work is a long process. Fortunately I’ve got a good network of friends and people who share my work, who make all the difference. Without them, I’d never get my projects off the ground.

TP: What happens now you’ve reached your funding goal?
This is largely unknown ground for me: usually it takes a few weeks to get a campaign funded, so I’m curious to see where this goes. Fulfilling orders is always stressful, because there are so many to do all at once. In any case, there’s a long way to go and I somehow have to keep on top of work in the studio too!