These days when we travel we look for recommendations from real people, whether it be through friends or poring over online reviews. Brooklyn design firm Hyperakt recognized this trend and created a new platform that calls itself the “designer’s neighborhood guide.” Dubbed On the Grid, the site is a place “where local design firms contribute personalized descriptions for their favorite places,” according to Gizmodo. Along with the picks and reviews, Hyperakt adds sharp photos, maps, and fun illustrations of local landmarks. They also categorize the picks with icons like a wine glass for bars, paint palette for cultural spots, and dumbbell for fitness outposts. Though On the Grid wasn’t designed as an app, it works just as nicely on a mobile device as it does on a regular computer screen.
A forthcoming print from On the Grid that features all available cities and their illustrated icons
On the Grid launched a few weeks ago with its New York City guide, but after designers from around the world starting reaching out to participate, Hyperakt decided to expand. This week they rolled out an LA guide and revealed the 15 other cities that will be launching weekly. Refreshingly, smaller cities like Charleston, South Carolina, Porto, Portugal, and Nairobi are included. Hyperakt designated ambassadors in each city who contact their network of local designers to create the guides. According to the firm’s creative director Deroy Peraza, “They help us find the best curators for each city and extend our reach far beyond what it would be if we were taking on every city by ourselves.”
Peraza also told Gizmodo, “As designers our job is to be curious and to know the best stuff that’s out there in every realm. We place a high value on quality, on attention to detail, on authenticity and on storytelling. These are all important traits of good brands and they also happen to be important traits in the places we frequent. We may not be food critics and we may not be travel writers, but we definitely have a point of view on the best places around us.”
A sampling of the East Village page
The site was designed for tourists, but it’s also great for locals looking to get to know another neighborhood or find out about some lesser known spots in their own area. So far, designers have contributed for free, but eventually Hyperakt hopes to secure sponsorships to fund the site, as well as sell merchandise like the print featured earlier. You can explore On the Grid here.
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Images via On the Grid