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Blue is the Land
Poster prints that put the art in cartography

Everything You Need to Know

Who We Are

In the case of Blue is the Land, “we” is really “me.” My name is Derek Howles, and I‘ve designed all the prints on Blue is the Land (as well as the site itself). When my fiancée and I moved in together in 2012, I created a series of neighborhood map prints representing some of the cities where we’ve lived. The first four were Schenectady, Winston-Salem, Chapel Hill and Raleigh.

It wasn’t long before friends and family saw the prints hanging on our wall and asked if I could create versions for other cities. I designed another as a wedding gift for a close friend. And it grew from there.

Future Cities

We’re currently working on several new city neighborhood prints, including Denver, Minneapolis and a special, limited-edition version for New York City. We also have had a bunch of requests for Austin, Portland, Durham and New Orleans are looking into the possibility of designing those prints as well.

If you’re interested in other cities, please let us know via email. If we get enough requests for a particular city, we’ll design a print for it! Make sure you join our email list to get notified when we add new prints.

Made-to-Order Prints

From time to time, we design made-to-order prints depicting smaller, lesser-known cities on a one-off basis. These typically aren’t listed for public purchase. If you’re interested in a made-to-order print, please email us with details. We’ll let you know whether it’s feasible and, if so, how much it will cost and how long the design process will take.

Our Printing Process

Our prints are created on bright white, heavyweight Epson Enhanced Matte Paper with an Epson Stylus Pro 7900 printer. Each print is produced specifically for the person who orders it. Among other benefits, this allows us to customize certain prints by having you pick up to 3 neighborhoods you’d like to highlight.

Shipping Info

No matter how many prints you order at one time, shipping is a flat $7.95 per order. All prints ship via USPS in a sturdy mailing tube and should be delivered within 7–10 business days of purchase. You’ll receive a confirmation email with a USPS tracking number once your order has shipped. Items purchased as part of the same order cannot be shipped to different addresses.

At this time we’re able to ship only within the United States for orders purchased from To ship internationally, please purchase from our Etsy shop.

Returns and Refunds

Because we produce each print specifically for the person who orders it, we’re unable to accept returns or issue refunds. If your order was lost or damaged in the mail, however, please email us and we can work with you to get a replacement shipped free of charge.

Orders with Customization

Certain prints can be customized by having you pick up to 3 neighborhoods you’d like to highlight in a different color. If a print is customizable, its page will display a price for both the basic version and the customized version. You also will see a link to instructions for completing the customization process.

Framing Suggestions

If you want to go the simplest route, just pick up an inexpensive 18" × 24" frame from a store like Target. If you want a more “professional” look, you can head somewhere like Michaels, AC Moore or Hobby Lobby and ask about custom framing.

Or, if you’re up for a small amount of DIY (and saving some money), we suggest purchasing a bright white, 22" × 28" mat, like this one from ArtToFrames, along with a frame from, which has tons of options at very reasonable prices.

Security and Privacy

All orders on Blue is the Land are processed through a combination of two online payment systems: Helium and Stripe. We never have access to your full credit card information, which is encrypted via HTTPS during the entire checkout process. We also never will share personal information, such as your shipping and email addresses, with anyone (except as necessary to print and ship your order).

What the Hell Does the Name Mean?