Everything You Ever Wanted to Know
In the case of Blue is the Land, “we” is really “me.” My name is Derek Howles. I’ve always loved geography (ever since I was little and my favorite book was the atlas) and am fascinated by how neighborhoods are formed and shaped in different cities. I live in Raleigh, North Carolina.
When my fiancée (now my wife) 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.
I take a lot of care to represent the neighborhoods in each city accurately from the perspective of that city’s residents. I do a ton of research about neighborhood names and boundaries — from relying on personal experience to searching media articles to analyzing real estate listings to scouring Twitter hashtags to, of course, talking to natives.
It all boils down to my ultimate goal: to design something you’ll be excited to hang on your wall, something you’ll use to represent your neighborhood with pride.
Each print sold on blueistheland.com is printed on bright white, heavyweight, museum quality paper (Epson Enhanced Matte), is printed on an Epson Stylus Pro 7900 and is created specifically for the person who orders it. This allows you to customize certain prints by highlighting specific neighborhoods in a different color.
Blue is the Land frames are wood composite with a matte black finish. They come with plexiglass glazing (rather than glass) and measure 0.75" wide × 0.8125" deep. At this time, framing options such as matting and multiple colors/materials/sizes unfortunately are not available — although hopefully this will change in the near future. In short, they’re perfect if you’re looking for a basic framing solution.
If you’re looking for something more advanced, I can’t recommend Framebridge more highly. It’s a website that will frame your prints with the same quality as a local frame shop with just a few clicks. Framebridge is quite a bit more expensive than a standard Blue is the Land frame, but you’ll be able to choose from a range of frame colors, styles and mats.
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.
Please note that orders placed after Monday, December 8, are not guaranteed for Christmas delivery within the U.S.
Your shipping cost is calculated automatically at checkout based on (a) the number of prints in your order, (b) whether they’re framed and (c) where they’re heading.
Because of the difference in size and weight, unframed prints ship separately from framed prints, even if they’re part of the same order. Items purchased as part of the same order cannot be shipped to different addresses.
If your order is shipping to the U.S. or Canada, you’ll receive a confirmation email with a tracking number once your order has shipped. Orders shipping to the rest of the world do not feature tracking.
Within United States
Delivery Time: Typically 7–10 business days from purchase
Unframed: $7.95 for each set of 10
Framed: $12.95 for first print + $5.00 for each additional print
Delivery Time: Typically 10–15 business days from purchase
Unframed: $11.95 for each set of 10
Framed: $39.95 for first print + $20.00 for each additional print
To Rest of World
Method: First-Class International
Delivery Time: Typically 15–30 business days from purchase
Unframed: $14.95 for each set of 10
Framed: $54.95 for first print + $30.00 for each additional print
Because each print is produced specifically for the person who orders it, Blue is the Land is unable to accept returns or issue refunds. However, if your order was lost or damaged in the mail, please email me and I’ll do my best to work with you and get a replacement shipped free of charge.
I’m currently working on city neighborhood prints for Denver and Minneapolis, which should be completed in early 2015. I’ve had a bunch of requests for other cities, too, including Austin, Portland, Durham and New Orleans and am looking into the possibility of designing prints for them.
I’m also super excited about the upcoming, limited edition ‘Neighborhoods of New York’ print. It’ll be huge — 44" × 44", to be exact. Each print will be individually signed and numbered and will feature the shapes of 361 neighborhoods (covering all five boroughs) arranged by size from smallest to largest. Unlike other Blue is the Land prints, the neighborhoods on this one won’t be labeled, so each print will come with a small, printed reference booklet that identifies each neighborhood.
If you’re interested in other cities, please don’t hesitate to let me know via email. If enough people request a particular city, I’ll design a print for it! Make sure you join the email list to get notified when new prints are added to Blue is the Land.
Blue is the Land uses Shopify to manage your shopping cart and process credit card purchases. All credit card information transmitted to Shopify is encrypted via HTTPS, which means Blue is the Land never has any access whatsoever to your credit card information.
Blue is the Land will never share your personal information with anyone else except as necessary to fulfill and ship your order. You’ll automatically be added to the Blue is the Land email list when you make a purchase. Subscribers recieve announcements about new prints, discounts and other cool stuff. To unsubcribe, visit blueistheland.com/unsubscribe or click the “Unsubscribe” link at the bottom of any Blue is the Land email.
If you’re interested in carrying Blue is the Land prints in your retail store, please email me so we can explore options. Blue is the Land prints for third-party retail stores are slightly different, in that they’re screen printed rather than inkjetted. Everything else about them is the same, like as the designs, the dimensions and the ink and paper colors.