I launched Bicycle Bites, guided bike tours of Brooklyn’s international dumplings, on Kickstarter in the spring of 2017. Led by local guides, riders explore the diversity of Brooklyn’s neighborhoods by bicycle, while fueling their rides with delicious dumplings from local businesses. Bicycle Bites was featured as a Kickstarter “Project We Love,” and fully funded in three days. It surpassed its $1,000-goal by 75 percent, by the end of the two-week campaign.
One of the Kickstarter rewards offered was a printed map of my favorite bike routes and dumpling shops in Brooklyn.
For the first prototype of the map, I used Google Maps to plot out routes and shops. This digital map was another reward offered to backers.
I then looked at other maps to get a feel for best practices and standards for printed, folded maps. I knew I couldn’t start designing until I knew what size my map would be. After reaching out to some printing companies and asking for quotes, I learned that anything bigger than 12" x 18" would require a large format printer, making the price soar. And so the size was determined.
I started by trying different folding patterns for a 12" x 18" map. I found that folding it in half and then into thirds made it match the shape of other folded maps, and would be simpler to lay out.
I used a plain vector map of Brooklyn’s streets as the base of the map side, and customized it in Adobe Illustrator. I generally followed the color palette of the Bicycle Bites stickers, which I had previously designed with the help of my friend, Janel Wong. Other elements I used from the stickers included the dumpling characters, which represent dumpling shops on the map.
In addition to designing and laying out both sides of the map, I wrote all of its content. In total, 50 maps were printed, and shared with Kickstarter backers and tour participants in September 2017.