MapCarte 110/365: Vinex Atlas by Jelte Boeijenga and Jeroen Mensink, 2008

MapCarte110_vinexcoverAn atlas is simply a compendium of maps. We normally see such collections comprise maps of the world and so the world atlas is perhaps the most common form. Of course, an atlas can be about any related theme and this example from 010 Publishers showcases the approach beautifully. The maps are of a related theme and the design of the atlas pages is consistent throughout – the key to a great atlas.

A report In the 1990s published by the Dutch Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment outlined a project referred to by its Dutch acroym ‘Vinex’. Hundreds of thousands of houses were constructed under the proposals which became known as Vinex districts. In planning terms the policy has been heavily debated and criticised. This atlas provides a detailed visual, spatial and statistical account describing all 52 Vinex districts. The atlas includes a thorough essay on the programme and then illustrates the districts with detailed maps, plans, graphs, aerial photographs and photographs.


The atlas has a very distinctive appearance being predominantly black and white with muted colours across the maps and flashes of yellow used to provide accents throughout. The ink to paper ratio is consistent which gives each page a very similar look and feel. The relatively high proportion of white space is used effectively to give each map and graph space to breath and contribute to the overall composition. The graphics are bold and crisp.


Designed by the Joost Grootens studio and published by 010, it’s an exceptional example of designing information-based graphics with detail being brought to focus with clear structure and precise depiction. The atlas won the 2009 ‘best book design from all over the world’, beating 700 other entries to the gold medal.

More page spreads can be viewed at the Joost Grootens web site here.