City of Sarnia Ontario 1955 24x18” print ($40 CAD)
Graphic Publishers (Canada) was based in Toronto and made template-based smaller-city maps in the 1940s and 1950s, and this Sarnia map is a great example of what they do. Note the outdated and very art-deco border (or “neatline”) coupled with typewritten labels and wobbly lines that seem straight out of a 1980s punk zine, and then see those exact same elements on their 1952 St. Catharines map and 1946 Saskatoon map. This kind of thing (retrograde styles used out of context and low-budget but efficient production approaches) is actually pretty attractive to me, and maybe it’s even be the core of 20th century Canadian design identity. Reprinted with a half-inch margin from an original image found in the York University Map Library.