Killer app: Dennis maps out London’s less urban, good spaces

By Rhys Handley, Monday 23 October 2017

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London, known for its concrete, Victorian terraces and often referred to as ‘The Big Smoke’, is greener than many people would think. The capital is home to more than 3,000 parks and green spaces, which Urban Good and the National Park City project want to show off.


What did you produce?

A full-colour map based on Ordnance Survey specifications highlighting all the green spaces, rivers and lakes in London. Dennis Maps, part owned by OS, printed a run of 3,400 maps – 3,000 folded, 400 flat and trimmed – for the project. They are available online for free from

What did the job entail?

The map was printed on a six-colour B1 KBA Rapida 162a press on 90gsm Progeo map paper from Dewsen Special Papers, sized  988x1,270mm.

Dennis used Huber Group’s Inkredible series of inks to print the map in five colours on the front – CMYK plus Pantone 805 – and six on the reverse, adding Pantone 3405. The cover was printed on sheets of 260gsm Celebr8 Occasions cover board from Vision Papers, sized 720x1,020mm before trimming.

The maps were guillotined on a Schneider 137 to 952x1270mm then folded to 476x127mm on a Stahl large-format map-folding machine. The covers were gloss laminated on a Bilhoefer 102 laminator and then die-cut on a Heidelberg Cylinder.

What challenges were overcome?

“The most challenging element of the production was the complexity of the print files that were supplied for the maps,” said Dennis Maps managing director Steve Burry. “These were multi-layered and printed in either five or six colours. The initial processing time involved was quite significant and it required a great deal of pre-press firepower to cope with this.”

What was the feedback?

Urban Good founder Charlie Peel said: “Working with Dennis Maps has been a pleasure: the craft of litho printing such a complex, detailed and data driven artwork was a thrill to watch. Pantone spot colours rally bring the print to life beyond the typical CMYK pallet of an OS Explorer map. 

“The excitement of children, teachers, ecologists, walkers, cartographers and Londoners on seeing the map and re-framing their capital as a connected natural landscape has achieved everything we set out to do. I can’t wait to see more images of the map: damaged, stained and worn through fulfilling its purpose.”

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