A Guide to Map Stationery

To keep myself connected to distant friends and family members during the pandemic, one thing I’ve been doing has been to send them actual, handwritten correspondence. A bit old-fashioned in the era of Zoom meetings and video chat, but it gets me away from the computer, and the firehose of awful that comes with it. Since I’m me, I was interested in finding map-themed postcards, notecards and stationery that I could use when writing to friends and colleagues who shared my interest in maps. It turns out that there is some out there.

This post is a roundup of what map-themed stationery for correspondence I’ve been able to find. It can serve as a gift guide, if map-themed stationery strikes you as a good gift; the holidays, after all, are coming up. As usual, I link to stores selling the stuff; I get a small cut of the income from qualifying purchases.


We’ll start with postcards. Cavallini’s vintage map postcards, which came out in 2012 and were reviewed here in 2016, come in a stylish metal tin that contains 18 cards, two each of nine designs. They’re printed on heavy, non-glossy card stock that foxes around the edges a bit, and on a per-card basis they’re comparatively expensive ($12.50). Amazon (Canada, UK)


Next up are notecards, which are basically blank greeting cards that come either flat or folded. They give you a bit more space to write than a postcard does, but you’re not escalating things to an Actual Letter. Notecards are great and I use them a lot, though they can sometimes be a challenge to find. Most of these came out a few years ago and may not necessarily be in stock where you shop.

Another thing to keep in mind that some notecards are too small to be mailed: they’re meant to be enclosed or attached. Some are large enough for mail in the U.S. but not elsewhere, because the minimum width standards are different: five inches (127 mm) wide in the U.S. and 140 mm elsewhere in the world.

Wendy Gold Maps of the Imagination NotecardsCalifornia artist Wendy Gold uses maps and globes as her canvas; she’s licensed her work to appear on various products, including the Maps of the Imagination notecards ($13.99), which came out in 2014. They come 16 to a box, in four designs where wildlife and other vibrant elements explode from ordinary world maps. They’re large enough for mailing, and the envelopes are classy as heck: I’ve used these cards myself. Amazon (Canada, UK), Bookshop

teNeues Vintage Maps QuickNotesteNeues has two sets of vintage maps themed notecards: the QuickNotes ($13.95), which includes 20 cards in four designs based on a celestial atlas by Andreas Cellarias; and the GreenNotes ($10.95), which comes in eco-friendly packaging and includes 16 cards in eight designs based on Joan Blaeu’s maps. (QuickNotes are five inches wide and as such are a hair too small for mailing outside the United States; I don’t know if the same goes for the GreenNotes.)

A set of boxed notecards featuring MacDonald Gill’s Wonderground Map of London came out in 2018 and appears to be hard to find; a video from one bookseller describing the set is here.

Searching Etsy for map notecards turns up several other possibilities.

Correspondence Sets: Paper and Envelopes

Dutch publisher Pepin Press has a number of historical map themed stationery products. They include notepads, envelopes, and a complete letter-writing set. The notepads come in both A5 (€9.95) and A4 (€17.50) sizes; each contains 64 sheets of 120gsm paper that is backed with a reproduction of a historical map; half the sheets are lined and half are blank. The envelopes are DL-sized—suitable for A4- and letter-sized paper folded into thirds—and come in packs of 25 (€12.95). The letter-writing set (€19.95) comes with 40 sheets of A5 paper, 40 C6 envelopes, plus stickers and labels.

Pepin Press Historical Maps A5 Notepad
Pepin Press

Finally, JAM Paper produces paper and envelopes made from recycled paper maps. Paper is available in letter (8½×11) size; the map is on the back. Envelopes come in various sizes; #10, A6 and 6×9 are in stock at the moment. A stationery set ($17.50) includes 12 sheets of map paper and 12 envelopes, the latter either #10 or 9×12).

  • JAM Paper Map Stationery: Amazon
  • JAM Paper Map Design Paper: Amazon