The St. Johns Boosters are creating a district map for the first time in 11 years!
When you ask people what is special about St. Johns, it’s hard to come up with just one answer. One thing that we hear time and time again is that people who live here very rarely feel the need to leave, since everything that they want to see, experience, and buy is right here in our little “hamlet”. Uniquely positioned on the Peninsula, St. Johns is home to nature, biking trails, parks, modern amenities, buildings of historical interest, art enclaves, maker spaces, and an active downtown district centered around a public Plaza. Not to mention one of the most recognized sites in Portland, the St. Johns Bridge!
One great way to showcase all of our district’s assets to both residents and visitors is visually and with wayfinding. And what better marriage of the form and function than a beautifully designed map?
Map Artist, Jill Berry
The Boosters received a grant to create a map in 2019 from Venture Portland, but soon afterward we found ourselves in the middle of a pandemic. The project was put on hold for 2020 as there were so many unknowns about what businesses would still be here in the coming years. We hoped for the best and prepared for the worst. In 2021, the project was re-engaged with the addition of Jill Berry, a nationally known and published map artist who had relocated from Colorado to St. Johns. Her immediate connection to St. Johns as well as her very special art and map design skills made her a perfect choice as map designer.
The St. Johns Boosters are running a membership campaign in June 2021 inviting businesses to join or renew their memberships, and in addition, members are invited to add $25 for a paper map listing to their order. There was also an option to be a sponsor by purchasing ad space on the map for $500. We were able to offer this through our newly redesigned website by Waterlink Web, which includes an e-commerce option for the first time, allowing members to add to their “cart” both their membership dues and any add-ons like map placement and sponsorship.
Paper Maps and Digital Maps
After so much conversion to digital in the past year, why a paper map and why now?
“Paper maps have a long history and human connection in a way that digital ones do not. We want people to find this map in airports, downtown, or in St. Johns and pick it up because it’s beautiful, something they would put on their walls. And of course, we hope it invites them to explore St. Johns.”Christing Longmuir and Liz Smith
Plus paper maps can work in conjunction with digital maps. The URL for the Boosters website will be on the map along with URL’s for each business who chooses to be listed. Through the website, people can link to driving directions, see current members webpages and information, and find out about events that are happening in St. Johns.
As far as timing, St. Johns is getting ready for a year-long street construction project called the North Lombard Main Street Repair Project, which will remove all of the rails from the old streetcars from the main corridor of Lombard Street. It is a necessary but disruptive event to happen to a business district just emerging from a year COVID-19 restrictions. Finding ways to get around the district and continue to support local business during construction will be more important now than ever.
Speaking of getting around, the Boosters are excited about the Frog Ferry project that is in works and see another map placement opportunity at the Cathedral Park dock.
As people are starting to go out more, having a paper map available makes sense right now. It’s a connector and a conversation starter. It reminds us of our history, our connection to the land and each other, and creates pathways to discovery. Plus, who doesn’t love to see their name in print?