More and more youngsters are becoming fans of the funky city guides from USE-IT, a non-profile group that originated from Denmark.
What makes them cool? Designed by local artists and contributors, the maps are designed with colorful and fun markings. Something that should appeal to young tourists and should supposedly not “appeal to grandmother’s”, as Nicholas Marichal , the USE-IT Europe Editor says.
The guides are marked with places and treats that are not normally found on traditional guides. One city guide for example has tipped tourists for the “place to kiss”. The artists use fun and colorful markers, informally written tips and guides as well as make sure that it reflects a specific vibe and flavor of the city.
How did USE-IT start
The group started in 1971, when hippies get more and more packed in Copenhagen. The mayor then had a pop-up hostel erected. The hostel put up city guides and information and soon after led to the first USE-IT guide.
Today, there are 23 cities in over 14 European countries that produce these guides.
The group gets funded by the European Commission. They are planning to use part of the funding to develop a smartphone app. Marichal, the Editor, however believes that these traditional fold up maps will always be in fashion. As he puts it, “where everything is marketed or digitalized, sometimes simple things work better”.