The Art of Running

Minimal Running Course Prints

Sportymaps by Dutchman Guus Van Zeeland is the production of his two passions, running and web design. We sat down to talk to him about what inspired him to make his abstract running posters and his future plans for the concept.


What led to to fuse your creative talents with your passion for running?

Running and designing are big parts of my life. It is something that I like to do to keep fit, to clear my head and blow of some steam. As I try to run with a running group twice a week, it's a social thing; running together and competing with friends. In August 2015, my Sportymaps Etsy shop opened with the first course posters. Since then a lot has been added and a lot have been sold. It became to much to maintain on Etsy and in March 2016 I opened my own webshop.


When did you realize that running trails could be a work of art?

As a designer I'm fond of graphs and diagrams. Data visualization can be a beautiful thing. My ideas for a product were also in that direction: a running course but also with emphasis on the runners personal data, like speed, stride, heart rate etc. Eventually I noticed that maps, like old sea charts, or simplified maps of National Parks became pretty popular and that was another piece of the puzzle that eventually lead to my current idea: minimal running course maps. Adding a name and finish time makes it completely personal.


How did you decide on the the styling/colours for the posters?

I wanted to put the emphasis on the course. That is the most important part of the poster. I got inspiration from Aaron Draplin, a great graphic designer. He has a great design style and a love for old logo's which use a technique he calls thick lines. Big bold shapes that are used to create all kinds of logo's with a certain precision. For the background colors I wanted to use small selection of colors. That way people could pick something they liked, something that matched their interior or could stand out. 


Are there any other products in the pipeline/ future projects?

I really want to add some running clothing to the shop. I've already made a small batch of running shirts with all over printing. Another idea I have is to make running shirts with my course designs on them. I also would like to make some other merchandise like polo shirts and caps. I've picked the name Sportymaps for a reason. It could have been MarathonMaps, or RunningMaps but I also wanted to leave the option open to make courses for other sports. 


Sportymap prints are available here.