A graphic representation of San Juan County, designed by Jorrien and Tiera Peterson to reflect the unique landscapes of the county and what means the most to the residents within. Courtesy photo
by Alene Laney, Contributing writer
The San Juan County Economic Development team commissioned a unique, graphic illustration of the county earlier this year.
The graphic was created by Jorrien and Tiera Peterson, a husband and wife team based out of Salt Lake City who are making a name with their simple, minimalistic approach to design.
Jorrien Peterson described to the San Juan Record their process for illustrating meaningful graphics: “We create a sense of place in our work by trying to figure out what matters most to those that live in the region that we are illustrating.
“In other words, the key to our success is research. Often times, it takes more time to research our projects than to illustrate them.”
The map was designed to reflect both the unique landscapes of the county and what means the most to the residents within. It incorporates history, natural landmarks, geological features, interests, and values of the people of San Juan County. It’s a fantastic representation of the vast landscape and people in this wild corner of the world.
Natalie Randall, San Juan County Economic Development Director, says, “We wanted something that was unique to the area that would incorporate familiar icons with visitors and locals alike.”
The economic development team worked with the designers to identify the unique aspects and historical elements of the county to create the symbols in the map.
Jorrien Peterson continues, “In the case of the San Juan County map, we had huge help in that area from Natalie and Allison [Yamamoto-Sparks, of the San Juan County Economic Development team], who commissioned the project.
“We can spend all the time in the world researching online, but there is nothing quite like getting a locals perspective on the matter.”
What’s also interesting about the map is how individual the experience is for each person that views it.
Peterson explains it this way, “Something else that makes our work unique is the theory of 2+2=4. Some artists give a ‘4’ with their work, but we like to give ‘2+2.’ I think that it can be a much more rewarding and enjoyable process for the viewer if they have to work for it a little bit.”
“By taking recognizable landmarks and illustrating them in a minimal style, it makes them work just a little bit to figure out what each icon represents and why that icon has been placed in that particular spot. There’s nothing quite like watching someone’s face as they explore one of our maps for the first time.”
The graphic will be incorporated into San Juan County’s branding, such as community guide books, travel guides, websites, etc. Interested residents and visitors should keep tabs on the economic development office social media channels,
@utahscanyoncounty on Facebook and Instagram, for giveaways of the product they do have.
The economic development office is still looking for the best way to sell merchandise with the graphic.