Who are you?

I’m Jake Berman, I'm an artist, and I live in New York City.  I grew up in San Francisco and lived in LA for a while before I landed in NYC. My current project is the celebrated map series called The Lost Subways of North America, an art project to map the past, present and could've-been public transit of North American cities.

This is the part of the Internet where I put my art.

Drop me a line at jake@fiftythree.studio.

How do you make your historical maps?

I rely on a lot of archival research.  All of the maps in The Lost Subways are based on primary sources that I've gotten from various different sources.  A few come from public records requests; others come from library research collections; others are from the Internet Archive.  Once I have sufficient original material in hand, I research the visual language of the period I'm trying to depict.  It just doesn't feel right to use Helvetica to depict 1925 - much less 1865.

Once I have all that down, I start plotting the maps.  Initial drafts are done with pen and paper, and I'll do all the final work in Adobe Illustrator.

Can I reuse your designs?

All works are copyrighted by me, the artist, all rights reserved. If you’re interested in commissioning something from me, or you want to license my work, shoot me an email.

Why Fifty-Three?

My grandmother’s house was No. 53, and I borrowed her house number.