Lakewood Resident Steve Lovelace Creates “Corporate States of America” – Internet Loves it, Goes Viral
Lakewood artist Steve Lovelace has had some attention online recently with a map he calls “The Corporate States of America”. Lovelace’s map replaces each state with its most famous brand, such as Starbucks for Washington, General Motors for Michigan and Dr Pepper for Texas.
Born in St. Louis, Steve taught Spanish in Samoa before moving to Dallas. Since then, Steve has worked as a writer and graphic designer. I met Steve a couple of years ago through the site Meetup.com, and have followed his work ever since. Recently, I interviewed with Steve about the success of his infographic.
What inspired you to create the “Corporate States of America?”
I was writing an article about how corporations may one day replace nation states. I needed a graphic to go with the article, so I decided to make a map where I replaced each of the states of the union with a corporate logo.
How long did it take you?
The map took me at least eight or nine hours, far longer than it took to write the article that inspired it.
I’m sure there were some differing opinions on your choice of which company represented which state, what was your methodology?
My methodology was subjective. I simply picked the brand that I thought best represented each state. For example, with Texas, I immediately narrowed my choices to ExxonMobil, Dell or Dr Pepper. These would all be good choices, but I liked Dr Pepper because it’s a part of Texas culture, not just a company based in this state.
Where all was it featured?
“The Corporate States of America” was picked up first by a Tumblr called “Maps on the Web”. From there, it was featured in the Huffington Post, Gizmodo and BuzzFeed. The map has also been featured on local news programs in New Mexico and Montana, as well as in the British newspaper, The Daily Mail.
Off the top of your head, how many other spin-offs were there and on what other websites?
I've seen at least half a dozen. Thrillist has done two very good maps: one with fast food chains and another with beer and liquor. I've also seen one with fashion labels, as well as “Corporate States” maps of Japan and Spain.
What other opportunities has this led to?
I’ve had a few freelancing jobs come out of this, as well as a lot more visitors to my blog. I've even had the chance to work on a German version for a law firm in Munich.
How can folks get their hands on their own “Corporate States of America?”
I have 18×12″ posters available on my website. Each one is individually signed and numbered on the back. They are available for just $30, with $5 shipping anywhere in the US. And if you’re looking for something bigger, or even something customized, just send me an email and I’ll give you a quote.
What are your plans for future US-based infographics?
I’ve had so much feedback from the map that I’m working on a updated version for 2014. If you have any ideas about what brands I should feature next year, let me know at steve-lovelace.com.