About Us

Our story

In July 2011, PocketMaps co-founder Mark Minoff took a trip on a whim to Stockholm, Sweden. He was a Delta Airlines employee exploring during his downtime but soon found himself stuck in an airport without a flight or enough funds to buy his next seat or a train ticket out. Mark had to spend the night in an airport waiting for the next open standby seat with no internet access and only a handful of maps to guide him during the remainder of his stay. The maps, like so many, were a cluster f**k of advertising with a mess of disorganized information and were lacking the clarity and coherence needed for any travel guide. The lack of sources available inspired Mark to create what is known today as PocketMaps.

When Mark returned from his trip, he teamed up with co-founder Michael Todd to create the first Grab ’n’ Go Guide for Savannah, Georgia.

The concept focused on creating a single piece of media that featured everything you needed to know about a city and what it offers, while also having the convenience of folding up and fitting right into your pocket. The Grab ’n’ Go Guides feature logically designed maps with everything from the best places to eat and shop, to local entertainment and things to do.

As the PocketMaps began to make their way throughout the city, businesses began reaching out wanting their ad to be featured on our Grab ’n’ Go Guides. With the increase in demand, Mark and Michael reached out to a company called Z Card to potentially begin mass producing the PocketMaps. Unfortunately, the cost to print and produce the PocketMaps with the company was not affordable due to the many complex processes involved and we had to find another way to get Grab ’n’ Go guides into the hands of visitors.

In September 2011, PocketMaps officially launched and was dedicated to creating the most affordable printing and production options in advertising. During this time, PocketMaps worked locally with our team to print, fold, and assemble every single map by hand to reduce the cost. As demand grew, we began hearing from other businesses who wanted more than a Grab ’n’ Go Guide and, instead, a map of their own.

With the transition to different types of PocketMaps and Grab ’n’ Go Guides for more cities, we knew we could no longer create every map by hand. In 2016, we built our very own custom machine so that we could not only begin to produce mass quantities of PocketMaps but so that we could also dramatically decrease the cost for our customers. We invited freelance designers and cartographers to our team to not only begin offering custom services for our clients but also to support other businesses and artists at the same time. As our production and team grows today, we have had the opportunity to work with many companies all over the world, from local organizations like Taos Pueblo to corporate businesses such as Nike and National Geographic.

At PocketMaps we hope to one day be the go-to Grab ’n’ Go Guide for all destinations around the world. We want to make traveling easy, effortless, and convenient. We want to offer our clients the most affordable options on the market and help them create only the best media possible. At PocketMaps we want everyone to have the chance to Unfold. Find. Go.

Mark

Managing Member & Co-Founder

With a previous career in surveillance, Mark is a master at finding out what makes other people tick. And that training has served him well as an entrepreneur. With lightning-fast insights and keen observation skills, Mark has an innate understanding of what people want. And at the same time, his talent for seeking out brilliant design has led him to travel the world, restore historic buildings and most recently established his newest venture, PocketMaps. - Arlene Distel

Michael

Design Co-Founder & CTO

Starting his education studying architecture at Texas A&M, Michael finished his degree at SCAD with a BFA in Visual Communications. These two experiences exposed him to a wide berth of inspirational design principles that he now applies to the design of digital and print materials for PocketMaps. He lives in Atlanta but also loves the Rockies, all things Apple, photography, and working as an entrepreneur.

Qian Sun

Graphic Designer & Illustrator

A New Yorker who originally hails from Shanghai, Qian Sun is a multidisciplinary designer and a self-proclaimed curious adventurer. For the past decade, her work in branding, environmental graphics, and conceptual design has earned her numerous accolades, including recognition in TDC, HOW Magazine, Graphis and The Die Line. Prior to establishing herself as an independent consultant in 2016, Qian served as senior designer for Pentagram Design, collaborating directly with the firm’s partners and leading large-scale projects for clients such as Pepsi Co, the Hudson Yards, GSK, and many more.

John Carrington

Photographer and distribution

John, a freelance photographer and photojournalist with more than twenty years of experience, has contributed to a wide variety of newspapers, trade journals and books. He graduated with a BFA in Photography from SCAD.

Kayla Frith

Graphic Designer

Kayla Frith is a graduate of Louisiana Tech University with a BFA in Communication Design and a minor in Fine Art Photography. Raised in Louisiana, she has since relocated to start her journey in Portland, Oregon as a freelance Graphic Designer. Kayla loves spending her free time traveling to new places and exploring the great outdoors with her film camera.

Sara Allen

Graphic Designer

Sara is a passionate designer, a detail-oriented art director, a casual runner, and a curious traveler. She is pursuing her M.A. in Graphic Design & Visual Experience from SCAD to build on her B.S. in Industrial Design from Georgia Tech. Sara has years of experience partnering with large and small clients in the workplace. With each project, she aims to create visuals that are encountered in everyday environments that impact people in extraordinary ways.

Wendy

Former Office Greeter

Wendy loved her job. She always had a great attitude is waited for you at the door. In her spare time, she loved to nap and dream of chasing squirrels. We miss her dearly. 2006-2018

Blue a.k.a Frisky Dingo

Former foot-warmer / office security

Blue was the best hug-giver in the office and always a joy to have around. Always nearby, he'd keep you company throughout the day. We miss him dearly. 2003-2017

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