29 September 2010

Having fun with stereotypes

The great Erin Loechner had something on her blog, Design for Mankind, the other day that I thought was hilarious.

She'd picked up a map created by Russian turned British illustrator Yanko Tsvetkov and featured on his blog Alphadesigner. The map Erin ran was one of series Tsvetkov made that illustrate the stereotypes Europeans have of each other and that Americans have of Europeans and I thought they were hilarious. Here are some highlights.

This is Europe according to France:

This is Europe according to Britain.

This is Europe according to Germany

Here's Europe as Italy sees it.

This is Italy as seen by posh Italians.

This is Europe as the US sees it.

And in a turn around provided by a link from one of Erin's readers, Here's the US as Europeans see it. This map came from the Swedish graphic designer Attila Toth and his website Attila.

Thanks for the laugh one and all.


  1. I don't think Americans even bother to break up Europe into that many pieces. Commies, Socialists and Snobs (the French, of course) and Europeans don't bother breaking us up into that many chucks either. We're New York, DisneyLand and cowboys.. and we all know each other :-)

  2. I was struck by the similarities between the How Europeans see the US map and how Northeasterners in the US see the US.

  3. LOL Yup, there is New York and everywhere else. I have this conversation weekly with a client in New York, particularly more intensely when he flies out and back from Cincinnati or Bentonville... Bentonville, I understand, but... aw, hell even Cincy :-)

  4. It's funny, I was born a Northeasterner and immersed completely int he worldview that the real world exists only between Boston and DC and anything further than 100 miles from the Atlantic is the Wild West. I've lived outside of that world for more than 20 years and I shock myself continuously when I slide back to that perspective. It's almost a reflex, similar to the way I relax and let my guard down when I hear a New York, Philly or Baltimore accent.

  5. I'm amused by the fact that the Italians see the Hungarians as porn stars but not Serbia. And also that everyone seems to consider the Danish as Vikings but not the Norwegians or Swedes. (I assume that has a lot to do with the fact that people equate Sweden with Ikea and meatballs more than with their Viking Age conquests). I'd love to know what the Canadian version of the perspective map would be, because I'm sure it'd be very different.

  6. All of those are hysterical! I especially laughed at Clock Addicts and Plumbers. XD

  7. Nim: Important to remember that those maps are from the perspective of a Russian turned Brit and a Swede respectively. I'd love to see a Canadian version too. North Americans are trained to run screaming from stereotypes but I think there's a lot to be learned from them.

    Becky: The plumbing notation gave me a laugh too.

  8. I loved these - they will be making the rounds.

    I have a bit that I do that is similar to what DogWalkBlog mentions except everything is in Texas. When people tell me where they are from i.e. Baltimore, I will feign confusion and ask if that is up in the Texas Panhandle. Despite it being funny (to me), people sometimes think I am being serious - you know ... because I am from Texas and I own oil wells, little education, buy my diamonds by the ton, and I am prone to solving problems with violence.

  9. Wait a minute, that's NOT an accurate description of you or your life? Wow!

  10. C'mon - don't you know that all Texans are Republican, ride horses to work (when the Cadillac is in the shop), live next door to South Fork Ranch, carry concealed weapons, and support the death penalty. We also press our jeans, wear boots to everything, own ten gallon hats, like country music, speak with an accent and think Texas should secede from the US.

    (well that last might actually be true and we could probably pull it off)

  11. Phew! So in other words, everything I know to be true about Texas IS true.

  12. I'm almost embarrassed to say that I love these!

  13. No shame Raina. I think they're a riot and a great opportunity for everybody to lighten up.

  14. This is cute! Re Texas and Bob's comment; he forgot to add 'woman with big hair dos'.
    P.S: Don't shoot the messenger as its a joke among Canadian Hair Stylists.

  15. It's a joke among US hairdressers too Brenda.


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