Illustrated Maps Create Magic

In 2021, over 60,000 people from places like Chicago, IL and Milwaukee, WI traveled to Hebron, IL to see the VonBergen Farm’s Sunflower Festival. Agritourism is thriving in the Northwest Suburbs and is one of the largest drivers of visitation within our county from people over 50 miles away. 1

VonBergen’s Flower Festivals are the 6th most visited attraction in McHenry County. Thousands of people travel up to Hebron, IL to experience the sunflower, hemp, corn, lavender blooms as well as the fresh made donuts!

VonBergen’s Country Market is a third generation family farm with roots deep within our community. Tracie contracted us to create a map for an 8.5 x 11 in. tri-fold brochure (above) that’s handed out at their ticket booth and used to promote the farm.

We worked up with Tracie VonBergen to hone the business’ branding and produce a fun and easy to navigate map and brochure. We contracted frequent collaborator and good friend Julie Kukreja to illustrate. Tons of geeking out on maps ensued.

Von Bergen Trifold Brochure

Illustrated Map by Julie Kukjeka and Pete Wisniewski for Von Bergen’s Country Market in Hebron, IL.

Discover Your Wayfinding Plan

We love illustrated maps, especially those from fun theme and adventure parks of the 80’s. They not only directed you to important areas of the park, but the maps made exploring the park more fun! They were as close to a drone image as you could get and as a kid felt like a treasure map. Only in this case, fresh fried donuts were the prize!

Our goal with this project was to help inform a wayfinding plan. This included understanding the important destinations on the farm as well as discover the profit centers. We started the project by refining and structure VonBergen’s brand’s colors, fonts and style. Then we met at the farm to understand the layout and future projects that would have to be added to the map in the Spring.

Maps Connect People to Products

Bringing people together around marketing campaigns using illustrated maps is really great. They create a foundation to build relationships between businesses, non-profit organizations, park districts and associations. Above you’ll see another map we created in collaboration with Julie Ann’s and the Crystal Lake Park District that brought awareness the most popular local parks and Julie Ann’s classic frozen custard truck.


Lakeside Marketing for Julie Ann’s in Crystal Lake, IL.

Make a Map Part of Your Marketing Plan

Maps start important conversations about physical signage and visitor flow, and are a centerpiece of an effective wayfinding plan. Work the illustrations into promotional videos, physical signs and educational opportunities to bring a higher return on investment.

Maps highlight events, locations and important information with the added bonus of informing buying decisions. Take a look at the map below that highlighted a festival event with music, and vendors. Liz, Tom and Mary were wonderful to work with and the festival was amazing.


Lakeside Marketing for Tom’s Farm in Huntley, IL

Isn’t it fascinating how maps could bring to life diverse educational campaigns? Let’s delve into Pete Wisniewski’s work for Midwest Nutritional Service. Can you picture an education campaign that didn’t just span the length and breadth of Chicagoland but was also filled with vibrant events? It was called the Mentor Series and included 11 events designed to grow their Chicagoland and Wisconsin sales territory.

Imagine embarking on a Liver Detox Sunset Boat Cruise on Lake Michigan, for instance. During this unique event, participants were educated about various herbs and foods that aid in detoxification. Just picture the sun setting, the cool breeze on your face, herbs and cocktail in hand, all while learning about natural detox methods!

Now, imagine a fun-filled Lactose-Free Ice Cream Social. An event where delicious ice cream was served (with lactase enzymes and rennet mixed in the finish product), but the sweetness doesn’t end there. The participants also gained insights into how digestive enzymes work, how they help break down food, and why some people might need supplemental enzyme support.

And how about attending a Chinese Medicine Round Table at a bustling restaurant in Chinatown? It was an engaging and immersive event where participants learned about ancient healing herbs while savoring authentic Chinese cuisine.


Illustrated map for a professional education series full of unique experiences.

The Map Makes the Brand

Without a doubt, illustrated maps create additional branding and buying opportunities. We are constantly planning and creating maps for our client’s projects. Elevate your brand, event or location with an illustrated map! If you have an idea for a project, bend our ear and let’s geek-out on maps. Contact us to setup a time to chat.

  1. Datafy Market Analysis and Year-Over-Year Destination Statistics from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2021.

About Author

Pete Wisniewski

Pete Wisniewski is partner of Lakeside Marketing. He is based in Lake in the Hills, IL and can be found exploring the local hiking trails and working with community groups to create positive change.