Oil Company Ephemera

Posted by Scott

Just a small collection of oil company maps I’ve found around the web; I wasn’t aware of this fascinating sub-genre of design. This is the sort of throw-away stuff that for some reason is the coolest thing to find in the garage drawer it’s been sitting in for 30 years. I think that Hawaii one is actually just a Casino Versus Japan 12″ cover. That German one is ridiculous; leave it to them to design a map that they give out free at the gas station that betters the collective output of United State graphic designers for the entire calendar year in which it was produced. Way to go guys.

Shell Nature Lovers’ Atlas
Shell Deutschland Map
Mobil Travel Map
Shell Hawaii Map

17 Comments Leave A Comment


Brent says:

June 25, 2009 at 7:48 am

While I think the German map is nice, I’d hesitate to throw US designers collective output for an entire year under the bus for it. Check out a few Graphis design annuals from the 60’s and I think you’ll find quite a few great pieces from US designers that would rival this map.


arne says:

June 25, 2009 at 8:43 am

… the german map shows also a special state of mind of the publisher: the eastern part of germany was in those days a several state (GDR). and the graphic also includes west-poland without a several borderline (stettin is since the WWII the polish szczecin) … a typical cold war-product


slofu says:

June 25, 2009 at 10:42 am

Love how on the Nature Lovers’ Atlas what could be topographical map contours might also suggest an oil spill.


Scott says:

June 25, 2009 at 1:53 pm

Brent & Scott –

hy⋅per⋅bo⋅le  [hahy-pur-buh-lee]
–noun Rhetoric.
1. obvious and intentional exaggeration.
2. an extravagant statement or figure of speech not intended to be taken literally, as “to wait an eternity.”

But yeah, I get your point, and I agree with you, I just figured I’d have a little fun because I didn’t think anyone would take me seriously when I compared a gas station map to the US graphic design industry.


Scott says:

June 26, 2009 at 7:04 am

Well of course you where, it just that the internet automatically forces us to take up arms and prove your wrong by being equally shortsighted.


Jonathan says:

July 1, 2009 at 9:48 am

Hi Scott. What are the maps like in the Nature Lovers’ Atlas? Do they use colours similar to the cover design, or is that the best bit?


Ms. Sara Xu says:

November 30, 2010 at 2:09 am

Nice Absorption Cotton —–free sample for you to cheek the quality
Dear Manager:

How are you, this is Sara from NT Nice

We are manufacturer of absorbent products in China, we engage in exceed thin fiber absorbents including oil-only absorbents, chemicalabsorbents and universal absorbents.

My company is a GOLD SUPPLIER on ALIBABA,our company website is

If you’re interested in our absorbents please email me back.

Best regards

Contact: Ms. Sara Xu
Company:NT Nice Co,.Ltd
Address:NO.26 Ruixiang Road,Ruixiang Town,Haimen City,Nantong,China
Tel: 0086-513-82276399
Mobile:86 13358034979
Fax: 0086-513-82271761