There was a time, not all that long ago, when graphic design was created without the aid of a computer. These hand-designed-and-lettered maps from the Sanborn Map Company are a wonderful example of what can be accomplished with a careful, steady, and highly-skilled hand. The detail, flair, and typographic artistry in these pieces is breathtaking, and especially remarkable being that they were commissioned in service of something as prosaic as a fire insurance map! Please enjoy the samples below, or visit this site for more.
And there’s even a more local example: