On the Grid

Co-creating the ultimate guide to global creative neighborhoods with designers around the world.

Neighborhood guides by creatives for creatives

Yelp is anarchy. Searching for “hipster neighborhoods” on Google feels gross. There needs to be a better way to find the best places a city has to offer to discerning design geeks who love exploring new places.

What if there was always a friend with great taste you could always count on for recommendations to the best local spots? Say hello to On the Grid, a collection of neighborhood guides for cities around the world curated by local creatives just like you!

Two people sit at a table outside Casse-Croûte, a quaint restaurant at 109 Bermondsey Street, London. The webpage titled "Explore the world" offers a collection of 534 neighborhood guides curated by local creatives in 114 cities globally.

An homage to cities and and their resident designers

The name On the Grid celebrates the urban street grid, with a nod to the tool most used by graphic designers: the alignment grid.

A vintage map highlighting the area around Buttermilk Channel in New York City. Prominent features include Governors Island, Gowanus Bay, and detailed street grids of Brooklyn neighborhoods. Notable landmarks such as the United States Navy Yard and Fort Greene are marked.
A blue cutting mat with a grid, numerals, and diagonal guidelines. The grid is marked in centimeters and inches along the edges. The mat is designed to assist with precise cutting for crafts, sewing, and other detailed work.
A minimalist grid with black letters and symbols arranged in a square. The text reads "ON THE GRID," with small black squares separating some of the letters. A heart symbol is placed after the first black square in the first row. The grid lines are faint pink.
A navy blue background features three identical phrases "ON THE GRID" written in white, with the letters aligned in a vertical and horizontal grid. Heart and square symbols are placed in the corners, adding a playful element to the design.
It all started in Brooklyn

We love Gowanus. The neighborhood that plays host to Hyperakt HQ is full of great restaurants, coffee shops, bars, and creative spaces. To celebrate Gowanus, we built a simple, user-friendly neighborhood guide that captures the true essence of the places we love—through beautiful photography, candid descriptions, and design-driven curation.

A webpage showcases Gowanus in Brooklyn, New York, USA. It includes a map with location pins and descriptions of local spots: Pig Beach, Insa, Mission Dolores, Freek’s Mill, Dirty Precious, and Givers & Takers. The neighborhood is noted for its art, food, and creative businesses.
Start small, think big

What started as a single neighborhood guide in Brooklyn grew into a collection of neighborhood guides for cities around the world, all curated by local creatives.

  • 534
    neighborhood guides
  • 114
  • 43
  • 11K
  • 50K
    original photos
A computer monitor displays a screen featuring Brooklyn, New York, with a map and multiple highlighted locations. On the right, there are images and descriptions of Carroll Gardens, Clinton Hill, Cobble Hill & Boerum Hill, and Coney Island. The background is purple.
A pink computer monitor displays a website with the heading "London Urban Giggles." It features a map of central London with marked locations on the left and nine colorful boxes with images and text on the right, showcasing different places or events.

Illustrating the world's landmarks

As On the Grid grew to dozens of cities, eventually reaching well over 100, our designers painstakingly researched and illustrated the quirkiest landmarks we could find to represent each one. The collection includes classics like the Brooklyn Bridge and Eiffel Tower, but it also celebrates many modern buildings, sculptures, and more. We printed a limited edition set of silkscreened posters to commemorate our first 100 cities "On the Grid".

A blue poster with white outlined illustrations of various iconic buildings and landmarks from cities around the world. The buildings are arranged in a grid pattern, each with the name of the city listed underneath, such as New York, Paris, Tokyo, and Sydney.
A computer monitor displays a grid of city names and illustrations on a blue background. Cities include Naples, Nashville, New Delhi, New York City, Oakland, Ottawa, Paris, Perth, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland (ME), Portland (OR), Porto, Queens, and Queenstown.

Creativity lives everywhere

Every neighborhood is its own world, and On the Grid treats all neighborhoods with thriving creative scenes equally. Each local guide is carefully crafted from scratch by our local Curator and filled with exceptional recommendations so travelers can experience any city like a local. Whether you prefer boutiques or mom & pop shops, cocktail bars or dive bars, fine cuisine or crab shacks, galleries or street art, we've got you covered.

A computer screen displays a website with a map titled "Noord" and marked locations in Rotterdam. The page features various sections including "Contemporary showrooms," "Designshop," "Luchtzigt," and "Pomadezraat," each with representative images.
A computer screen displays a website for Poble Nou in Barcelona, Spain. The layout includes a map with red location markers, descriptions, and images of local spots such as Palo Alto Market and Melon District Marina. The site has a colorful orange and blue theme.
Four smartphones display a restaurant review application. Each phone shows different restaurants: Mar Vista (Los Angeles, USA), Nørrebro (Copenhagen, Denmark), Columbus (Ohio, USA), and Bandra (Mumbai, India). Photos and brief descriptions are visible.
A digital map with a highlighted location for "Noord, Rotterdam, Netherlands" and description by Foam Form. The side panel displays "& Designshop," featuring a ceramics collection image with pastel-colored plates and jewelry. A 'Visit Website' link is included.
A digital interface showcasing information about Praga Południe in Warsaw, Poland. The left panel displays a map highlighting various points of interest. The right panel features an image and description of City Beach under a bridge beside the Vistula River.

Inspiring, relatable, useful, and trust-worthy

The magic at the heart of On the Grid is its original photography. Our Curators around the world—all busy creative professionals—not only choose their favorite neighborhood spots, they hit the streets to capture a photo essay of each location. The result is a lush, intimate view of each location as experienced through the eyes of a designer.

A collage of 16 diverse images includes baked goods, a bustling café, a modern rooftop pool, a colorful parade, a chef holding a dessert, an artistic tire installation, a gourmet salad, neon letter "A," a retro restaurant sign, people making cocktails, a yellow bridge, friends laughing, a takeout counter, a seafood dish, an outdoor seating area, and a stylish bar.

With a little help from our friends

Created and managed by Hyperakt, On the Grid is the collaborative effort of hundreds of the world’s most talented design companies and independent creatives. Each OTG Contributor serves as a neighborhood Curator by selecting, photographing and writing about their favorite neighborhood spots.

A webpage displaying a list of contributors and their favorite local spots. The left side features a map of Europe with markers. The right side lists locations such as Edinburgh, Frankfurt, Milan, Budapest, and Glasgow, along with the contributor names.
A collage of nine photos featuring diverse individuals in various settings: sitting on a couch, wearing a bear hat, discussing a project at a table, talking by a wall with photos, getting a haircut, posing outside with bangs, and photographing a cake.
Love and praise from the internet

On the Grid has received glowing press and has built a cult following among the creative community. Ask a designer if they know OTG and odds are they’ll say yes.

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This is one of those terrific, wish-I’d- thought-of-that ideas that you can’t help but be charmed by...
Khoi Vihn
An image shows multiple Twitter user comments. They praise @onthegridcity for their guides to cities, including great neighborhood insights and design. They also mention collaboration with @Hyperakt and @postfamily, and a relevant event by Expo Milano 2015.
It’s hard to get good advice when you’re visiting a new city. Yelp is anarchy... Most travel apps are horribly designed. So these neighborhood guides are an especially welcome resource.

On the Grid swag

In order to support our hundreds of Curators working on content in different countries, we printed business cards and flyers they could present at places they wanted in different languages. With the generous support of sponsors like Moo and Scoutbooks, we were able to ship official On the Grid starter kits all over the world.

A person wearing a white shirt puts a dark blue card with a gold geometric heart design into their shirt pocket. The card features shapes including a circle and various triangles that form the heart. The background appears slightly blurred.
A vibrant display of colorful cards scattered on a surface. The cards are in shades of blue, pink, green, yellow, and orange, each labeled as "The designer's neighborhood guide" and "On the Grid," with small informative text printed on them.
A collage of various services and products. Includes hands on foil packaging, a person folding a poster, glass office facade with a logo, colorful stationery, grid with cards, envelope with "Cheers!" note, cylindrical blue and white containers, and a person folding paper.

Social Innovation Week NYC

On the Grid was invited to create a sculptural representation of all the neighborhoods published on the site up to that point for WeTheSocial's exhibition in NYC's Nolita neighborhood. Each neighborhood was represented by a 6" x 6" cube with photos and text on all sides.

A long wooden table is fully covered with colorful boxes arranged in a grid pattern. The table is surrounded by white chairs. In the background, two people are working at a table with computer monitors, and an open space with chairs is visible.
Window display promoting "Social Innovation Week NYC" taking place from November 7-13. The display includes colourful post-it notes, vivid graphics including flowers, and photos arranged on the glass. Inside, there are more displays and a spacious, well-lit interior.
Stacks of colorful blocks on a table, each labeled with names of various New York City neighborhoods such as Bedford-Stuyvesant, North Williamsburg, South Slope, and Midtown. The blocks also feature descriptions and small images related to each neighborhood.
A modern art gallery features a rustic wooden table lined with colorful books arranged in a tiered, pyramidal structure. The white walls display various artworks, and a large projection of artwork is visible on one wall. The space is bright and minimalistic.
Two young children are drawing on a large white paper covering a wall. The child on the left, wearing a red hoodie, draws while standing on the floor. The child on the right, wearing a blue hoodie, draws while standing on a white pedestal. Colored drawings are visible on the paper.
A person with short, light-colored hair and earrings stands indoors, smiling and holding a cube labeled "Dogpatch & Potrero Hill." They wear a gray jacket over a dark striped shirt. Colorful cubes with various labels are arranged on a table in the background.

Project Credits

Project Team
  • Deroy Peraza
  • Eric Fensterheim
  • Marianna Fierro
  • Alex Gracey
  • Dylan Viola
  • Eric Wang
  • Wen Ping Huang
  • Logan Emser
  • Nick Di Chiara
  • Jeanne Henry
  • Andres Kishimoto
  • Nick Beattie
  • Misa Rodriguez
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