There are a lot of things I like about Epic Lines, a company that creates simple, bold color-and-line maps of popular mountain biking trails, Colorado 14’ers and ski resorts.
Things I Like: It’s a Family Business
Let’s start with the company’s founders, Dylan, Alex and Max Proietti, three siblings ranging in age from 23 to 18.
According to Alex, the sole sister, sandwiched between two bros, the inspiration for Epic Lines grew from the trio’s Western Colorado childhoods, skiing and being outdoors every weekend.
“We wanted to create a product for everyone who loves outdoor sports,” explains Alex. “Not necessarily just professionals or people who compete on a higher level, but every outdoor enthusiast.”
Founded in 2012, Epic Lines produces large-format minimalist prints of 14 ski resorts (from Vermont to California), 9 mountain bike trail systems (mostly, but not all, in Utah and Colorado), the Colorado Trail, a map of all Colorado ski resorts and two prints with the silhouettes of Colorado 14’ers (peaks above 14,000 feet in altitude).
Initially, the company focused on creating maps of trails and resorts near their hometown of Grand Junction, Colorado. But as their business grew, they expanded to other areas and markets.
Their expansion has followed two paths: first, finding places that are popular throughout the country, and second, leveraging the online community to gauge demand. For example, the recently released Mammoth ski resort map was crafted in response to a request from a Reddit user.
Designs are done in-house, under the leadership of Dylan Proietti, the oldest of the trio, who also manages the website. Dylan recently completed his MBA at the University of Denver (DU) and works full-time for Epic Lines.
Alex Proietti, currently a senior at DU, is the company’s business and marketing manager, juggling completion of her degree with real-time business experience.
Max Proietti, a freshman this year at DU, is the content curator, responsible for contacting original video owners and working with them to provide unique videos for each print, as well as creating much of the written content for the website.
Things I Like: Not Just A Pretty Print
Which brings me to the next thing I like about Epic Lines: interactivity.
Sure, these prints are gorgeous and will look fantastic on any wall, but for added interest, the Proietti siblings wanted to find a way to encourage ongoing interaction with each print.
Thus there is a bar code at the bottom of each map that can be scanned with your phone to access a written description of the peak, trail or resort, and professional videos of skiing, biking and hiking in the map’s area.
Instructions, outlining exactly which app to use and how to use it, come with each print, and videos are updated so that you always have a reason to check back in with your map.
Of note, while the Proiettis have been asked about monetizing the bar code scans with advertising, they don’t.
“We believe firmly in maintaining the passion aspect of our products,” explains Alex. “Advertising would conflict with the concept of our prints.”
Things I Like: Doing Good
True to their passion, Epic Lines recently launched a name your own price program for digital and printed maps. Suggested prices are provided and range from $10 – $25, but you really can name your own. If you purchase a printed map, there is also a flat $15 fee to cover printing with archival ink on doubleweight matte paper.
In addition, for every digital purchase, Epic Lines donates 50% of the purchase price to one of five charities, including the International Mountain Biking Association, the National Park Service, the Nature Conservancy, Rails to Trails and SOS Outreach.
Things I Like: Every Darn Design
I have the Aspen Highlands map hanging in my office. It’s subtly beautiful, and evocative of a place I love.
And that’s a problem. I love many of the locales as envisioned by Epic Lines.
Now I just need more wall space.
Thanks to Epic Lines for sharing about your unique company. I wish you the best with your studies this year! Also thank you for providing an Aspen Highlands map to facilitate this review. Like I said, I love it.
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