Cities Scaled Down to PixelsCities Scaled Down to 4×4 Pixels. Image via Neverbored

When you are living a city full of over 8 million people, it can be difficult to condense that city into one specific color, image or stereotype. Cities such as New York, San Francisco or Los Angeles are comprised of such a multitude of different people and place that condensing your visual impressions of a city into one predominant color sounds impossible, unless you are Kasper Gerroms, from the gaming website La Mosca.

In this article, he visualizes the color of a city and its stereotypes in simple pixelated color blocks. To do so, he takes an image of a city or town, scales it down to 4×4 pixels, and picks 3 colors that are in line with the image, one he believes fits the “stereotype” of the city. Here are some fun ones below, which he calls “Trendy Color Swatches,” and we hope he’ll get to New York City soon (just don’t pick Times Square!)

1. Shanghai, China

Shanghai, CI

A city as vibrant as Shanghai is easily recognizable for its distinct red/ gold plated temples, as well as the Oriental Pearl Tower, a well-known city monument known for its pink hue and vibrant lighting.

2. Barcelona, Spain


The city of Barcelona, for all its elegance and intrigue, could be recognized by its blue shaded skies and blue plated interiors of the Gaudi’s Casa Batllo.

3. Brussels, Belgium


The golden hued lighting of Brussels’ town hall contrasts against the blue skies.

4. Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam 4x4 Color Swatches Kasper Gerrons-Lamosca Games

The calming canal-scape of Amsterdam is reflected here in greens, blues and “luxury hooker purple,” referencing the city’s Red Light District.

5. Oia, Santorini, Greece


One of Greece’s most famous islands Santorini comes with vibrant blues and naturally hued architecture.

When we think of a city like New York, it can be easily defined as one place that defies both color and stereotype. As the home to landmarks such as Times Square, Grand Central Station and The Empire State Building, categorizing a singular image or pixel of The Big Apple is easier said than done when you’re discussing a city full of landmarks and people different from one another in every way possible. What three colors would you associate with a city like New York ?

Read on for our Fun Maps column on NYC street smells.

 Fun Maps

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