If you’d like a map drawing, of any type, for print or web, please get in touch.
- Illustrations of features instead of symbols, see buildings, trees, bridge
- Not as accurate as basic style (below). Focus is on appearance
- Looks attractive in itself, ‘sells’ what it’s mapping (The basic map (below) was done first. This map has been slightly rotated for aesthetic reasons.)
- Features are symbols. e.g. main road shown in red, woods are darker areas
- Relatively quick to produce (so costs less)
- Preferable to illustrated map if accuracy is more important than looks
This started as part of a another project that didn’t get any further, which is why these maps are fictional. It might have been better to show you some reality but that process isn’t much different, probably easier. I’ll think about it though.
I’ve done 2 styles of map but they aren’t extremes. A drawing of a building is more clearly representative of that building than a number in a red circle but it’s not alway so clear. What’s the difference between a map illustration of a river and the symbol for a river?
It’s probably helpful to know the main purpose of the map so that it’s clear to users how it should be used. Is it meant to help them actually find their way around? Or is it an attractive overview which is mostly about promoting the features that are on it?
Illustrated map – things to think about
The biggest decisions to make with the illustrated map involve deciding how ‘3D’ images work on a ‘2D’ map.
Images are usually much larger than the symbols they replace so can’t be located on the map with accuracy. Fitting them on the map itself may involve obscuring or even moving other features.
How do ‘3D’ and 2D elements interact? In the illustrated map above, the river is not much different from a 2D symbol for a river until it appears to go under the bridge. The bridge even casts a shadow. Does this make sense? I’m not sure.
I’m not sure about the footpaths through the woods either. If I’m drawing a wood with a path through it, at some points the path will be hidden by trees. The path is important so I decided it should be a symbol, not an illustration. This means that in some places it’s drawn ‘over’ the trees as if they aren’t there (although in some places it does appear to go between trees). I don’t know if there is a correct answer. Looking at other people’s illustrated maps, there doesn’t appear to be one.