Advertising Through Illustrated Maps

The early 20th century was the golden era for illustrated maps. Colorful and artistic illustrated maps showed the public the new opportunities available for travel and commerce. The illustrated maps usually captured the image of a booming America. If you visit their page, you will find many examples of illustrated maps that tell a story about a particular city, town or region.

Illustrated maps are unlike the traditional folded maps that people use for directions. While they have the same objective of helping people find their way, illustrated maps give the user a sense of recognition.

Illustrated maps are usually very colourful and contain whatever the illustrator wants to include. Behind the maps, there is usually some sort of subtle advertising. For tourism purposes, illustrated maps of cities highlight its history and landscape. The images are usually based on the illustrator’s imagination and skills.

Since America is an enormous country, it is expected that there are numerous map illustrators who create the maps. Hundreds and thousands of illustrated maps were printed to sell products and places. Different images were created because there was great potential for map illustrators to work with different areas. Some powerful maps were designed and served as an inspiration to  present day artists.

However, the popularity of illustrated maps waned with the introduction of colour photography. Some of the map illustrators have retired or passed away. Color photography became a better option to advertise products. It was a cheaper option to print coloured images in a brochure or poster than commission an illustrated map of an area.

Google Maps also became a popular tool for way-finding because of its convenience and the layers of information provided to the user. However, Google Maps lack the sophistication and subtlety of a map illustration. It does not tell a story about people, culture and history of a certain place.

There is great potential for illustrated maps to be used as effective marketing tools. Illustrated maps are different because they can sell tourism in a subtle way. You can visit their page for examples of illustrated maps that are hand-drawn and 100% digital. The maps are intriguing and can easily catch the attention of a viewer.

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