Tips For Making Your First Illustrated Map

Maps are one of the things that fascinate me. It is really nice to invent maps and create something of your own especially when there are illustrations of landmarks, buildings, roads, people, vehicles, etc. on them.

Today, I will give you tips on making Illustrated Maps, and hopefully, you will learn to love creating them as much as I do.

An illustrated map in eight steps

Choose an area

You are free to choose any town or city that you love. You can check Google Maps for areas which have lovely shapes that can be incorporated to your design.

Collect the images and do some research

Most of the time, the places we like to map are those places which we haven’t gone to yet or are difficult to go to in real life. So, it is very helpful to collect a lot of images of these places. Likewise, making sure that you do some research of the places will help you give better ideas of those you intend to map. Google image search, as well as Street view, offer great face for these images you want to draw.

Drawing out paths and routes

Make sure to draw out the significant paths and routes in your map, such as a walking route for a mountain map.

Plotting the main roads

For urban Illustrated Maps, you can start by creating the general shape of this place, that includes the main roads.

Adding smaller roads and other routes

After plotting the main roads, it is also helpful to draw out the smaller roads and bodies of water like rivers or streams. It is best to use a different color in order to distinguish them from main roads and other areas.

Adding landmarks or places of interest

Now that the roads and routes are done, you can already begin adding landmarks, buildings and other sites. You can use Photoshop to draw these individual places of interest, then you can drop these on your map. It is helpful to add these as ‘linked smart object,’ which makes for better organization and resizing.

Adding foliage and decoration

After adding the places of interest and main sites, you can add decorations and other small details, such as trees. You can add them in various shapes and colors.

Finalizing the map

Finish your map off with a nice title or other textual touches.

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