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#1
Hans van der Maarel

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Got a bit of a problem here...

The beanbag people have decided they want a more high-contrast version of Natural Earth as a base layer. No problem, but it does mean that most of my original texts are now hardly visible, and I have to come up with a new color scheme. I can probabely continue to use black texts, no outline, on land. It's the texts in the watery areas that cause me some problems.

Attached File  type.jpg   68.32KB   173 downloads

This is a 375% view in Illustrator. When printed, these texts don't stand out against the darker blue anymore. I've tried several approaches:
  • Black (or blue in case of water features) text with a white outline, the classic approach. However, the outline has to be pretty large (more than one point) in order to have any noticable effect.
  • White text, makes it look very "in-your-face"
  • Yellow text, ditto
I wonder if there's any other suggestions, so I can present several options to my client on Monday.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
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#2
CHART

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First I would stay away from outline text... never really like it.

Suggestion: white with a light transparency maybe...
Chart

#3
Hans van der Maarel

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First I would stay away from outline text... never really like it.

Suggestion: white with a light transparency maybe...


Ooooh, good one. I'll definately suggest that one to the client.

I agree on the outline text, it will look tacky pretty quickly, especially if you need to use a thick line. In this case, I would need to do so because of the export to tiff later on and the material it's being printed on.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
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#4
benbakelaar

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Suggestion: white with a light transparency maybe...


Or what about RGB 245/245/245 or 235/235/235. I am finding I like to take away most of the absolute whites and blacks in my maps... even an RGB difference of 10 (on the 255 scale) seems to make a difference between BLARING and normal.

#5
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Hans,

I meant opacity (arround 50-60%) not transparency...

As suggested by ben.... you can also try to tone down the white.

You could also try to blend in another color to the white (e.g. cyan).

Cheers and happy testing...
Chart

#6
Matthew Hampton

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There are few things I think I would try.

I think outlining is a fine idea as long as it is done correctly and elegantly - not by directly giving the font a stroke, but by duplicating the text and stroking the copy below (0.2-0.4 pt) with white, yellow, or?

You could try a subtle glow or even a very small drop-shadow to bump up the text. Opacity is a good bet - I have even used 'multiply' for text that I want to blend in more.

co-cartographic creator of boringmaps.com


#7
ELeFevre

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Hans,

Some ideas...

I would try and derive the text-color from the color of your ocean using the color-picker. Maybe start by creating three or four sample swatches. When you settle on one, you could adjust the HSB. I would try something muted and I would drop the opacity if you need it to be less eye-popping. You could also try adding a faint opaque white glow around the text instead of a stroke (like Matt said). I would make it barely discernable and spread-out enough so it doesnt take on the appearance of a stroke.

As far as the text on the land, I would probably start with 70-80% black and adjust from there if you want to stick with blacks and grays. I would also ditch the stroke ...especially if the client wants you to up the contrast on land. Any addtional lines at this point would seem like unnecessary clutter to me. You could even experiment with a nice Gray/Brown derived from one of the land masses. Maybe even something on the brown/gray/green...ish side.

Another option would be to de-saturate the ocean. This would give you more options with the text and it would help counteract the contrast of the land.



#8
MapMedia

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I imagine this is also a problem on deep water lakes too?

I would want to see a light blue text, then fiddle around with an outer glow (tasteful, not too much) effect (rasterize copy of text, place underneath, outer glow 3-5 pixesl) using white to frosty blue with darker blue text on top.

Let us know what you end up using....

#9
Dennis McClendon

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I think 20C 10M will give you about what you want, and stay visible even over shallow water.

You might also look at 40C 20M. I like that a little better, but would need to be outlined with the deep ocean blue where it occurs over light-colored shallow water.
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#10
Rob

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Hans,

another suggestion: a light blue; you could also case it with a darker blue from you hpysography color scheme so that it is noticable if it overlaps lighter/shallower parts of the hypso.

Also, it isn't Hawaii Islands, it's Hawaiian Islands. And i'd suggest centering the text more on the main eight islands unless you want to stretch it all the way to Midway and include the NW islands under that label too.

Please do let us know the solution you settle on.

rob

edit: Ha! good idea dennis...LOL

#11
Hans van der Maarel

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Thanks for all the suggestions!

Another option would be to de-saturate the ocean.


Nope, that's not an option. They specifically want these saturated colors.

Also, it isn't Hawaii Islands, it's Hawaiian Islands. And i'd suggest centering the text more on the main eight islands unless you want to stretch it all the way to Midway and include the NW islands under that label too.


:rolleyes:

Yes, I know there's still some errors here and there in the labels themselves. Trust me, they will be corrected.

I'll probabely prepare 3 or 4 separate samples of labels both on land and sea. Will show them to my client on Monday and I'll also post them here.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
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#12
ELeFevre

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You might also look at 40C 20M. I like that a little better





40C 20M

that is a handsome hue



#13
Hans van der Maarel

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Here we go...

I made 3 text samples: Cities (Steden), Geography (don't need to translate that one, do I?) and Rivers/water (ditto). Countries use the same type/style as cities, but larger, depending on available space. Cities are all the same size, except capitals, which are a point larger and bold. Rivers all use the same type/style, water features are labelled as space permits. Fonts used are Frutiger for man-made features (cities and countries), Minion Pro for anything geographic. Some exceptions though...

Attached File  teksten_1b.jpg   190.82KB   157 downloadsAttached File  teksten_2.jpg   123.56KB   188 downloads

(same view, at different zooms)

Shown here are the original texts, 3 options for texts on water and 2 options for text on land. Font sizes shown here are the smallest used on the maps. I figure if I can make it work for those, it'll be good for everything.

Water, option 1: 10Y 10K for city and geography names, 50C for water names
Water, option 2: 40C 20M for everything
Water, option 3: 20C 10M for everything

Those last 2 are Dennis' suggestions.

Land, option 1: 100K with a 0.7pt 10K outline for cities and geography, 100C 60M with a 0.7pt 10K outline for water.
Land, option 2: Same as 1, but water text a bit darker (100C 75M) and the outline set to 75% transparency. Makes it less prominent, but it still does the job.

I've fiddled a lot with the land texts, these were the only ones that work well across the globe, with the possible exception of high mountain ranges, which show up as light grey mottled with darker greys. In those few cases, I'll probabely enlarge the type and/or the outline. Also, there's places where the standard black text (no outline) contrasts well with the terrain (deserts mainly), there I will simply keep it that way.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
Email: hans@redgeographics.com / Twitter: @redgeographics

#14
MapMedia

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I would go with option #2, assuming there will be a lot of text. If the labels are relatively dispersed and not cluttered on the water, then the 3rd option would work as it has more contrast. (earlier post said '1st' but I meant 3rd)

#15
Hans van der Maarel

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I would go with option #2, assuming there will be a lot of text. If the labels are relatively dispersed and not cluttered on the water, then the 1st option would work as it has more contrast.


Obviously, my client has the final word in this :D

My personal favourites are #3 for water and #2 for land. The slightly transparent outline really does do a good job imho.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
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