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Pearl First Thursday map

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#1
erik

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I designed this map for First Thursday, the art walk that occurs on the first Thursday of each month in Portland, OR.

It is designed for a 13x19" sheet of paper, otherwise known as Super-B size. A version exists that doesn't have the labels next to the establishment icons so that it will be legible on a smaller sheet of paper.

When I created this map originally, there were no maps which showed every gallery--one map showed the Pearl having only four galleries, while another only showed members of some organization of galleries (perhaps ten galleries). In actuality, the Pearl actually has over 45 galleries... so to only show 10-20% of that seems like a huge omission. You can easily imagine someone who had not been to First Thursday looking at a map that only shows 4-6 galleries and deciding it was not worth it. I dedicated the map to the goal of showing every gallery. Later I added restaurants, coffeehouses, pubs, public art, bakeries, transit, and gelaterias because people going to First Thursday seem interested in those things.

I am aware there is one block that is out of date: the Craft Museum now has a cluster of galleries in it. I will be updating that shortly.

Portland has a thriving artist community and enthusiastic, youthful crowds surge through the various art walks that occur around the city. Consequently I choose a typeface that I felt would reflect the creative vibe that you feel in this town. You see a lot of bumperstickers that say "Keep Portland weird"... to use Helvetica or Arial would truly be a crime.

Many maps use an index scheme with numbers and letters along the edge, but when you are referring to the mapsheet on a sidewalk and it is folded up from being in your pocket, you cannot see the edges containing the index letters/numbers. Consequently I used a block numbering scheme so that you can read the location of any visible block without having to have the map completely unfolded. The icon namespace is unique, so that if you put this side by side with my corresponding maps of downtown and Northwest 23rd, no two places have the same icon identity (I found other gallery maps having two nearby icons labeled #1).

I used unique colors and shapes for the different classes of establishments (pub, bakery, gallery, etc) to make them as distinguishable as possible. Galleries have the greatest contrast because the focus was on First Thursday and art galleries.

Everyone I give the map to seems to appreciate it. However, there has been no interest in the map by any organization whose goals include publicizing the incredible scope of the Pearl. Consequently one could get the impression that there is some gaping cartographic flaw in the map. Maybe I've just been looking at the map too long--and don't see it. So I look forward to your feedback, as I want to take the map to the next level.

erik

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#2
Sky Schemer

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I've always been fond (very fond!) of your downtown Portland area maps. I doubt that there is some "flaw" in the maps that has served as a deterrent. I do note, however, that you have explicit copyrights on your web site that allow personal use only. There's nothing that I can see that provides an option for commercial use, so perhaps that turns people away? Promoting the Pearl sounds commercial to me...maybe people just don't know that you'd like to encourage their use in this manner?

#3
erik

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Thanks... I've approached all the organizations I can think of who might want to use a map of the Pearl, specifically framing the map as something that could be customized around their needs. I guess it's just the risk of making something without having a customer lined up -- however I started it as a fun project with no thought of selling it.

erik

#4
gvlisnas

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This is extremelly good!
Can you name me the fonts that you used? The one that is used in the index is really nice.
Good work!

#5
CHART

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Very nice... who needs an electronic device when you have a well designed paper map like this one.

Could not help but review your work on www.artofgeography.com

Nice to see such high standards in map production.

Thanks for sharing.
Chart

#6
erik

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For my glass San Francisco map I designed a prototype that used the typeface Klavika, and it wasn’t chosen for the final product. Consequently I was very curious how the typeface would work for a city map. I really like Klavika for a city map like this (and it is used throughout the Portland map series, except for a few isolated items such as the title and some symbols in Carta). The drawbacks include the possibility of someone with limited vision misreading the capital "G" as a "C" glyph, and for some maps, the lack of a condensed version of the typeface.

erik




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