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Designing a map for an information panel

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#1
Hans van der Maarel

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I'm busy with the design of a map that will be displayed in an information panel (you know, along the main entryways into a town or region). It should of course show all streets in that area, an index and the infamous "You are here" marker.

I already know the reading distance is going to be larger than with a normal paper map, so texts and line widths should be larger than I usually have them, but are there any other things I need to keep in mind? Any special color usage?
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#2
Fran├žois Goulet

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Hi Hans!

I was just reading yesterday an blog on the Mapping Center: Guidelines for minimum size for text and symbols on maps.

The title of the entry est pretty self-explanatory, but it gives you the minimum size for legibility depending of the distance... Quite useful! :)

Check it out!

#3
Hans van der Maarel

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Francois,

Sweet! This'll come in very useful. Not just for this project, but for others too. I've often thought about doing the math myself, but this is a great resource.
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#4
Dennis McClendon

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Think about your nighttime illumination source. If it's low-pressure sodium lamps, a number of colors will simply disappear and others will take on unexpected prominence.

Also bear in mind sunlight/UV exposure. I know in the Netherlands that's only a problem for six hours a year, but after 250 years the colors--particularly reds--will fade. B)

You don't say what the production method will be. Assuming it's one of the modern CMYK inkjet processes, trapping is not a serious issue. But if it's being silkscreened, that introduces all kinds of new considerations.
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#5
Hans van der Maarel

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Think about your nighttime illumination source. If it's low-pressure sodium lamps, a number of colors will simply disappear and others will take on unexpected prominence.

Also bear in mind sunlight/UV exposure. I know in the Netherlands that's only a problem for six hours a year, but after 250 years the colors--particularly reds--will fade. B)


Yes, but by that time it'll be under water anyway, so I think I'm fine on that :)

I was planning on keeping it very simple, color-wise, but fading was one of the things I am not sure about. If I'm not mistaken, these maps get replaced once every 1 or 2 years, but that's still plenty of time to make it fade away. Still, the most important aspect of the map (the roads + names) will be black text on white, so I guess that stands the best chance of being legible all the time.

You don't say what the production method will be. Assuming it's one of the modern CMYK inkjet processes, trapping is not a serious issue. But if it's being silkscreened, that introduces all kinds of new considerations.


Good point. I assume it's going to be printed on a semi-transparent material which at night will be backlit by fluorescent light. But I'll check with the client what they have to say about it. Up until now, they've always been doing the map design and production themselves, now they've got me doing a couple of maps for them for the first time.
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