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Historic Virginia Plantations

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#1
Nick Springer

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I haven't posted anything in ages in the gallery mostly because usually I can't show anything while it is still in the working phase. This map is going to be the endpaper in a book about Thomas Jefferson. It will be printed in a single spot color (brown) on a offwhite stock. The final size of the printed piece will be 12"x9".

There are a couple of new techniques I used in Illustrator for this map. I made a custom brush for tapered rivers, and another custom brush to create the hachures in the inset. I will post a separate topic later with details and downloads of these brushes.

Attached File  Virginia_Plantations.jpg   449.19KB   293 downloads

Nick Springer

Director of Design and Web Applications: ALK Technologies Inc.
Owner: Springer Cartographics LLC


#2
DMoore

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Nick,

I like the map. I'm always a fan of simple products.

Things I like:
* small scale bar
* icons for cities and plantations
* colors

Things that distract me:
* county boundaries and names - seems like a lot of items on the map for limited return but if they are critical to the story, there's not much to be done.
* River label font seems very similar to other cursive font, any way to differentiate it more?
* I like the Cursive fonts for the plantations, but they seem a bit difficult to read in spots (Elk Hall for instance), perhaps a mask of some sort to reduce some of the content under the label.

Overall a great looking map Nick.

D
Dorn Moore, GISP
Green Space GIS

#3
Charles Syrett

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Yum. I just received the 2nd Carto Annual yesterday -- and now this. Thanks, Nick. B)

Charles Syrett
Map Graphics
http://www.mapgraphics.com

I haven't posted anything in ages in the gallery mostly because usually I can't show anything while it is still in the working phase. This map is going to be the endpaper in a book about Thomas Jefferson. It will be printed in a single spot color (brown) on a offwhite stock. The final size of the printed piece will be 12"x9".

There are a couple of new techniques I used in Illustrator for this map. I made a custom brush for tapered rivers, and another custom brush to create the hachures in the inset. I will post a separate topic later with details and downloads of these brushes.

Attached File  Virginia_Plantations.jpg   449.19KB   293 downloads



#4
DaveB

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Excellent work as usual, Nick!
Dave Barnes
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#5
Matthew Hampton

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Nice work Nick!

I like how you mirrored the style of the neatline of the map on the Map Area Inset. The only thing that my eyes aren't liking too much are the county boundaries. The dashing produces a little too much distraction to me, but since you are using a single color and have lots of linear features (trails, roads, rivers, hachures, etc.) I don't have a great solution. Maybe dropping the value to match the labels of the counties that are in the background? It took me a bit to realize that some of the county labels are darker than others.

Well done!

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#6
razornole

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Hello Nick,

Nice work. I enjoy the sepia effect with the browns. The overall feel is antiquated, which is great.

I don't think that I am big fan of the script/decorative font. I find it difficult to read, and have given up on many. For example, what does it read above Richmond?... -F*^@-ahoe (maybe the placement could be a bit better for that one as well)?

To me Bedford county/parish really jumps out, maybe it could be reduced in tone 5/10%. I think that it results because of the contrast. The other parishes recede b/c of the darker plantations, rivers, and roads surrounding them.

I can't wait to read about the hachure brush. I created a hachure map of the northern Rocky Mountains by hand in Illustrator. Time consuming to say the least.

Great work,

kru
"Ah, to see the world with the eyes of the gods is geography--to know cities and tribes, mountains and rivers, earth and sea, this is our gift."
Strabo 22AD

#7
Martin Gamache

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Elegant Map Nick.

I would make some adjustments to the dashed border along the map edge. It does not have the organic feel of the rest of the maps. Perhaps some rasterizing and slight eroding/agings of those lines is called for.

mg

#8
DaveB

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I believe that's "Tuckahoe", with a "T". I'm still not sure about the one that looks like it might be "Vauna"...

One thing to keep in mind about a map like this is it comes with a book that presumably helps with interpretation of the map. I know when I'm reading a book like this I'll look at the map first, and it might even be one reason why I buy the book, and then while I'm reading I'll refer back to the map often and some things will become clearer. The map and book support each other.

Sure, it's good to make the map as clear as possible on it's own. For myself, I don't care for decorative fonts that are hard to read, so that would probably be one thing I would look at changing if I were doing such a map. It's not always easy to know what's legible to other people so that's another reason more eyes on it helps make for a better map.
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#9
Nick Springer

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Here is an updated version.

In response to the great comments from folks:
  • I was concerned about the readability of the plantation names as well, but I wanted something from the period and more decorative. As Dave pointed out I was hoping that since people would be reading the names in the book they would recognize "Varina" and "Tuckahoe" but maybe that is asking too much. I tried using Allegheny in this new version instead of Declaration Script.
  • The county names and boundaries are necessary to support the book text. I did screen the dots back a bit further though.
  • I was having the same thought as Martin about the frame but was worried about overdoing the antique effects. I applied some "grunge" in this version.
  • At the author's request I added the mountain ranges in the northeast part of the map.
Attached File  Virginia_Plantations_2.jpg   473.29KB   116 downloads

Nick Springer

Director of Design and Web Applications: ALK Technologies Inc.
Owner: Springer Cartographics LLC


#10
Nick H

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Bearing in mind its purpose, to be honest I much prefer the first version (this said I do like the new fonts in the second version). I think the hills make the second version unnecessarily busy, but I guess there's not much you can do about this. Just the names of the ranges in faint curved text would look better I think.

Regards, N.
Caversham, Reading, England.

#11
MapMedia

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Very nice map. I do like the fonts on the 2nd version a tad more. The 2nd border seems sketched - if it looked clean but worn/faded like the map it would blend better.
Happy MMX!

#12
razornole

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Hello Nick,

I believe that the fonts are more legible. I do like the style and feel that they add to the map.

The mountains are a little harsh, however, I think that they could work if you drop them in the hierarchy by reducing the contrast. That way they are there (per clients request), but not nearly as intrusive.

I found it easy to confuse the county borders and roads. Maybe a longer dash/gap pattern in the roads could help clarify this.

The map looks great.

kru
"Ah, to see the world with the eyes of the gods is geography--to know cities and tribes, mountains and rivers, earth and sea, this is our gift."
Strabo 22AD

#13
ELeFevre

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Awesome map, Nick. My only suggestion: the county borders seem a bit too heavy. I'd take them down slightly.






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