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#1
David Medeiros

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Historical map styles have been mentioned around here recently so I thought I'd post this for a little deconstruction. It's the cover art for a publication I contract for. I am not the creator, one of the magazine designers is.

What's your impression of the work flow? How was this done and what are the component pieces?

I see a raster graphic of an old map (source unknown) layered over the paper background image. Areas under the route lines are blurred or painted to obscure the background and create a blank space for the lines. I'm guessing this part is finished in Photoshop before being placed in Illy for route lines and some of the cartouche graphics which look to be vector (at least originally).

Is there more to it than that? I'm not ecstatic about this example, but I like the idea of using real images of texture for the back drops to certain maps. Any body have any other examples of this technique?

dave

Attached Files


GIS Reference and Instruction Specialist, Stanford Geospatial Center.

 

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#2
Jean-Louis

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I like the idea of using real images of texture for the back drops to certain maps. Any body have any other examples of this technique?


I think your deconstruction above is spot on and that there isn't anymore to it than that. Coincidently, I just did this 2 days ago for a invitation. The map part is very minor but it was done like you said above:a basic image photshopped, tweaked, streched, cloned until it serves the purpose

Attached File  wine_Inv.jpg   133.86KB   132 downloads
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Montreal


#3
Dennis McClendon

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One thing I can't quite put my finger on is that modern type always looks like modern type, even when using a historic typeface such as an unmodified Baskerville or Caslon. Was it that the sidebearings in the old days were less custom fitted (because they didn't have kerning pairs)? Did the letterforms vary ever so slightly from the baseline or get uneven impressions?

This is actually a pretty nice example, but I cringe every time I see people using Zapf Chancery to emulate hand calligraphy.
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#4
Nick H

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One thing I can't quite put my finger on is that modern type always looks like modern type, even when using a historic typeface such as an unmodified Baskerville or Caslon. Was it that the sidebearings in the old days were less custom fitted (because they didn't have kerning pairs)? Did the letterforms vary ever so slightly from the baseline or get uneven impressions?

This is actually a pretty nice example, but I cringe every time I see people using Zapf Chancery to emulate hand calligraphy.

Hum, the 'Celtic' typeface used on the map (and others from the same family) always make me cringe. There are a few old-looking typefaces that can be effective in the right place; one that I like is JSL Ancient (see attached). This comes with a little utility that knows about where to use long 's's and historic ligatures, which is handy.

Regards, N.

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Caversham, Reading, England.

#5
Pete

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Is there more to it than that? I'm not ecstatic about this example, but I like the idea of using real images of texture for the back drops to certain maps. Any body have any other examples of this technique?

dave


I agree with Jean-Louis - I think you've covered just about everything in your description.

But there's more than one way to skin a cat ...

Attached File  uk_displace.gif   856.64KB   171 downloads

I made this a while ago using Photoshop and Illustrator. I made the paper texture from embossed difference clouds with adjustment layers to tint and stain the edges. Embossing rendered clouds gives you a nice smooth papery look but embossed difference clouds give you a much older look with random deep creases. All of the linework was done in Illustrator with suitable "vintage" colours and fountain pen outlines - the fills were all treated with the inner glow effect and the vingette was done with a heavily blurred blue outline and an opacity mask on the waves. The font is ... awful (!) in retrospect! I wanted to keep the hand drawn feel of the map but that particular font is very scrawly and quite hard to read. It looks about right but if I were to redo the map I'd maybe try and find something clearer.

One neat thing you can do in making your own paper texture is to distort the finished map using the original clouds that you made to determine the paper texture.

If you think of the difference clouds as height data and the embossed texture as hillshading (if you've ever embossed height data in Photoshop you'll know the effect is similar) it makes sense that you can displace your map to fit the "terrain" of your paper.

Attached File  uk_displace_part.gif   132.56KB   105 downloads

It's a subtle effect but you can see from the scale bar that the lines have been integrated with the texture of the paper to sell the antique map effect rather than just dumping a map on a parchment texture with no interaction.

#6
natcase

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All the images shown here, and Dennis' comment, illustrate what I was getting at in the other thread.

The reason the type fonts don't work is that on maps made before about 1930 (OK, maybe a little earlier), no-one used directly-set metal type. It was all hand-engraved on copper plates or hand-painted on litho stone. Except for wax-engraved maps, which used set type pressed letter-by letter into waxed plates. And while there's some very fine hand-engraved text out there, it's not the same. There's an irregularity that's created in an attempt to create regularity with cruder instruments. This I think is the key to why all "antique style" maps we create with digital techniques ultimately fall short: the lines and the text are always too clean and consistent. And when we try to "roughen them up," we lose something: the creators of those maps were trying to get as clean and accurate a line and as consistent a type as we can now get by pushing a button, but they were working in a technology matrix that only let them get so far.

One more thing, referencing Pete's map: color. There are two ways older maps achieved color. Most were hand-colored (transparent watercolor) on one-color originals, which means all the map detail was at least outlined in black strokes. You could use details like red lines, but these had to have some sort of black reference line to draw the watercolors upon. And these hand tints were as good as the artist coloring them: you get blotches, you get errors as the painter accidentally crosses a border. It's never perfect.

The other technique, developed in the mid-19th century, was using tint stones in stone, and later zinc-sheet, lithography. Here you picked a single ink color and used it across a broad area. Now you could actually print a little detail (those red roads, for example, or a yellow highlight for lighthouses on nautical charts), but there was a problem: tight registration was not to be depended upon. So, again, all the significant detail was held in the black plate.

Also, the color inks were not our standard CMYK until around 1960. Maps used all kinds of variants, again because of registration issues (if you want colored type, it pretty much had to be one-color, so you want an ink color that works OK going solo). At the end of this era of map design, you see maps being printed in a dozen ink colors, something you never see today. You can say that CMYK will get you most of the colors you need, and it does but the effect just isn't the same.

Nat Case
INCase, LLC

Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
maphead.blogspot.com



#7
DaveB

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Nat is absolutely correct. Something I've always wanted to do was learn copperplate engraving and other old technologies. I did work in printing, mostly bindery work, but with exposure to offset printing. I also did a fair amount of lead typesetting and woodblock printing way back in high school, and studied calligraphy a bit. On the other hand I had little exposure to handdrawn mapping, scribe-coating, Leroy lettering and the like.

Pete, I love your map (except for the font - so I'm glad you mentioned it). :D

Another way of approaching this subject of older techniques/styles is to look at various effects and see if they might be useful to things we do today and then adapt them to fit the tools we use. One example is what one of my colleagues called "coastal rakes" (I'm not sure what the real term is, if there is one). What I'm talking about are horizontal lines along coastlines on a map. The reason they were done this way on old maps goes back to Nat's point about the technology. They were done as part of the woodblock or copper engraving as solid black lines because that's what the technology produced. But something very similar can be useful today in black and white maps, especially ones where fine shades of gray may not be a good choice, for example, because the maps may be photocopoied and lose the fine shades of gray.
Dave Barnes
Esri
Product Engineer
Map Geek

#8
Jean-Louis

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There's an irregularity that's created in an attempt to create regularity with cruder instruments.


So true. When I did pictorial map illustrations by hand the overiding concern was to aim for clean, consistent regularity not just in the hand-lettering but the whole drawing itself. Now with photoshop and Illustrator, I look for ways to 'mess it up'

I used to look for results of steel with wooden tools and now I try to reach wooden results with tools of steel
Jean-Louis Rheault
Montreal


#9
M.Denil

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They did have kerning pairs with old lead type, Dennis: it is done with a chisel or knife by shaving the side of the sort so they sat closer together. A font of lead type also likely included a fair number of ligatures. There is nothing like ligatures to make a text look old, unless it is using cold type and high-tack ink on damp paper....

M.Denil

#10
MapMedia

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I'm guessing the process is as follows:
Photoshop

1. Create aged parchment (hues, textures, shadows, etc.)
2. Import vector linework - colorize, multiply
3. add clipart, multiply
4. add edge fading as needed
5. add type and linework

of course you could always get part or most of it from istock.com or someplace, but it is so easy to make from scratch if you have Photoshop just sitting there waiting to be played with :)

#11
MapMedia

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Thanks for posting a useful description of your fine map Pete!

#12
Fran├žois Goulet

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There are a few old-looking typefaces that can be effective in the right place; one that I like is JSL Ancient (see attached). This comes with a little utility that knows about where to use long 's's and historic ligatures, which is handy.

Regards, N.


Like that one! It remembered me of my old student days, reading old chronicles and royal ordinances. I tested it and it works great! I found some of my notes with extracts on them and manage to find online at least one of the book. JSL Ancient look almost exactly as the typeface used in a early 18th century book.

The first image is taken from that 18th book and the second is my notes converted with the utility... The last paragraph of my notes is the last phrase from the book as a comparison.

Nice one Nick, thanks for sharing!!!

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#13
MapMedia

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Do tell about your wine, cheese, and maps gig! sounds super!

#14
Jean-Louis

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Do tell about your wine, cheese, and maps gig! sounds super!


I,m surprised you didn't hear about this. It's the latest rage!

People gather and get rip-roaring drunk. Then they smear themselves with molten cheese from a particular country. Then they wrestle through a labyrinth of hanging paper maps and attempt to emerge from it with only the maps from where the wine and the cheese originate stuck to their bodies. :D

Seriously, There is a guy opening a new wine bar in Seattle. And there is my client who is looking for advertizers for this new map. So they got together to jointly host a wingding for local business people to come see the new bar and a sneak preview of the new map. Thus an evening of Wine , Cheese and Maps...

Yes, I know. the first sounds like a lot more fun.
Jean-Louis Rheault
Montreal





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