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Thana Pel fantasy map

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#1
Michael Karpovage

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Hello mapmakers,

 
This is a draft of my first ever fantasy map for a fiction novel coming out Christmas 2014 by author Kent Holloway. Book is called The Legend of Winterking. It will be a trilogy. I met the author in book club on Facebook while promoting my own novel MAP OF THIEVES. This map is called Thana Pel (after some dwarvish language he came up with). Think Lord of the Rings meets a dark Kris Kringle (Santa Klaus) type of genre. It is set in 4th century Germany in an area surrounded by forest and other major terrain features with only one way in— the pass at the north end. Goblins and elves populate the land, too. This design is almost finished and I'd love your feedback for any improvements. This color version will be for a 16x24" merchandising poster whereas the actual book map will be a 6x9" grayscale version, so I'll be manipulating the contrast in black and white in order for best reproduction in a smaller scale. We are set on the font used. Although somewhat tough to read, I really like that typeface. Sorta captures fantasy with an edge.

Illustrated in Photoshop with lots of layers. I pulled some of the graphic elements from a 1540 map of Greece and a 1598 map of Ireland to capture that same sort of "old antique" stylistic feel. And of course looked at a bunch of other top fantasy maps out there for ideas. 

Also, check out the client sketch I was given to start out with, too. Needless to say, Kent is absolutely thrilled and loves the map as it is now. I'm hoping this piece will open up some more doors for me within the book publishing world for some additional map commissions. Simply put, I love a good map in a book. I think it enhances the story. I've had so much fun doing this. 
 
Do let me know what you think!

Files:

Attached File  Thana Pel Map.jpg   480.53KB   7 downloads

Attached File  map sketch.jpg   125.08KB   3 downloads

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Michael Karpovage

• Savannah Historic District Illustrated Map
www.karpovagecreative.com/savannah

• Account Manager/Illustrator
Mapformation, LLC - Atlanta, GA office
www.mapformation.com

• Author of Map of Thieves
www.mapofthieves.com


#2
Hans van der Maarel

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Great map Michael! And I agree, a good map can really enhance the book-reading-experience.

 

As for constructive criticism, I personally would prefer the text halo's to be the same color as the base map at that point, rather than yellow. I often use a white halo at 50% opacity to achieve that effect.


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#3
Michael Karpovage

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You've got a great eye for detail Hans! I tried the white halo at 50% and deemed it still too bright and unnatural for the paper of the map. Then I eyedroppered the lightest area of the paper giving me a brighter pale yellow color and used that instead. Made the opacity at 80% for better separation and readability. So, sort of a middle ground from your original recommendation. I think this works out much better now. It's a subtle change but a nice improvement. Thanks so much! Another colleague of mine also suggested I add a bit of a shadow inside the borders. I did that, too, giving the border treatment a little depth. Here's the latest:

 

Attached File  Thana Pel Map2.jpg   461.15KB   0 downloads

 


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Michael Karpovage

• Savannah Historic District Illustrated Map
www.karpovagecreative.com/savannah

• Account Manager/Illustrator
Mapformation, LLC - Atlanta, GA office
www.mapformation.com

• Author of Map of Thieves
www.mapofthieves.com


#4
Hans van der Maarel

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That works out great. And having a good eye for detail is what a cartographer is all about, isn't it?


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Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
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#5
DaveB

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Another great piece of mapping work!

 

When I pick up fantasy books or history books in the bookstore (I like to do that :) ) I always check for maps. And occasionally (often?) I have purchased books just because of the maps. The typeface you are using seems fine to me. I can read it without any trouble at this size. I see some maps with typefaces where I can't tell which letter some of the characters are. Is it a C or a G, an h or an r or a b?


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#6
Michael Karpovage

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Thanks guys. I do have to give a big thank you, too, to Nick Springer of Springer Cartographic -- the founder of this site, I believe. We've done some work together in the past - particularly the Biltmore Estate map. Nick helped me price out this fantasy map for the client given that he knows the industry and has produced a lot of maps for book publishers and big name best selling authors. I didn't know where to begin with pricing, plus I wanted to get my foot in the door, so I gave a little discount to the author client down from Nick's original estimate range. The author balked at first but based on my previous work saw what I could bring to the table and is ever so pleased with the outcome. I'm just gonna be giddy to see my map in his book. That will be really cool.   


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Michael Karpovage

• Savannah Historic District Illustrated Map
www.karpovagecreative.com/savannah

• Account Manager/Illustrator
Mapformation, LLC - Atlanta, GA office
www.mapformation.com

• Author of Map of Thieves
www.mapofthieves.com


#7
Michael Karpovage

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Here's the final map approved by author Kent Holloway for his upcoming book The Legend of Winterking.

"Michael Karpovage was an absolute delight to work with. A true master at taking a writer's vision and turning it into a reality. With just a few half-hearted scribbles from my notes, he took a lack-luster idea and transformed it into a breathtaking masterpiece of color and fantasy. Thank you, Michael, for an amazing job!" ~ J. Kent Holloway, author of The Legend of Winterking trilogy.

 

Attached File  Thana Pel Map.jpg   465.06KB   0 downloads

 


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Michael Karpovage

• Savannah Historic District Illustrated Map
www.karpovagecreative.com/savannah

• Account Manager/Illustrator
Mapformation, LLC - Atlanta, GA office
www.mapformation.com

• Author of Map of Thieves
www.mapofthieves.com





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