Thursday, March 11, 2010

City Maps

I did this map for a corporate client sometime in the 90s. It's always been a favorite of mine. The art director was Megan Taylor. Since it was the centerfold of the publication, Megan had the clever idea of doing the title lettering in a pop-up, which was fun. It's exciting to see what art directors might do to take my art to another level.

A city map presents a whole different set of demands from a regional map. Which streets to show, which to leave out. Which landmarks to illustrate, and how to integrate these illustrated elements in a way that doesn't confuse the eye. I like to think of the street grid as a floor painting on which these illustrated elements are choreographed. Map illustration is more than a simple rendering of a place; it requires re-imagining it. I think it's important to have a rationale like this, a set of rules, so that the concept doesn't get muddled or too elaborate. After many years drawing maps, these rules and tricks have become second nature to me, shaping how I visualize a place. When I read about travel I always look for a map, always want one. I need to know where I am, and where the writer is leading me.

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