View Full Version : Borders and Legends

10-07-2009, 09:04 AM
Here's a question for you all. I've got a map I'm in the middle of (actually almost done) that needs a legend. Now the legend should go in the sea where there are no details. It's a big poster map so we're not short of space. But I can't figure out how to put in a legend that fits the style and looks good.

The map is a world map and the title is in a cartouche with a metallic style. I don't want to compete with that. It's all in a style very similar to my regional map from a while ago:


Now I have a frame in mind for the legend, and the overall map has a very plain double line border. However if I drop a black frame onto the dark sea it has a good chance of just disappearing. Also, if you place the frame down, what happens inside the frame - is it also sea still, with the legend text in white perhaps? Should it go back to bare parchment? That's going to stand out a lot and look a little strange?

Any thoughts much appreciated!

Steel General
10-07-2009, 09:44 AM
You could try to use a darker colored backdrop for the legend with a lower opacity so it is 'semi-transparent' then put the frame around that.

10-07-2009, 09:54 AM
:) That's been my first shot so far, with muted success. Does anyone have any examples of legends on a dark background?

10-07-2009, 05:16 PM
What if you made the legend to resemble a parchment or scroll? It could be as simple as a dark ornate border with a light parchment colour/pattern as the background, to an actual scroll-like shape. Just an idea. ;)

Very nice map, BTW. I loved how you did the mountains, and the forests, and the water, and... well, pretty much everything about it!

10-07-2009, 05:45 PM
I think the background for the legend will have to be some sort of tanny, parchmenty color with lettering done in a color similar to the lines of the drawing. Also, a border of alternating strokes of black and tan like on the map itself. Ideally the legend would be an "unpainted" area to start with and then decorated, but not as much as the cartouche.

10-08-2009, 03:39 PM
Thanks guys. That really helped pin down the style.

I went with a straightforward double line border. I made the interior 75% opaque over the sea to keep some consistency between the two and put some embellishment in the corners. The real breakthrough was to actually make it flush with the overall border of the map. That integrated it into the image a lot more and avoided having it floating in the middle of the sea for no reason.

I'm not sure when the map hits the shelves, but I'll certainly be showing it off over here as soon as I am able. Thanks once again for helping me through a sticky problem.

Turgenev - glad you like it! That one's pretty long in the tooth now, but the new map will be a lot more of that and in a very similar style.

10-10-2009, 07:21 PM
I love those mountains! I really like the whole water colour vibe the map has. It gives the map a warm atmosphere (if that makes sense :P). Can't wait to see more done in this style.