Kerynia (Before & After)
On the OotS forums, a homebrewer named Nefele is developing a Greek-themed campaign setting named Kerynia. I offered to make her a map, & she sent me a sketch of the island (Image #1).
I then took that sketch & tightened it up for her, redrawing it in my style. She asked for me to provide it both without labels (Image #2) & with labels (Image #3). I often provide maps for people's campaign settings, if they don't already have a map & I believe in their setting's quality.
The two new maps were made by taking her original sketch into Illustrator CS3, tracing the basic outlines, & then working it over with Photoshop CS3, painting the terrain & applying filters. It took about 2-3 hours of actual work, spread out over an entire lazy day off. I hope that you like what you see.
Generally its a very nice map. unique style (to me anyways).
one or two things to mention though.
I like the font but its a bit hard to read sometimes. perhaps its just when it clashes with part of the background. for instance 'Lake' at Morla.
other thing is the dark brown part of the mountains seems to go down instead of up.
I fully agree with above comment. Nice map, pretty unique style, but the blue labelling is very hard to read (you put blue text on the blue sea, which made matters worse).
I like the map as a whole, but have to agree with the previous posters regarding the mountains and the font.
I also find the blue of the ocean to be a bit 'much', but that's more personal preference.
It is a unique style and I love the font, but I'll throw another vote in for the readability. The colors are a little too vivid all around for my taste, but that's purely taste -- mine are probably too pastel for others :)
All in all, a great improvement over the before map and very pretty.
Maybe the font its not that bad, but the background is to flashy... It distracts me of the rest of the map.
Kerynia (New & Improved)
I have taken everyone's comments & have come up with two new maps, one for labeled & one for unlabeled. I re-did the embossing on the mountains, using a more complex technique that I think yields better results. I changed the color scheme on the words to make them more readable. I toned down the saturation on the map 25% (which makes me sad, because I like bright, vibrant maps). I updated some of the names on the labeled map, because the setting's creator has changed some of them. And I added some smoke to the volcano, because the volcano just needed some smoke :D. I hope that this is a marked improvement.
This is looking better, especially the mountains, though I still find the font you used a bit hard to read (but that may just be me).
Anyone not familiar with this world will find it hard to read, so you're not the only one. I'd change the white outer glow to a light or medium gray stroke of maybe 3 to 5 pixels just to separate the dark blue water from the dark red text.
Some things I would suggest to improve on your map:
Desaturate the ocean by 50% - the vibrancy of the water is pulling the eyes away from the island itself.
Blend the transition from the mountains to the lush green lowland areas - that area of contrast is very strong. Don't blend it all to the same extent, vary the amount in different areas from some to none - again the contrast in colors is drawing the eye too strongly to those edge regions. The mountains bother me for another reason, they are straight top down view and there is no shading to give them elevation. The mountains on the sketch that was provided are killer, they really are the predominant features of the map.
Take all shading off the face of the font - it is a lovely font but the soft bevel shading on its face is making it illegible. Give your fonts a contrasting outline the sets the face of the font off from the background, alternatively just go with a plain white font with a drop shadow and see if that doesn't work for you.
Again these are just suggestions. I know when I feel a piece of my art is done and I don't want to mess with it any more, so I certainly understand if you are happy with your map. I also try to push myself with every piece I do, learning more and getting closer to creating what is in my minds eye. So I am a pusher..hehe