I disagree with Max; I like the placement and 'feel' of the cartouche. To me, it balances the whole map quite nicely.
You've got a typo in the cartouche though - you've misspelled 'remaining' in the 'cities with 100-200 inhabitants'. And in no way is THAT ominous! :D
Thanks guys! I can see how the cartouche is distracting, but personally I think I like it like this. And Diamond convinced me about it :D And thanks for pointing out the typo!
So, I'm pretty much done now, except for any tweaking I can squeeze in before the deadline. I'll have to skip the heraldry I mentioned, there's just no time for it! But I managed to finish some decorations I had planned, and the timeline. Now, if anyone thinks there's even more that distracts from the map now (Max?:P), you're probably right. Composition is still something I have to get better at. It looked balanced in my head but that transferring-it-to-the-map part is hard… Anyway, I'm fairly happy with it, but feedback/criticism/bashing is still welcome!
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Yes for me, the composition is very unbalanced. The clouds/mountains decorations just kill the map :( Don't get me wrong, they're nice but way too big and not consistent regarding the map size (same for the cartouche - but this one can go well with another placement on the map imo)
I'm afraid I have to agree with Max. The clouds / mountains add nothing to the map but they do pull the eye away from the focus of the map. I think your thought was to frame the map, but they are way to prominent for that. I do like the compass cartouche, however.
Yeah... I hate to agree, but that was perhaps a step too far. I do like the inclusion of the timeline though.
I largely like the composition, but suspect that it would be improved by muting the color on the lower mountains-and-city so it didn't compete with the map so much. I'd try that before getting rid of it, as shape frames the map nicely.
I guess I went overboard a bit then :lol: Thanks for the feedback everyone, I've made a couple of adjustments. Nothing major; I planned these decorations from the beginning, so if I removed them the map just wouldn't feel complete to me, but I lowered the opacity and intensity on them and also pushed the title and timeline closer to the map so I could crop away some clouds and mountain. I do value your opinions a lot, you are all much better cartographers than I am and I will keep the comments in mind for my next map, but I want to do what "feels right" too, and for this map, I just want some really big decorations… Sorry if anyone was disappointed.
I made the cartouche a bit smaller too, by the way.
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I like it if there is some text content on it.
I got some typographical points:
- The sub-headline should get the space it needs. The liaison of the longer letters with the p of the headline is to be avoided. *forget that point, you did it allready*
- Also avoid the separation of words in ragged margin if they could be written in one word in the following line (e.g. recor- dings).
- The choice of the three main typefaces doesn't look very pleasing to me as grafic designer - but that is a question of style.
Especially the bulky nation font isn't really mappy.
The cloud and the mountains take a lot of space. It would be cooler if they are drawn a bit less boring. Invest more time in it.
I like the idea of the cartouche in the middle, because in this map with the ocean in the center it makes sense.
Addressing Freehand's second point. In your timeline descriptions, I'm not sure if you are using PS or GIMP. With PS, if you are using the "Block Text" function (Where you drag a box with the type tool and then type within that box) there is a button on the menu bar to format paragraphs. Click on that and change the justification to "full justification" without hyphens. You don't even need to highlight the text, just click on the text layer, click the text tool and the menu should appear. Make the changes and it will change for that layer.
That should clean it up in about 3 seconds. I don't know about GIMP, but I would only assume it has a similar function.
Thanks, Freehand and WillP! I removed the word-breaking, I actually wasn't aware of the possibility but it does make it much more readable. Also put a yellow layer set to multiply and very low opacity over everything, it's hardly noticeable but I think it added something.
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Freehand, about the boringness of the clouds and mountains: more detail would make them even more distracting. I made them very simple and stylized so they would function as a frame and not an illustration, but apparently it was to much even for that to most people! I guess it's good that the deadline is in a few hours; if it was longer, I wouldn't know what to do, but now I don't have time to do anything major so I'll just leave it the way it is (which is also the way I want it…:P)