Elsymaer: For My Fantasy Book
This is a map I've been working on. I'm very new to making these, so I am already ready to take a bunch of critique. But I want to know what I can do better, and what I am doing that I am doing right. Or if someone would be kind enough to do a more 'professional' version of this map, that would be good as well so that I could get an idea of what to fix and what to work on. Thanks in advance!
You were the person over at Deviant Art asking for criticism on another one of your maps right? Glad to see you here at the guild.
Well, the highly varied type is a bad idea, particularly the ornate script faces. Simplicity and consistency are really important. Placement of labels is also very important. You need to be consistent, so it's clear what a label refers to, but also not to rigid. Curving text on a path often helps, particularly for a hand drawn looking map.
The textured background is just weird. It is hard to tell if it's just meant to be a background, or if it's meant to be conveying some information about the terrain. They way the sort of woven texture is present on land and not in the water is also odd if it's mean to represent the map being drawn on some sort of cloth. If it's meant to be shaded relief, that doesn't really go with the symbolic representation of the forest.
The cities are just sort of scattered in the middle of nowhere with nothing to give any sense of reference or context. Rivers and/or roads would be good for this.
There's no sense of how the in character cartographer created the map. It's just a collection of computer images tossed together. For instance, the big tree symbol and the little tree symbols are just scaled versions of each other. A person drawing a big tree and a little tree would draw them differently. The big tree would be more detailed than the smaller ones, and the difference in line weight, if any, would be much smaller.