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Thread: Map of the Atregonese Aigentarate

  1. #31
      tcberry is offline
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    A version of the banner map that doesn't require knowledge of my constructed script:


  2. #32
      Freodin is offline
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    That's not a bad map in itself.

    I must admit that, as much as I like the style of you "real" map, I don't really care for the constructed script. Almost any constructed script in maps, that is.

    The problem for me is: it is already difficult to construct a suitable script... but to also put it into a font suitable for a particular style of map... that is something I haven't often seen done well.

  3. #33
      tcberry is offline
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    Indeed. I suppose the question is of the utility of a map to a reader from our world, as opposed to a map from a fictional world functioning as an artifact from it. My own fontmaking (ugh, kerning), conlanging, and even mapmaking skills aside, I think that this style of map can work.

    Now, would it be possible, even now, to re-do this map in a Latin script, and therefore probably improve it aesthetically? Yes. But, in my opinion, it wouldn't function as well as an artifact of the culture I am attempting to create.
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  4. #34
      Ilanthar is offline
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    Thanks for linking your font, I think it's a very good one!

  5. #35
      Freodin is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcberry View Post
    Indeed. I suppose the question is of the utility of a map to a reader from our world, as opposed to a map from a fictional world functioning as an artifact from it. My own fontmaking (ugh, kerning), conlanging, and even mapmaking skills aside, I think that this style of map can work.

    Now, would it be possible, even now, to re-do this map in a Latin script, and therefore probably improve it aesthetically? Yes. But, in my opinion, it wouldn't function as well as an artifact of the culture I am attempting to create.
    I understand your point, and I agree with it. But that is exactly the problem I am having with the font.

    As an artifact from your culture, the producer of that map would not only have used his own native script, but also have chosen a font suitable to his era.
    Just as in our culture, there would have arisen cursive scripts for faster writing... "modern" typesetting scripts based on these... I think you get my point.

    If you were to re-do your map with a Latin script and used an uncial or textura, it would look just as "wrong". It would just not fit the style of the map.

    What you would need - in my view - is an atregonaren equivalent of Didot or Garamont. But to make such a font is hard - at least for me, whose fontmaking and design skills are just bad. That is why I personally would rather go back to a latin script... the easy and lazy way to solve this problem.


    I hope I could make my point clear, and that you don't see it as an overly harsh criticism of your approach to culture building. It is just that I think the style of your map is quite great, and it deserves a better font.


  6. #36
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    I'm confused - are you all talking about the font on the regular map, or the blue/white one last posted?

    I've been following, and I've been confused, because... I didn't look at the main map and think "gosh, that's the wrong font" I looked and thought "gosh I wish I could decipher those runes"

    (And after staring at them long enough, you *almost* can)

    And it's *not* an attractive language. I mean the formation of the letters, of course... but... not all languages *are* pretty, to other cultures. So I think it really does depend on the purpose of the map.

    You say it's a collaborative-type project.

    If this is a map that you will distribute to everyone involved in the project for *reference*, it needs to be easily understood - and while those involved might be able to *translate* the map, it will be harder for some than others, and the map isn't functioning properly.

    If it's going to be an *actual relic* from their society, and you just want to give it more realism, I think you're fine.

    If it's *BOTH* things, or a combination of purposes, then I think you should find a compromise.

    Example? Let's take Tolkein - you have maps that are supposed to be artifacts, but they are really meant for 1) his own reference and 2) readers of the books.

    So there are SOME runes, but MOST things are spelled phonetically.

    And later maps combine several latin-ish fonts that LOOK similar to the other languages. The result is that *anyone* can read the map - but it still gives the feel of being an artifact.

    So really - it depends on the purpose of the map.


    (And the only problem I had/have with the font (and only because I've been staring at it for hours) is that the spacing is REAALLY weird in a few places, like in the Stettant ocean or Okoen)

    And... nitpicky... I can't tell which word is ocean and which is sea but you've used different ones in some places than you used on the blue/white translation maps... On the regular map, only the sea of Urruti uses a different word. Why is that?

  7. #37
      Freodin is offline
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    Well, perhaps I am just too nitpicky. Or it is the fever... I am quite ill at the moment. Or is the point that I am trying to make really that obscure? Or all of that? Please, please, isn't there someone who understands me? Somebody?? Anybody???

    So, let's take Tolkien as an example. Thror's map, for example. It is presented as a "genuine artifact", the very map that Thorin got from his father, or perhaps Bilbo's reproduction of it for his book. And it looks like a genuine artifact: something that a learned dwarf or hobbit would draw as a map and annotate. That the script is latin / runes is not bothering us that much - it is something we subconsciously expect. Just as we are not bothers that all these good dwarves / hobbits / elves / humans speak modern English. Unconscious suspension of disbelief at work.

    But the script still is a certain kind of style. Handwritten, elaborate, with all kinds of individual flourishes. Some sort of minuscule script.
    And we accept that as fitting for the setting, because we sort that kind of script under "how people wrote in the really olden times."

    Now imagine this same map with all the text set in Arial. Would it still seem like something a hobbit drew?

  8. #38
    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    I think, Freodin, that you are making an unwarranted assumption. We don't know the nature of the culture that produced this map. We don't know their attitudes toward type and its evolution, nor much about its aesthetic tradition.

    I personally find the typeface legible and attractive, and it looks suitably mechanical such that it matches the technical draftsmanship of the map, with a calligraphic flair that implies that perhaps the Atregonese value traditional formal handwriting skills, and that shows up in their typefaces.

    It's true that the kerning could use some love, and I think the tracking is too wide for what I presume is the map title at the bottom. Also, tcberry, I think you should avoid the double inflections in the curved text. For example, the label that roughly matches "Sea of Urruti" in your reference image really doesn't need the second curve. There are others following other island chains that do the same thing. There may be some justification for a shape like that if you're labeling a meandering river and have a relatively high text density. In this case, mere proximity to an appropriate landform should do a good enough job of association without needing the additional contortions of following the undulation of an island chain.

    Also, you may want to mask the coastline rings beneath your coastal city labels. The lines are nearly the same color, frequency and weight as the text, which reduces the (hypothetical) legibility considerably.
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  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freodin View Post
    Well, perhaps I am just too nitpicky. Or it is the fever... I am quite ill at the moment. Or is the point that I am trying to make really that obscure? Or all of that? Please, please, isn't there someone who understands me? Somebody?? Anybody???

    So, let's take Tolkien as an example. Thror's map, for example. It is presented as a "genuine artifact", the very map that Thorin got from his father, or perhaps Bilbo's reproduction of it for his book. And it looks like a genuine artifact: something that a learned dwarf or hobbit would draw as a map and annotate. That the script is latin / runes is not bothering us that much - it is something we subconsciously expect. Just as we are not bothers that all these good dwarves / hobbits / elves / humans speak modern English. Unconscious suspension of disbelief at work.

    But the script still is a certain kind of style. Handwritten, elaborate, with all kinds of individual flourishes. Some sort of minuscule script.
    And we accept that as fitting for the setting, because we sort that kind of script under "how people wrote in the really olden times."

    Now imagine this same map with all the text set in Arial. Would it still seem like something a hobbit drew?

    No, it wouldn't. And I do understand what you're saying. (and ignoring the fact that a dwarf drew the map, not a hobbit) What *I* am saying is that if THAT is what we're going for... something for other people to *believe* it's an artifact, then you're right. It should be a few runes from the old language and a complimentary script.

    What I'm *ALSO* saying is that maybe that's not the OP's purpose for this map. Perhaps this wants this to be a *truly* genuine artifact, in which case, he's right, it should not have ANY latin script, because, as is obvious from the map, they *don't* speak in modern english.

    This is an entirely different language, and maybe that *is* how they write. I definitely think something's wrong with the way it flows... and I truly think that's mainly the spacing... but I don't see an issue with using their language on their map?

  10. #40
      tcberry is offline
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    @Freodin - I do sincerely appreciate your comments about the script, and your compliments on the map as a whole. Understand that my font-making ability is extremely limited, and I did try, initially, to create a font similar to a traditional Latin serif-style font. After several abortive attempts, I landed on this "fraktur" style font due to the ease in constructing the glyphs from a small set of primal strokes. As the approximately equivalent time period for Gotha is the turn of the 20th century (and the Fraktur-Antiqua dispute was ongoing in Germany at the time), I am reasonably happy with rationalizing my use of a "blackletter" font here. (Though my attempts to find an engraved map with blackletter lettering to back me up here has been frustratingly fruitless. ) Here's a version in English to appease you:

    Map of the Atregonese Aigentarate-atr-map-old-8-latin.jpg

    @Midgardsormr - Thank you for the note on the text curves. Looking at it now, I do see that perhaps a simpler curve may be better; I'll play with it for following iterations. I will also look in to applying some sort of mask to improve legibility of coastal text, and I am continuing to refine the kerning/tracking issues.

    @Jalyha - You're absolutely right, there is still some inconsistency between the Latin reference map made for the wiki and the map here. However, I do have a few different things being named here. Where it says "Sea of Urruti" on the wiki map, it actually reads "Eccasian Islands" (ekhial uharteak) on the Atregonese map. Sea of Urruti would probably read something like urruti istasho, as that sea is not yet named on the Atregonese map.

    Thank you all for your very helpful comments.
    Last edited by tcberry; 01-27-2014 at 04:54 AM.
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