That's what legends are for. ;)
That's what legends are for. ;)
Hah hah. :) That's not exactly what I mean. I'll post the map with descriptive text turned on at a later date and you'll see what I mean. It goes from clean to cluttered. It's not a HUGE deal because of the way I'm using the map, but it'll definitely be something I'll think about for the next one.
In the meantime, I've added what I'm calling "Doo-Dads" to the map. I may still fiddle around with the "Sea Serpent."
And here's what it looks like after I, as some posters suggested, added in a region of half-tone color underneath mountains, hills and sand dunes.
I don't think it detracts in any significant way from the map, but I'm not sure that it adds all that much either. The sharp color difference between the various features and the underlying green of the land was not as big a problem as I thought it would be once all the features went in. It does help a lot to identify desert regions so it'll probably stay in for that reason alone.
It looks much more complete with the underlaying color.
I think the half-tone fields do a lot for the deserts, but not so much for the mountains.
I had some reservations about the way the map was hanging together stylistically, but the addition of settlement symbols completely changed my mind; that map looks terrific. And I am in love with your compass rose.
I'm REALLY digging the way this is comin together...I like the underlying color too...I do wanna see the labeled version and as a Compass Rose connoisseur I also like yours a lot.
I agree that the underlying color adds enough to the map to warrant keeping. So, it stays. As requested, here's the map with the regional labelling. This is the actual map I'll be sending to my players for a D&D campaign I'll be starting and it'll need the labels for it's purpose, so that layer will be on no matter how ugly it makes the whole thing look. The nice thing is I can turn the regional labels layer off, zoom in a bunch (since it's a .svg map) and do more detailed sub-regional mapping with labels that don't cover everything up. I'm also going to post the map in the completed work forum, since this map is now done!!
Bravo! Absolutely wonderful! I like your choice of symbols (the junk underlines the Ukioye feel of the map) and the font you've used (slightly japanesy but not too much) which fit in with the style of the map which too me is a cross between ancient greek and japanese. You could stick the lettering of 'The Golden Coast' in the sea next to the coast perhaps? Have you tried playing with using the text only horizontally and not curved or at angles? One of the reasons that the text might appear to jar is because you have so have so many horizontal elements in the drawing and the text conflicts with it. Not sure how you'd label the desert just using horizontal text though. Beautifully done.
I may fiddle around with the placement of the text, but at this point I probably need to move on to other projects (like writing some adventures and updating the website the map will be posted to). I did initially try doing the text horizontally, but I thought it looked much worse. Interesting idea though that the wonky-ness of the text may have more to do with it's lack of horizontals. I'll have to play around with that next time.
Anyhow, thanks for the praise. I really appreciate it.
Thanks for sharing the process, Helium. Your final map is neat. If you do ever feel like playing with it more, I could easily see this being placed on parchment (a bit stereotypical, perhaps, but I think this particular map could really benefit from that sort of rich texture and the opacity/desaturization it would entail.)
I must also say your naming is a bit too "cheesy" for my tastes--but that is being said without any knowledge of your storyline; perhaps these make perfect sense in that context. IMO, they are very fairy tale-ish.
Thanks again for posting all your progress. This thread was a constant delight! :)