In another post, we were bemoaning the fact that the quality of maps that you generally get in fantasy books is pretty dire. So I decided to start writing a story and illustrating it with a map at the same time. The idea here is that there are going to be a lot of text labels which I will fill in as the story continues. I would like the reader to to be able to find the location of every significant place mentioned in the story.
In terms of style I went for something quite simple, but I hope effective. I'm still debating whether to keep the blue of the sea or to make it white. I've been wanting to use the Caledra font for ages, so here it is. It's not the clearest and only does capital letters (which means one less means of distinguishing places by type - (e.g. using all caps for say, regions and upper and lower case for cities) but in this case I actually quite like the fact that the reader has to actively search out locations in the map. I've only used Caledra for the place names. The title and the legend, symbols on the right are in a font called Flat Earth Scribe which is also on Blambot.
In terms of the map itself, I used Fractal Terrains to generate a coastline I liked (although I wish now I had used RobA's threshold technique which would have given me more control over the shape of the coastlines) and then after some touching up in PSP imported the basic coastline into Serif Drawplus using the autotrace function so the coastline was a vector shape. In my usual lazy way, rather than drawing the areas of woods individually, I filled the entire coastline shape with the wood fill and used a seamless tiling transparency mask which gave quite pleasing organic type shapes. Same with the mountains where I made a seamlessly tiling mountain pattern using the woodcut tutorial Don posted a link to. That tutorial is serious gold dust.
I've attached the beginning of the (hackneyed, badly written) story, so you can see how I intend it to come together.
C&Cs most gratefully received!