This is a map I've been tinkering with since I started spending time on this site, and I finally decided I'd like to post it in the WIP forum. It started out life as a hex map for an RPG, where each hex represented more or less a week's travel and featured a unique destination. Then I thought, given that the way I was designing it made exact scale relatively unimportant, it would work just as well and look better as a realistic landmass divided into Risk-style areas. So that's what it turned into, and this first pic shows the stages it went through as I learned through the forum. The first stage is after having downloaded Ravenstar's calligraphic map symbols; the second is after having read Ascension's antique map tutorial; and the third is after, well, having read a ton more tutorials as well as researching historical maps and fonts on my own, as well as designing my own set of historical mountain brushes. Ironically, it now has an exact scale because that's part of the look.
And now, this second (large) picture is the current state of the map. I'd be interested in any comments, critiques, suggestions, etc. and I can talk about techniques I used if anyone's curious. A couple of things I'll note: one is that I've got a couple of different sizes on the labels and forest symbols, and I'm curious what people's opinions are about whether these elements look better smaller or larger. Two is that I've got a lot of text over linework, which I'm planning to typemask (I did the word "Zind", near the right-hand edge of the map, as a test). I'm curious if anyone knows whether or not a non-destructive typemask is possible in Photoshop (I did mine by making a selection of the stroked text and using it to actually delete the linework -- one copy of it anyway).
Fonts used include the free downloadable fonts Opera Lyrics Smooth (area labels) and Decadence Condensed (large "ZAL ZIND" at lower left), as well as Garamond Italic, Didot Regular and Modern No. 20 Regular.
Sotfware used is Photoshop CS3, except that the map frame and grid lines were created in Illustrator CS3.