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Thread: Perhaps not a map, but a Request/Opportunity Nonetheless!

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  1. #1

    Post Perhaps not a map, but a Request/Opportunity Nonetheless!

    Assorted Cartographers, Artists, and Others.

    I am announcing an illustration request / challenge / contest of sorts. My (very) small company, The Fantasy Cartographic, is putting out a pdf rpg product in the next several weeks; the product will be the first in a series of products. For a variety of reasons, we haven’t designed a logo for the product line yet. This request / contest is my means of obtaining a suitable logo.

    Pertinent information is as follows:

    Deadline: 01 June 2008 (Yikes, it’s a tight one.)
    Image Size: 300dpi. Six inches by X inches. (X is between 2.5 and 5. It’s up to you to make the logo work to your artistic style.)
    File Type: Preferred PNG

    I’ve attached a jpg with a rough sketch to serve as a starting point. But you do NOT need to use this at all in your entry; it merely serves to show one possible idea.

    Yes, you read it correctly, the title of the product line is “Points of Light”.

    Artistic guidance: What I am looking for is the words “Points of Light” in a font of your choosing floating just above a map on parchment. (Very similar in style to the map in the logo of the Cartographer’s Guild.) Except, most of the map is blackened, smudged, unreadable. Only in a few (2-3) small places is there a spot where the black doesn’t cover the map. In those places (each surrounding a city or town – a bright, perhaps even glowing, circle on the map), the “original” color of the map shows through in bright vibrant colors—forest greens, river blues, hills, etc. [The effect that I am looking for with the black over the map contrasting to where the black is not is similar to the Sistine chapel, before restoration and after restoration, except the dark is much darker than the Sistine before restoration. The items on the map can just barely be seen under the smudge.] The geography is completely up to the artist, as it will not have any bearing on the product content. The entire logo should be surrounded by a slight shadow so that it stands off the cover.

    Some other guidance: Although I depict the map as a 3D scroll, this is NOT a requirement; if your artistic sense says otherwise, don’t make it 3D. The words do NOT have to be arranged in this manner over the map; if you think it looks better horizontal or vertical or some other arrangement, go for it. The words can be completely surrounded by the map or can hang over its edges—again, up to you.

    Okay, so, how is this like a challenge? Anyone who attempts this endeavor is free to post WIPs, and I will offer further guidance, advice, clarification throughout.

    How is this like a contest? Well, the winner, to be chosen by me, on or about June 2nd, will get the following for their troubles:
    - $15 USD.
    - Artistic credit, by name, in the product.
    - A free copy of the product, which will retail for somewhere between $5 - 6 on
    - A residual (amount yet to be determined, probably on the order of $0.12 to $0.20 USD) for every item that is sold with this logo on its cover. We have plans for at least 4 products that will bear this logo and perhaps several more.

    Why am I doing this in this format? Because in my seven months of membership here, I am continually amazed by the quality of artists/cartographers here. What better place to seek a logo? And because someone might come up with a better vision than the vague one floating in my head.

    Finally, I may have a few similar request / challenge / contests in the coming days, so keep your eyes peeled!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2


    Looks exciting! I may have a go (if I can find the time!) The CG is wonderful but it doesn't half swallow up your life! (in a good way)....well not if you speak to my wife...

  3. #3
    Guild Adept SeerBlue's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Black hills of South Dakota


    Well, I had some time to kill while the kids swam, and the laptop, so I thought I would get the logo going.
    It is a mixture of Leveller for the heightfield ,used to flatten everything below a set height for the map, Leveller's scan line renderer, 3 images with the light source in 3 different locations, and some Photoshop work (which is not my best ability).
    Hopefully this gets the ball rolling, as I am sure there are many more, more talented Cartographers here
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #4


    SeerBlue - Thanks for being the first to dip your toe into the water. I appreciate you taking the time, and I hope that I can offer some thoughts to steer you (and others) to completion.

    My first thought is that I did NOT do a good job of explaining of what I was looking for. So let me first clarify some of what I said and then offer some thoughts on your map.

    I stated that I want "the words “Points of Light” in a font of your choosing floating just above a map on parchment." I didn't mean above the map in the image of the logo itself but actually over top of the map so that the map is behind the words. The text is just as important to the logo as the image of the map behind it. [More on the text below.]

    I think in my discussion of 3D, I clouded the picture a bit. When I was talking about 3D, I was referring to the image of the scroll in the sample logo that I provided; I was NOT referring to the map itself. The map I want to be in a hand-drawn style. Whether the parchment that it appears on is made to look 3D or not is up to the artist.

    The text is important, as is its appearance. What I'm trying to say is that the map is merely the background behind the text; the text has to be large and easily readable.

    Based on the importance of the text, I think that I'm going to alter the challenge slightly. If one entry has a fantastic map whereas a second entry has an interesting/well-designed/cool font, I might request taking the font from one and combining it with the map from another. This means that there would be two winners. If that occurs, the financial "prize" will be split evenly between the two, whereas they will share credit and each receive a copy of the product.

    SeerBlue, the one other specific thought about your entry is that the effect you used was one of spot lights shining down on the map. I want a look where the contrast is due to the map itself and not the lighting over the map (if that makes sense). The effect should be almost that the map was in a fire and it is charred almost beyond use except for two or three spots surrounding cities/towns depicted by a bright circle. Or perhaps that dark ink has been smeared on the map everywhere except for right around these two or three "points of light" (which refers to the city or town).

    I hope these clarifications help you and everyone else thinking about taking a stab.

  5. #5
    Administrator Redrobes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Is this heading in the right direction ? Where do I need to take this now ?

    Is the idea that you don't want the light flare ?
    Last edited by Redrobes; 05-22-2008 at 08:43 PM.

  6. #6


    Redrobes – You are a machine! (A high compliment indeed!) YES, this is heading in the right direction. [Unfortunately, I’m at work right now and my system doesn’t seem to allow me to view a full-size version, only the thumbnail—hopefully that will not affect my comments.]

    First, I love the shape of the scroll. I think that it is almost perfect--could it lengthened slightly in the horizontal to make the overall logo a little more rectangular?

    On to some specific critiques:
    - I like the glowing “points”, but you could make them a little less bright? The glare that they’re throwing off looks really good, but I don’t want them quite so bright.
    - Can you make the colors of the lands around the points brighter? I don’t want them to be garish or fluorescent, but I do want them to stand out.
    - I really want the areas of ‘illuminated’ land to be separated by the blackness that surrounds them. In other words, rather than one large area with three points, three smaller areas each with its own point. Obviously, the placement of those points will affect the title text that you overlay above the scroll (or vice versa).
    - The coloring of the scroll itself requires a couple of comments:
    First, could you make the general color more of a tan parchment color, including the back of the scroll. Currently, it is a bit too gray.
    Second, could you also make the “blackness” that covers the map on the scroll more black. I think that it doesn’t have to cover the entire front of the scroll, specifically the edges, but should cover almost all of it except for the ‘illuminated’ lands.
    Third, the pattern on the scroll is a bit regular. Is there any way to make it less so? (Although this issue might go away entirely when you blacken the black.)

    I think that I may have some more minor bits and pieces, but that’s mostly it. Really, really nice.

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