Walton Herbs Hand Drawn Location Map

Have spent the last few days tweaking an illustrated map of Wakefield. It was commissioned by Walton Herbs as part of their PR for the new year. I hand drew all the elements separately (Map, Frame, Herbs, Buildings etc) then assembled them in Photoshop which made things a lot easier than hand drawing the thing in one go. One of the biggest challenges when making a hand drawn map is scale.

In reality the selected area that the brief stated would fit portrait proportions better but that would also mean big  areas of unrelated detail, important 'microscopic' roads and a whole lot of time drawing unnecessary details. My job was to balance the clients wishes with the budget and edit the image into something visually pleasing in a landscape format.

I used Google Maps as my starting reference point for the Wakefield area, roughing out the design with a brush pen to get bold lines. In Photoshop I scaled, skewed and distorted the map into a shape I was happy with (that's where the 'not to scale' line comes in). I scanned that into Photoshop, added a few bits like the decorative border then sent that to the client for approval.

Once approved I drew the map with a dip pen nib (I think it was a Leonardt 801) and indian ink at A4 size on 300gsm smoth water colour paper, the final image will be used on websites, A5 brochures and leaflets. The mapping pen gives a good line at various thicknesses. 

I hand coloured the line art with transparent water colour. This is so much easier than colouring digitally for my drawing style. I had made a few mistakes (mostly misspelling road names) but they can easily be corrected later on when everything is compiled.

I created the digital artwork in an A4 400dpi file even though the brief stated A5, it doesn't hurt to have the ability to provide larger artwork for the client later on. I didn't' go any higher than A4 because working large can look great but then when it's physically reduced and printed at A5 and the details of road names could be lost. I printed off the map at A5 just to make sure things were still legible.

I sent the client proofs of the map and they came back with a few minor changes but were delighted with how it looked.

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