☆☆ Now available as a fine art print - click ☞ HERE ☜ ☆☆
This design for a map of Spain (my adopted home country since 2014) incorporates design aesthetics that were prevalent in cartography from the early modern period up until the early 20th century, particularly the use of colour, type and decorative embellishments. It combines a detailed, antique-style map with drawings of notable buildings in cities around the country.
I began the design in October 2015 and continued to work on it in my spare time over the following eighteen months. Its composition, with city scenes displayed in boxes at the left and right hand sides along with decorative elements such as shields (escudos in Spanish) representing each autonomous community, the decorative border and the title cartouche are all influenced by 17th century decorative atlas maps, particularly those of the Dutch cartographer Joan Blaeu (1596-1673). The whole design was drawn using Illustrator, with the exception of the city scenes, which are pen-on-paper drawings that were scanned and coloured in Photoshop, and the shaded relief of the mountain ranges, also painted in Photoshop. I researched the population statistics for each province and developed a heirarchy of symbols and text label sizes to represent the populations of each settlement; the typefaces used are Brandon Grotesque and Kursivschrift.
Note on language: The primary language used across the map is standard Spanish or Castilian, with alternative names in regional languages written below or alongside in parentheses, e.g. Lérida (Lleida). I decided on this approach for all names - regional, provincial, urban and geographical - in order to maintain consistency across the design, despite the fact that in certain regions (Asturias, the Balearic Islands, the Basque Country, Catalonia, Galicia and the Valencian community) the regional language takes precedence over Castillian.