Making Maps with the MapMaker Package
This is a step by step guide to designing a small map using the elements and fonts of the MapMaker package. This tutorial was done using Adobe Photoshop, but the same tools and commands are available in every good graphics program, including less expensive ones like PaintShopPro and ColorIt.
To start your map off, use the text tool to type in a piece of coastline that you like using the Ortelius font.
Continue to use the text tool to pick additional coastal outlines and add them to your map, rotating or repositioning them as needed to form the shape you want. Do this until you have made a complete coastline.
In this case we’ve completed our coastline with 7 different coastal outline characters from Ortelius to form a simple island.
Using the Magic Wand tool, click inside the island (or on the landward side of your coastline). Open the Elements1.jpg image in your MapMaker folder and use the Select tool to select a square area of the background texture you like. Use the Define Pattern option to make this into a pattern. Return to your working map and use the Fill command to fill the area you selected with the Magic Want with this pattern.
While that land area is still selected, use a Beveling tool to add a colored bevel inside the coastline to help define the area. This is a technique used universally in hand-tinted antique maps, and works very nicely.
Use the magic wand on the sea area of the map and repeat the process you just used, going to the Elements2.jpg file to get a sea pattern you like and using it to fill the area.
While the sea area is still selected use the Bevel tool to add a blue or purplish bevel on the seaward side of your coastline. You might use the sampling tool to pick an appropriate shade of blue from the sea texture you used.
Now, go back to the Elements1.jpg file and start importing terrain features. You can do this by selecting a box around the bits you want, pasting them into a new file, using the Magic Wand to select everything around them and the Inverse command to switch your selection to the objects instead. Then copy them and paste them into your map. Here we added a few mountains first.
Repeating the process in the previous steb we now add some trees.
Continuing that process we now also add a town.
Now we do the same thing to add features to the se areas, following the process above using the Elements2.jpg file we import a Sea Horse.
Next we add a compass – a key element of any antique map.
Finally we add a cartouche in which we will later put our map’s title.
Now we move on to adding text labels to the map using the type tool. For the label on the sea area we select the Platthand font and title the sea area The Sea of Dreams.
Next, because our island is small and already crowded with terrain, we use the Text tool to add the island’s name in the sea next to it using the Brandywine font.
There isn’t enough room to add the town name in the land area of the island, so we add it overlapping the coastline and into the sea using the Walsingham font. Then, so that it doesn’t get too muddled, while the type is still selected we use the Bevel tool to add a 2 pixel buff-colored bevel around the type to help set it apart from the background. This is almost invisible on these sample images, but really makes a difference in print.
Our final text goes in the cartouche, which usually has a map title or description, sometimes along with a designer credit and date. In this case we added a small description using the buccaneer font.
Finally we finish the map off by adding a darker colored frame around the outside, smaller in thickness than the outer bevel of the sea area to give the border a layered look. Now our map is finished.
You can get more information about or MapMaker package of fonts and grapics on our MapMaker Page and order it for immediate download.
New Font: BigBlok
A great many years ago when working in game publishing I had a real fascination with doing titles in a strong, super-bold font called Bolt Bold. The truth is I rather overused it. In doing some research I find it on more than a dozen different game books I wrote in the early 80s, all quite collectable and out of print today.
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Our Munich font was first released in 1998 and has been revised several times since then. This latest version includes substantial improvements in the outlines of the characters and a new set of simple upper case initials. Munich is based on one of the classic lettering styles used on[...]
Vasilisa is based on Russian folk art lettering from the pre-revolutionary period. It is included in our original Russian Fonts and Art package. It is very readable in English but also includes elements of Cyrillic lettering. It is evocative of rural Russian life and fits well with the hand crafted peasant wood[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO We have done a number of fonts based on unique, historic movie titles. The most well known and widely circulated is our Captain Kidd font, but we have another historic movie font based on an even more famous movie, our Locksley font which comes from the titles of the Adventures of [...]
Once again we are calling on the classic early 20th century lettering work of J. M. Bergling to produce a new font with a timeless look which combines elements of text and titling styles for a versatile and elegant effect. Diomedes includes a full set of upper and lower case characters plus an interesting sele[...]
Alexander Rodchenko (1891–1956) was one of the premier artists of the constructivist movement in Russia. Although he was a sculptor, painter and photographer, he is most remembered for his graphic design style in book and poster design. His unique and dramatic style defined Russian popular art of the early Revol[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview Roghwork is a unique font which combines a decoarative upper case character set with a simple set of lowercase characters. Designed primarily for use in titles and posters, the uppercase characters are based on samples of hand-drawn master designs for a set of roman-st[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview Startling Stories was a pulp-era science fiction magazine known for its lurid covers by Earle K. Bergey and its eye-catching title designs. It was a companion to Thrilling Wonder Stories and Fantastic Stories. The magazine was very successful in the immediate pos[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview Yancey is a new font based on a hand-lettered design by Samuel Welo in the late 1920s. It is very much in the tradition of Art Deco designs of that period and designed for decorative titles of poster design uses. Yancey includes two versions of the character set,[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview There's a peculiar style of letters that seems to only show up on some signs and letterpress posters and it caught my eye when I saw it being used in the recent poster for the National Day of the American Cowboy. It's like a western style "egyptian" font with big [...]
Film director Sergei Eisenstein was a major influence on the Constructivist movement through his collaboration with Alexander Rodchenko and by inspiring other artists of the era. Thus it seems appropriate that the final font in our Constructivist Font Collection should be named after Eisenstein, especiall[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview Escargot is based on lettering from the cover of an early pulp novel I came across a couple of months ago. It's a strong example of a distinctive style of sign and poster lettering from the 1930, characterized by super high contrast between the weighting on the le[...]
In honor of Cyber Monday, which some people are now expanding to be a whole Cyber Week, we're releasing St. Ives, a new modernistic font with unique riser and descender characters which give it an unusual linear look. It will be featured in a new edition of our Futuristic Fonts which will be released late[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview Doge is a new font based on samples of late-renaissance period lettering from Venice, preserved and reproduced by early 20th century calligrapher and designer J. M. Bergling. It has some similarity to some of our other fonts based on lettering from the same period[...]
Treadway is a new, original design in the tradition of futuristic advertising scripts of the mid-20th century, inspired by fonts like Kaufmann and Gillies, but with a stronger, more clearly defined look, stripped down to its most stylized essentials for a very powerful visual impact. It is the kind of type you'[...]
When I was a kid I wasn't allowed to buy comic books, so when I began to earn some money of my own as a young teen, I hit that market right at the peak of the 1970s boom in alternative large-format comics which were much more salacious - with more gore and sex - than the comics I would have read as a kid. I wen[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Our Froissart font was first released in 2000 as part of our Medieval Fonts and Art package. It is an accurate recreation of the Littera Bastarda calligraphic style which was popular in the 14th and 15th centuries as gothic styles were losing popularity and there was a demand for s[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview Quicksilver was designed as one of the original featured fonts included in our Psychedelic Fonts Package. It was developed into a full font from a sample of lettering from Quicksilver Messenger Service's live album Summer of '68 and posters for shows associated with it [...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Malagua was originally released in 1999 and has been revised several times since then, culminating in this new release with improved weighting and additional special characters. MAlagua is based on examples of rough hand lettering from the 17th century. It has characteristics [...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview Lyceum has the stylized shape and look of a font designed for the program at a lecture hall, hence the name. It is super bold but remains highly readable at fairly small sized, though the contrasts are dramatic. It features only an uppercase characters set because the st[...]
It has taken a lot of hours of development, but we finally have our promised Walter Crane Initials font. Or should I say FOUR fonts, because in the process of developing the font it turned out that we ended up with more than we bargained for. One reason that there are four fonts is that there was so[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview Mannering is a new font design derived from some samples of an uppercase letter set by Samuel Welo, with additional lowercase characters and numbers added to it in the same style. It is a sans serif font with calligraphic lines and distinctive embellished horizontal cro[...]
Fougasse is a bold title font which has a unique combination of elements, including an unusually heavy weight, some unusual Art Deco period character forms and rough outlines to the character which are not too pronounced, but give it a sort of a naturalistic look which makes the characters stand out more. Foug[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview Script fonts can be a real challenge to design, especially when they are designed to have interconnecting characters which require exacting kerning and character positioning. When we first developed Orphiel we did a lot of kerning work on it, but despite a g[...]
Lachesis was one of our earliest text font designs, a unique font deliberately designed to have an antique wood-cut look. It is based on samples of vintage type taken directly from letterpress type blocks found at the type museum in Barnard Maine, a great resource which closed a few years ago. Over the years La[...]
It's time for something new and strange, our new and original Monstrous font. Monstrous is a titling font which offers a striking look and special features which make it truly unique. The characters are stylized and super-bold, but what really sets the font apart is that there are two complete character sets w[...]
Alecto was originally released in 2002 and was one of the fonts developed for our Futuristic Fonts package. It has a unique science fictional look, combining some of the look of an OCR font with pure fantasy elements. It's just the kind of thing you'd expect to see on the side of a spaceship in an epic space ope[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview We've featured some articles on the designs of pulp novel covers from the mid-20th century, including s look at the fonts used in those designs. We've also released fonts based on those designs, like suspicion. These old book cover designs are a great resource for [...]
Black Cow is a unique original font designed for our Horror Fonts and Art collection several years ago. It's one of the most interesting fonts in the large selection of fonts in that package, but it hasn't had the huge level of popularity which some of the other fonts have enjoyed. It has an all uppercase chara[...]
Engrossing is one of our earliest fonts, originally released in the early 1990s. It is based on one of the very first examples of printed type in a script style. The historic source design was derived from common 17th century calligraphy, simplified for conversion to type and it became the precursor of all of t[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview Squiffy is a fun font. It has a background in arts and crafts style font design, but rather than the regular, architectural character forms and arrangements, the characters are wild and irregular and highly varied. There are two distinct versions of every character, with[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview Our original Folkard font has achieved near legendary status as one of the most interesting calligraphic title fonts of the contemporary era. It has been enormously popular and appeared on movie titles, book covers, t-shirts and games. However it is not the only [...]
I was watching the television show Sons of Anarchy and on looking at the logo for the show I was struck by the similarity between the lettering used for the name of the titular motorcycle gang and our Posada font. Clearly their lettering derived from that same neo-gothic southwestern tradition. The main differe[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview Edifice is a decorative titling font based on samples of lettering by J. M. Bergling. It has an architectural, constructed look to it. Very well suited to sign and poster design. It's stylish but still readable and clear. Edifice includes a full uppercase charac[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview Slava is based on lettering by legendary Art Nouveau master Alphons Mucha from his later post-Parisian period when he returned to Prague and did a lot of design work in support of the slavic nationalist movement. The letter forms still have many of the characteristics of[...]
Abdiel originated in 2005 as a custom design for a company logo. All they wanted was a few of the letters done in a flourished Renaissance style, but we decided to expand the effort for our own purposes to create a complete font with an expanded character set and lots of flourishes, taking humanist style letteri[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview You may recall a couple of months ago when we had some font samples posted on the page to vote on. Well, the winner of the vote by a significant margin was a sample of lettering by Samuel Welo, and now as promised, it is available as our newest font: Carillon. They f[...]
When we did a font (and a feature article) recently based on a design by Alexander Rodchenko, the result was a very cool font, but while it was based on Rodchenko lettering, it is not the style most associated with his work. The tall thin look of the Rodchenko font is less typical of his work than the heavier,[...]
In an article last week we explored the origins of the font used in Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained and a bit of the history of the Django genre of films. That was part of the process of the development of an original font based on the lettering used in the original Django, a process similar to what was p[...]
In the week leading up to St. Patrick's Day it's all about Celtic design, so our featured classic font has to be something with a Celtic theme. That being the case, there's no better choice than our bold and beautiful Padstow font. It's named after the town with the most famous festival in Cornwall and has a uniq[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview Iphegenia was one of our early designs, a creative advertising script font with a modern, hand-drawn look but regular character forms and a nice even line to it. It has high readability despite its decorative look and works well in combination with a variety of other fo[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Potsdam was one of our earliest font releases, first produced in 1992 based on samples of 19th century decorative German type. It was one of our first fonts designed for MacIntosh computer users and follows the naming convention for Mac fonts of that era, being named after a city. [...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview Cosmic Dude was designed as one of the special original fonts developed for our Modern Poster Fonts package. The character forms are based on samples of hand lettering from a late 1970s rock show poster. The character set includes numbers, punctuation, uppercase letter[...]
It's the time of year when we do a lot of design for political posters and some of those projects need special fonts. On this kind of work we already get a lot of mileage out of fonts like Aventine and Atinson Egyptian, but we needed more diversity and something with a different look. Fonts for campaign posters c[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview Sanhedrin is a decorative futuristic font, which features two distinct sets of different characters and a number of additional special characters. It draws some characters from the Greek alphabet and also has some unusual art nouveau character forms and a strange biblic[...]
At the start of every year we put out a special sampler package of the fonts and art which we released in the previous year at a very low introductory price. It's a great way to try out some of our products. Now it's time to release the sampler for 2013, with a great selection o[more]
While I still think it may be some sort of obscure and premature April Fool's joke, an article called Kerning, Kerning, kerning through the years in the Washington Post presents a mildly humorous presentation of the story of a 14 year old research genius who figured out that switching from a heavier weight font to a li[more]
I'm in Washington DC this week attending Typecon. The Society of Typographic Aficionados official convention. There are all sorts of programs and presentations with notable typographers and designers appearing as speakers. As well as exhibits and new products to see. I'm merely going as a humble attendee because [more]
We've got five designs were considering for out next font. They all fairly similar so we need some help choosing. Which one would you like to see next?[more]
Click any font to see a larger sample. The new second edition of our Arts & Crafts font collection features 15 fonts based on designs from the Arts & Crafts movements of the late Victorian period. They are derived from designs from several branches of the movement, and demon[more]
Every year we try to amuse with some sort of April Fools prank. This year visitors to the site were first greeted by what looked like a hacker takeover, a modest joke, but we've done some even bigger and sillier things in previous years. Here are some examples preserved as best we could. 1998 April Fools Page 1999[more]
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