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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.

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