Join Nigel French for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating the map, part of Designing an Invitation.
As I mentioned, I want to include a map in the invitation. And for the map, I'm just going to adapt and simplify a Google Map. I want to distill the information down to only the pieces that are absolutely relevant to our guests, which in our case is really which exit they need to take from the freeway. We're stripping away anything superfluous and we're making this into something like a transit map. It doesn't need to be to scale, nor does it need to be topographically accurate. It just needs to show the relevant bits in relation to the other relevant bits.
So let's start with a screen capture, on the Mac, that's Command+Shift+4 and then just drag around the area that is relevant to us, which is that. Then, I'm going to switch to InDesign where I'm going to draw a frame and this frame will contain the map. But I'm drawing it now because I want to know what size it is, 22 picas x 27 picas. I'm now going to switch over to Illustrator. Here's the finished version of the original invitation.
I'm now going to recreate something like this. Command+N or Ctrl+N and I'm going to type in the dimensions of my artboard, 22 picas x 27 picas and then I'm going to place that screen capture. Let's zoom out and size and rotate this. I want the map to be vertically oriented so Route 101, the major freeway that runs through the map, pretty much goes from North to South in a straight line.
As well as rotating it, I'm also going to scale it, just making sure I've got all the relevant information on there. Now before I lock the layer that contains the map, I'm going to use the map to sample some colors. I'll sample the blue of the sea and I will add that to my swatches. I'll make it a global color. I'll also sample the deep yellow of the freeway. Same thing, make it a global color. And this beige color that is applied to the land, like so.
I'll make it a global color. Now on the Layers panel, I'll lock that layer, create a new layer above it, onto which I can create my artwork. And the first thing I'll do is, using the Pen tool is draw the outline of the coast, like so. I'll pan up here, and then close it. Then I'll switch to my Rectangle tool, I'll draw a rectangle, the exact size of the artboard.
Fill that with the blue of the ocean and send that to the back, Command+Shift+[. So that I can continue to see the detail on the original map, I am going to now change Layer 2 to Outline view by Command+ clicking on its visibility eyeball, like so. I'll now choose the Line tool and draw myself a straight line to indicate the freeway.
I'm now going to deselect that line by Command+clicking away from it and choose my Pen tool. I'll zoom in where we have the freeway exit. I'm going to create a spur, like so and then I'm going to create a road that runs adjacent to Route 101 which is Via Real and that is the address of the location. And that's going to continue up here beyond this other exit.
I'm now going to deselect again by Command+clicking away from that path and create one more road, like so. I'm holding down the Shift key and selecting those different paths. I'll zoom out. I'll make sure I'm on my Stroke property and I'm going to make the color of the stroke yellow. Come to the Stroke panel and I'm going to make the weight of the stroke 12 points except for the major freeway, which I'll go back and select by itself and I'm going to make that 24 points.
Now let's see how this looks when I turn Layer 2 back to Preview. So I think 24 points is perhaps a little bit on the heavy side, so let's take that down a little bit and this corner here, I would like to be a rounded corner so I'll select that segment and apply a rounded joint to that. So I now need to add in the names of the roads. I can continue to work on Layer 2. I could perhaps make a new layer for this though, let's do that.
Let's create a new layer for the type. I'll set Layer 2 back to Outline view. Make sure that I'm actually on the Type layer and click with my Type tool. And I'm going to use Myriad Pro for this. Rather than the Clarendon that I'm using elsewhere, Myriad Pro is just going to be a little bit more legible, I think, at small sizes. So that's going to move down there and I'm going to then duplicate that by holding down the Alt key and dragging away from it, zoom in, go to my Type tool and once again duplicate that and this one is going to be Exit 85.
I will zoom out and then down here, we have Exit 84. I'm going to switch to my Star tool to create a star that will mark the actual location. Fill that with red. One more road name and that one is Via Real, which needs to be rotated through 180 degrees. And then we need to indicate the freeway, and for this I am going to come to my Symbols panel and open up the Maps symbols and use this US Highway sign.
I'll drag that over like so. I'm going to break the link to this symbol so that I can make its stroke black as opposed to red. And then above it, to start with, I'll just add in that type 101. Let's make that bold. I'm then going to move it and also in this case I'm going to apply some negative tracking to bring the characters closer together, position and scale that as necessary.
I'll then highlight both of those, group them together. I'll pan over here and that can move into position. I think I can now safely return to the Layers panel and make Layer 2 into Preview view mode by Command+clicking right there and then we can adjust a few things. I'm also going to, over here in the ocean, write the actual address.
This has inherited the very tight tracking from the previous piece of type which I don't want it to have so I'm going to remove that. And then finally, I think it would help if we just had some directional arrows. I'm going to create one there, and I'm going to give this a black stroke, and we'll make it a 3 point black stroke. I'm going to add arrowheads to it. I'm going to change the Scale of those arrowheads to 50% and then we need a bit of type to go with that.
I'll borrow that piece that's already there just by Alt and dragging away from it, highlight it, type in, "To Santa Barbara." Then I'll duplicate that, move that down here. Select the arrow, rotate it through 180 degrees. I'll drag that over, like so, and change the type, and there is our map.
I do need to just turn off the original tracing layer and we could also refine it by adding a clipping mask. So I'm going to select the blue rectangle, which I will then copy and paste in front, Command+F and Bring to Front, Command+Shift+] and then on Layer 2, I can use this option, Make/Release Clipping Mask.
That layer will use the topmost object to clip the contents of that layer. So I'm now going to save this and I'm going to save it as newmap. I'll click OK. Now switch back to InDesign. where I have my frame selected and I can choose Find and Place, or Command+D or Ctrl+D. I saved it in the wrong place. Let me just go and move that, I meant to save it into the Exercise Files.
So now I'm going to move it into the Exercise Files and then come back to InDesign, newmap, and it will go exactly into position in that frame. And just one last refinement, I think I want to make the type to be oriented to the bottom of the map rather than the top. So I'll select this, Object > Text Frame Options, and align it to the bottom. And so that that looks better, I'm going to choose High Quality Display as my Display Performance.
So there we have our map, adapted from a Google Map, simplified and traced in Illustrator and then placed into our InDesign document.
- Looking at type choices
- Creating a digital letterpress effect
- Adding text and images
- Creating alternate versions of your invitation