Earlier this summer I was approached by the Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside. They had started a new project called ‘The Carbon Landscape’ and needed an illustrated map to highlight the region. The Carbon Landscape is a corridor of nature reserves and green spaces situated between the urban areas of Wigan, Salford and Warrington. Formed on the land that was once the thriving centre of the industrial revolution, the area is now home to a wide range of wildlife. In this blog post I’ll talk through how I went about creating the map and the different versions of the design.
To get started I studied the existing map of the area and considered all the different elements that need highlighting from the brief.
Here I’ve picked out the main roads that run through the landscape alongside the rivers, canals and rail lines. I’ve also extended the map slightly beyond the boundary and added a slight amount of perspective.
After pinning down the area the map needs to cover I went through the brief and sketched out the different landmarks and wildlife that were to be added. To keep the map nice and clear I added large icons around the edges of the map.
Feedback from this resulted in a colour change and a couple of changes to the icons. The grey urban areas also needed to be more obvious so it was clear the nature reserves were situated between Cities.
I then worked the sketchy icons up into vector colour artwork and play about with the composition to create an even balance.
Finally I tweaked the colours slightly to bring the map inline with the branding.