I recently worked with Studio Bellytimber to create a new 3D visitor map for the Leeds Industrial Museum. Based inside an old mill between a canal and a river, the Industrial Museum is a tricky building to navigate. The site also includes lots of objects in the grounds outside the Museum and the map needed to show these.
To create the new map I started by looking at previous versions and thinking about what could be improved to make the map easier to follow. One of the main reasons why the building is tricky to navigate is that the main entrance is on the top floor and you can’t see the main mill building as you approach the Museum. So I decided to spin the view of the building around so you can see all of the floors from the best angle.
I made a few rough sketches to get the layout of the building pinned down in my head.
To show the outside of the Museum clearly, I thought a floating box with a separate map of the internal galleries would be the best solution.
I also used the 3D view in Google Maps to get a good look at the building from above and decide on the best angle.
I then opened up Illustrator and set to work on recreating the building in 3D vectors. To do this I made a copy of the 2D site plan from Google Maps and then used the 3D rotate tool to create a perspective I was happy with. I then added the 3D elements by hand using the 3D view in Google Maps to judge the height of the buildings. Here’s the first draft:
I thought showing the internal galleries at the same 3D angle as the external building would make sense, but you can see in the first draft that this doesn’t leave much room for labels on the internal galleries. I then tilted the angle of the building showing the internal galleries and made the floating box much bigger so everything was easier to read.
The final map appears in the centre of a folded leaflet that Museum visitors are given when they arrive.