Paros is a beautiful and well developed island of the Cyclades Unit, in the middle of the Aegean Sea in Greece. A consortium of local businesses asked me to design a paper map for their island. A map taylor-made for their needs, freely available to their customers.
One side should depict the entire island of Paros, while the other side should host a large scale map focuced at the picturesque settlement of Piso Livadi, where they are located.
We agreed to produce a small layout (width 48xm / height 33cm) in 100gr writting paper and we also agreed to plot on both sides their own suggestions of sightseeings and other businesses for their customers to experience.
I started with designing the extents of the two maps. Side A would accomodate the large scale map of Piso Livadi in a scale of 1:4,000, while Side B would accomodate the map of Paros island in a scale of 1:55,000. I also created for both maps an index reference grid whose values would be used as local coordinates for the suggested sightseeings and businesses.
Next step was to collect my clients’ suggestions. They proposed about twenty businesses on the island, including restaurants, coffee shops and other products/services, as well as a dozen of traditional villages and places of cultural heritage.
I spend sufficient time to transform these suggestions to geographical information. I actually produced a point feature layer which plotted the suggestions at their correct locations and I included all necessary non-geographical information (titles, descirptions, business hours, contact details etc) at the attribute table.
I then visualized this point feature layer on the maps, with a numbered simple point symbol and I passed the values of the attribute table on the layout. I formatted the attributes information in a readable text, separated in paragraphs. One paragraph for each point of interest. This way allowed me to perform any correction directly at the attribute table and consequently save a lot of time, since we made very many changes at the descriptions and other information.
At the end, I had produced a nice numbered list of suggested locations with reference on the map! Super easy for the map reader to either find a location on the map or read about it at its correspondent paragraph.
Having sorted out the most diffucult and essential part of the map making process, it was about time to start designing the actual maps that would serve as basemaps for the points of interest.
For the settlement of Piso Livadi I had to manually digitize the buildings footprints, since they would be visible at the given scale. I combined the buildings footprints with the local roads network to produce a legible map of the urban fabrik and I also included some contour lines to showcase the local geomorphology.
Paros, as all other Cycladic islands, has cute little white houses with blue doors and windows. These white and blue colors in a minimal combination is a distinctive characteristic that I wanted to illustrate on my map. Hence, I made all buildings and roads white with some blue details.
The selection of the hues was not done by accident. I studied my clients’ logos and other elements of their brands, from where I sampled the colors. I then used these colors on my map.
For Side B, once again I wanted to show the most important information in a minimal manner. I didn’t include contour lines to keep the basemap simple and I filtered the shaded relief in Adobe Photoshop to make it look more artistic.
Final touch was the design of a custom North Arrow, which immitates a pattern of the local culture and it also combines the two primary colors of my clients’ brands.
The overall outcome is a minimal, Cycladic-inspired, legible and useful pretty map!