Final/Part 1: Souvenir State Map

“For this project however, I wanted to elevate the idea of an Australian souvenir range away from your traditional daggy corked hats and boxing kangaroos.
“I wanted the final map to act as a piece of communication that helps inform people on the diversity behind Australia, not just as eye candy. From mountains to cities, rainforest to deserts, the final design is hopefully something that inspires a visit to some of Australia’s lesser known outback gems.” – Jimmy Gleason, Illustrator

Digital illustration provides a visual story. Design a digital illustration of a state in the United States. Begin by researching this state to learn about the state. You will need to identify it’s habitat, native plants, animals, industry, culture, public events and iconic landscape and well known buildings and events.

In Illustrator – Step 1: Find a map of your chosen state. Be sure it is at least 500 x 500 dpi. Save it as File>New. Save as>(yourName)_(State) to a folder on flash drive.

Step 2: File Open> select your state. Duplicate you background layer.  On your second layer begin, using the pen tool. Select the contour of your state.

Step 3: Create another layer. Select areas to be filled in with color designating (either temperature or landscape-topographical). Choose no more than 8 colors in total.


Step 4: Simplify your state into flat color. Colors were assigned to a particular climate/region in order to communicate warmth (red/orange) or coolness (green/neutrals). Save the map as a PhotoShop document and as a .jpg.

Step 5: Create the various “parts” to your map in Illustrator as individual vector art. Keep the designs in their simplest geometric form without compromising their identity. It was important to group each object once completed so they could be scaled or placed easily afterwards.

Add all of the vector art files – knowing that this map will be used for actual information – in areas that are true to that particular area. Having overlaps of these helps add depth.  When adding the flora, develop a “set of trees and shrubs” that can be easily placed in their appropriate areas.

Create the following items and add them to your state map:

1.Three+ distinguishing land forms such as desert, plains, hills, mountains, lakes, rivers, etc.

2.Five+ landmarks an/or attractions such as state fair grounds, space needle, boundary waters, Super-dome, etc.

3.Seven different species of trees, two different species of bush or plants – flora such as blue spruce trees, deciduous forest with maple and birch trees,  blueberry and raspberry bushes, flowering plants such as “brown eyed susans”, etc.

4.Five different fauna such as brown bear and fox, deer or moose, birds and owls, etc.

Step 6: Create a “culturally relevant” border (birch logs for Minnesota, skyscrapers for New York, casino’s for Las Vegas, etc..) to your map.  Create a large iconic “Name of your state” to fill the top or bottom area. Add a “pattern” or “color” behind the map/inside the border.