Map Analysis - Tavernier's Description Du Pays Armorique A Pres Bretaigne (1594)
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Here is a map by Tavernier available from the Library of Congress/Maps section showing how a stippling technique offsets and balances the ocean with the land. The oceanÕs nothingness is visually full of life so that the overall tone of each balance the weight of each other, but are still separated by contrast in texture.
A beautiful addition to maps not often used in today's digital maps is texture. Antique maps that use texture and pattern to great benefit.
Here are some close-ups showing the texture...
The map symbols for cities are lovely to look at. Most keep the viewer's eye focused by maintaining good design principles with a mostly closed form.
Notice how the fewer, but darker, city symbols and labels are equal in visual weight to the ocean, which lacks any object except for the numerous, but lighter in weight, stipples. This creates negative space in land forms. Negative space in graphic design often acts as a resting place for the eye in contrast to busy, visually heavy weighted areas. Thus the eye is drawn away from the ocean to the focus and theme of the map - the land of Bretagne.
Texture is an important consideration in composition and can add a lot of beauty and contrast to a map without increasing its complexity. It also adds connectivity by avoiding unwanted negative space and balancing the weights of different features.
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