Tutorial #2: Creating a map with Illustrator

Hi readers! My next post involves something quite simple that is really useful in our daily lives, especially when we are lost in a city! Whether it is finding metro stations, restaurants, shops etc, maps are the most useful form of aid for direction. In this post I will show you the steps to make a map of your own, this way you can help your friends find the way to all your house parties. This tutorial was originally taken from Spoon Graphics.

Step 1: Open a new file (I chose 1000×1000 pixels) and proceed to make a line (hold shift to keep it straight!) with the Line Segment Tool (L). Make the stroke thick enough that it looks nice and visible.

Step 2: Now select your line and press command + F, this will duplicate your line right where it is so you won’t see it until you change the settings. Make your new line white and set the stroke to a lower width than the first one. It should look like the image above.

Step 3: As the image above describes, you will select all of your object and go to Window > Brushes.

A new window will pop up and show you the pre-set brushes. Go as directed in the image above and click on New Brush…

Make sure the settings are the same as the ones shown above, then press ok!

Step 4: You will repeat steps 1-3 but now choosing different colors, as to differentiate the roads. Keep in mind to make some thinner to separate the small roads from the main roads too. Note: I changed the color of my main road from blue to purple, because it looked better to me, so play around with the color scheme! Make it appealing.

ALSO: Notice that I now have circles of the same colors as the respective roads right? These will be the markers of important stops, like bus or metro stops. You can do these by choosing the circle tool and have them with fill and stroke colors that match those of your roads. You don’t need to make these into brushes, just have them available so you can copy and paste them around the map.

Step 5: So now work on a blank space on your file, make a lined square with no fill and press command + 2 in order to lock it, so it won’t move around and bother while we place the roads. Now begin by making a curvy line with the pen tool (P). Select the whole thing and then click on the road brush of your choice.

Step 6: Now simply select your line, and click on the road brush of your choice on the brushes tab. I chose the main road.

Step 7: Now indicate the stop with the circles we created before. Also, it’s good to write the road name and stop number/name for better understanding of your map.

Step 8: I followed steps 5 and 6 once more but with my secondary road. Because the main road should always be on front. I right-clicked my second road and arranged so that it’d be sent back, as shown in the image above.

Step 9: Repeat steps 5 and 6 again, now indicating the smaller roads, and you’ll have something like this image. Looking nice huh? Also, don’t worry if the lines are over the square, we will get rid of them in the next step.

 Step 10: Okay, so to get rid of all of those unnecessary lines, I first unlocked our outlying square (command + 2), and copy pasted another square in the same position. Then selected everything with command + A, and followed to click Object > Clipping Mask > Make. 

Ta-da! Easy right? Do not hesitate to ask any questions/problems that you may have. Thank you for reading!

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