Welcome to Map Practical, where the cartography gets done. These are the cartographic trenches, the domain of greasy hands, busted knuckles, and sore mouse fingers. This is the home of techniques, tutorials, and tricks of all things map. Here’s how we do it;
your job is to make it look good!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Graphic Styles in Illustrator

Well the masters is finished and it’s time to start the blog up again! In honor of my first cartography lab as an adjunct professor, here’s a quick lesson in setting up graphic styles in Illustrator. Graphic styles allow the cartographer to quickly style raw data exported from a GIS or other source. In production workflow, were each map has a related theme, or all maps for a project need to have a consistent look, styles function as a continuity template that ensures symmetry throughout a project. They also form a solid basis for alteration and experimentation of one-off maps. A word of warning needs to be inserted; cartographers that use the same master template to begin each map, tend to always produce maps that look the same. Therefore, you must force yourself to constantly create new styles, modify existing ones, and combine various styles from different projects. The benefit of styles is that you can recreate the look of a map quickly, and then move beyond the original without having to spend countless hours relearning techniques. For those that prefer to read it, here is a short and sweet tutorial. Enjoy!

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