I've long wanted to attempt an original map design - so the perfect subject for me to try was my homeland of the Outer Hebrides. I chose an angular style - inspired by a "semi modern" 1950's/ 60's vibe. 

I loved using the Offset Path to create the area for "ben day" dots - the ingenious printing and design method devised to shade but saving on expensive inks. The angular island shape was copied and offset to the right and down to create a shadow, with blending mode set to Multiply. A 3rd copy was set on top to prove an outline. On the original I applied a gentle radial gradient.

Map decoration is a great tradition, especially in the "empty" regions such as sea. So to reflect the legacy and character of these historic isles, I drew a Viking longboat inspired by the visually appealing Comhairle nan Eilean Siar emblem. To compliment this history I included a modern reference to the Isle of Harris Cal Mac Ferry, for which I created my own vector artwork. These, along with a grid, were blended with Blend modes into the sea.

To add interest, I decided to divide the islands into their historic Parish boundaries, and labelled them in the traditional Gaelic.

Lewis map test1 80