2.7 Locator Maps
In today’s lesson, I will teach you about Locator maps. Locator maps are used, well, to locate something. Something that’s newsworthy, that’s going to happen somewhere, or has already happened somewhere. They can be used to locate something that may be unfamiliar to the reader and provide a larger context. They can be really simple or more complex. So, let’s learn to make them right!
- Don’t use really saturated colors
- If possible, put the map in a larger context: If you’re designing for a local paper, your readers probably know where things are in town, but consider using an inset with a broader view. You don’t have to use the entire world, but enough information to orient the reader.
- Be consistent with your colors and styles: Don’t make the reader work hard to understand your map. Taking the time to set up a template will not only ensure consistency, it will save you loads of time.
- Always use a directional maker and a scale: Most of the time we assume that north is at the top, but it’s always a good idea to indicate this on your map. A scale adds valuable information as to the size of the area depicted in the map and the relative distances between locations. A scale isn’t always mandatory, but you have to learn when you can’t leave them out!
- Use a Key or legend when necessary: Again, don’t make readers do any unnecessary work trying to interpret your map.
- Simplify! Your job as a designer is to convey the information as cleanly and quickly as possible. Keep the relevant, essential elements, and get rid of the rest.