Saturday, 3 October 2015

Map of Leeds

At the beginning of last week we were briefed in groups in order to design a map of Leeds. We also needed to place some buildings in the map and we had absolute creative freedom. That afternoon I decided to do a little bit of research and get some maps as ideas and inspiration for the group. I found out that the maps I most liked were colour based, shape based and text based.

Some examples:

Yuri Alexander typographic map of Tacoma, Washington

Ed Fairburn woman's head shaped map of Amsterdam, Netherlands

Bert Spaan colour based map of Amsterdam, Netherlands

I also mentioned a Facebook page I have been following for some time now called I fucking love maps, which I consider an excellent source of information and inspiration. My contributions were very welcome but another peer brought onto the table an idea that seemed to be liked by most of the others, so the decision was almost unanimous. It was a handmade map by the designer Kate Hyde:

Kate Hyde's map of Hackney, London

To make it fair we put all the names of the buildings in my hat (without the hat it would have not been the same) and I had to design the Craft Centre and Design Gallery facade, as it was stated we all needed to draw the buildings. We also had to design something else for the maps in order to make it more vibrant, coloured and with more information. So I decided to draw a bus stop to bring more colours to the map.
The drawings are based on photographs and they were done using Adobe Photoshop and a drawing tablet outlining the edges without precision. I started designing the Craft Centre from a photograph I was able to find on internet, using pieces of art from exhibitions shaped like the windows, creating a building that looked more like a collage. I was not quite happy with the result because the combination of textures did not fit in the style we were looking for. When I drew the bus stop I was quite happy with the quirky and cartoonish result, so I decided to do the same to the building this time. I could not find a picture from the right angle on internet, so that same day I headed to town to take a picture of the building with the best possible angle, always keeping the map layout in mind.

It was a necessary experience to work in a group where their ideas were very different from mine and where I had to adapt my skills to make them fit in the best way I could. I believe that there was a little bit of lack of communication in the group and the result was affected by that, as it could have been more detailed and vibrant, but sometimes it is difficult for me to know if I am crossing the line of being bossy or not. I decided to stay at the same level of communication where the others were to work as an equal, as the deadline was going to be soon and I said to my self that getting the work done was the most important goal to reach in that moment rather than trying to sell a different idea to 5 people.

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