Designing spontaneously is a wonderful thing. It’s liberating, inspiring and free from any restrictions by concepts or agendas. That’s how my Mapping Stereotypes project started and I am very proud of that fact.
As everything else in life however, spontaneity has a bad side. As your project begins to grow and stretch in time, so does the burden of growing inconsistency and inefficient presentation.
This is why several weeks ago I decided to do a complete overhaul of my stereotype maps. I began with organizing their folder, which contained more than 100 Illustrator files. Half of them were just useless leftovers of a messy workflow.
The second step was to check each map and increase the font size of the country labels where possible. It turned out that there was a lot of space for improvement. The results are amazing – now even the smallest country names are clearly readable, even in postcard format.
In the third phase I re-cropped all maps for better visual consistency. Now their compositions are synchronized and there is no “scale jump” when your eyes go from map to map.
The fourth task was the most tedious of all. Few months ago I decided to split my online ARTSPROJEKT store in two because I felt the popularity of my maps prevented my other artworks from being properly discovered. I created a brand new store in Zazzle called World Atlas by alphadesigner, especially focused on maps and various insignia. From now on, everything related to cartography, geography and vexillology will go directly there. I have included a lot of vintage maps that are in the public domain. I have a wonderful collection which is definitely worth exploring.
Because I couldn’t simply move all the Mapping Stereotypes products to the new store,I had to re-create them from scratch. As every store owner knows, cataloging and publishing products often takes more time than producing them but the sacrifice is definitely worth the time. The Alphadesigner maps collection now has more than 100 products and because of the increased design consistency, I am finally able to expand the product types. For example, in the old store I had only one available binder. The new one offers custom designed and unique binders for each map. Six of them are pictured above, you can go through the remaining 18 by visiting their dedicated store category.
There are even more surprises coming. I only hope I will have the time to write the announcements. :)