So the other day I saw this delightful teaser tweet about an upcoming Lord of the Rings series on Amazon Prime.
It’s a beaut. Clearly a take-off from the Christopher Tolkien illustrated map in the sleeves of hardcover LOTR books (including my well-worn set), but with a bit more details in the features. And because this map was made by a print designer for a studio, regarding high fantasy, it naturally has a sweet weathered and creased paper texture.
I thought I’d like to create a similar sort of resource for cartographers so I grabbed a sheet of old drawing paper, tattered it up, rubbed a bit of olive oil into it, and folded it into map panels and scratched up the creases.
In PhotoShop I cleaned and cropped and magic-wanded out the background. A world-weary sheet of thick paper or velum or parchment (whatever you decide it looks most like) to sit below map content:
I also created an overlay image masked at the edges and creases, otherwise transparent. This is the image you plop over your map.
You can download the images and use for whatever you like (no restrictions, have at them). I also made versions with a black, rather than white, background if that’s what you need. Download all the images here (34MB zip file).
In your map, just sandwich cartographic content between these two images, like so. You can see that stacking in the table of contents at left, and the resulting map, in this image:
If you are an ArcGIS Pro user, then you can download my (yikes, really big) source project file here.
The map style used here is called Pirate (if you can believe it), which you can download here.
The majority of the layers come from Moriarty Hand.
4 thoughts on “Tattered Map Sandwich”
This is fantastic! I love this style. And thank you for sharing! I made a map for my company using this style, and it has been a massive hit. They joke that every map I make from now on will need to be a treasure map.
Thanks Lindsy! That tattered map overlay image has had a pretty good run so far. I’m always excited to see it pop up in folks’ maps. I’d love to see how you used it!
Thanks as always for sharing this wonderful content. I finally got around to trying this and the Middle Earth styles out. I discovered the two blend well together (try overlaying the water from Pirate over the water from ME, or one of the greens from Pirate over the trees from ME). Finished it off with the folded paper texture from Living Atlas, the map will make a handsome cover photo for our organization’s Portal.