I designed a map of Madagascar to enter this year’s AIGA Atlanta Poster show. I chose Madagascar because the unique island nation is home to numerous plants and wildlife that can only be found there. Sadly, many of the animals in Madagascar have become endangered due to the rapid deforestation of the country. My poster highlights a few animals such as the Lemur, Aye-Aye, Comet Moth, and Fossa which are all indigenous to Madagascar.
To research this illustrated map, I spent time reading about Madagascar and reviewing national parks, tourist attractions and the geography of the country. The most challenging aspect of this project was selecting a color palette and creating a system of organization for the map. I selected colors that reflect the geography of Madagascar while trying to limit the number of colors used on the map. The red adds a bright pop of color and directs the viewer’s eye around the map. The white “waves” are a unifying element and add a bit of whimsy and movement to the design. The white is repeated in the actual landmass to represent the central road system. Creating a sense of order while representing the major landmarks, cities, and the habitats of the animals was also quite demanding. That type of problem solving makes map making appealing to me.
The image above is an earlier version of my design. It is interesting to note how much color changes the focal point and emotional feel of the map. In this stage, I had just begun adding vegetation and marking the mountain ranges of Madagascar but I had already established an overall style unlike the example below where I was still experimenting with different typefaces and design details.
All in all, I am happy with my design. I definitely learned a lot in the process.