The Map Design Toolbox: Time-saving Templates for Graphic Design includes a handy DVD with over 600 illustrated vectors. It can be used in a myriad of ways, and so many more that I haven’t thought of yet.
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Gestalten kindly sent us a copy of The Map Design Toolbox: Time-saving Templates for Graphic Design to try out and review. It was authored by Alexander Tiberius, and Stilton publishing and is quite unique.
It should be noted that the vector images in this book/DVD will not work on their own (they are EPS files); you will need to use the illustrations with another software program. I am not positive, but Indesign may possibly work. I only currently have Photoshop Elements, and the files do not work for me. I have found a bit of a slow and clunky work-around which I will not share this point because I am sure there are other better ways to do that, but I just wanted to let you know that if you aren’t a graphic designer by trade, you may not have the required software to simply open and go.
With that out of the way, I’ll continue with what is included in this book and some of the ways you could use it. This is an open and go book that contains everything that you will need (excluding the image software). The DVD has 640 vector files that include continents, countries, cities, maps, and fun icons such as buildings, place names, pirate characters, different cultural icons like human illustrations, food, and things unique to each place.
The easiest way to use this toolbox is to flip through the book and choose the vectors you would like to use, then use the item number to quickly find the corresponding vector on the DVD and layer up and design the maps of your dreams.
There are full world maps that include time zones, countries, cities, regions, ocean currents, and climates. You can build your own maps by layering different vectors; one really fun thing for children would be to create their own pirate treasure map… X mark the spot! Add in boat anchors, a scull and crossbones, and you’ll have great birthday invitations or a summer holiday treasure hunt prepared for a slow afternoon.
Design a dream vacation; perhaps on the beach, add a towel, sun lotion, an airplane and a passport. If your child enjoys fairy tale castles, why not bring up a castle on the screen in a European or Asian style and add some characters to it. Load up a city map and use things such as light houses, windmills, power plants, ice cream trucks, or cable cars. All these things are possible.
France shows a map of the different regions of France and gives a little information about the country; its area, population, and time zone. Things such as the Eiffel Tower are right are in there. There is further information on Paris’ district quarters within the city, too, so learn a little as you create.
This book could be used in many ways
The Map Design Toolbox can be used in many ways, for a wide range of people.
- For geography (of course)
- Cultural learning
- Making birthday invitations in a particular theme
- Learning the wonders of the earth
- Create classroom projects
- Complete classroom assignments
- And certainly a lot more; don’t put barriers on your imagination!
By putting these illustrations together in so many different ways, whether they are used with the maps or separately, it’ll just be so much fun.
As a person who loves maps myself, if I’d had something like this as a child (mind you, that was before most homes had a computer), I would have been the happiest person to be able to create my own. If you or your children are into design, geography, or cartography in particular, give this book a try.
I would love to see some real life examples, so if you’d had the pleasure to use the Map Design Toolbox, please share a couple of your designs with me!