[This is a guest post by Rozemarijn Oudejans*, about her project “Bicycle map”]
As a cartographer I was used to making maps according to clear standards and rules , with very limited room for creativity. When creating a map as a graphic designer there is more freedom to experiment and to push the boundaries of what is considered a map.
This bicycle map I designed for tourists visiting the Reeshof, a neighborhood in the city of Tilburg, The Netherlands. I simplified the map and the route as much as possible – the route is drawn as a straight line. All roads ‘not to be taken’ are depicted as left or right turning side-roads. The thickness of the lines refers to the class of the road (major roads, minor roads, residential roads etc). The bicycle route is a round trip and the route can be followed in both directions.
In the Reeshof, street names are organized by letter. So there is a B-area, where all street names start with a ‘b’, a D-area where all street names start with a ‘d’, an M-area, etc. The letters on the map can be used as additional navigation tool to check if you are still in the right area. The font used is ANWB by Gerard Unger, the same as used for street signs in The Netherlands (ANWB is the Dutch version of the AA).
The map is a “leporello”, or zig-zag fold with seven folds. It can be attached to the handle bars with book rings for easy navigation while bicyling. When removed, the back of the map shows photographs of the Reeshof and infographics containing statistical data on the neighborhood.
The infographics consist of cut-outs in the black and white photographs through which you see the information in color. On the map-side, the cut-outs show part of the photographs, encouraging the user to discover the other side of the map. Only by turning and folding the map, the meaning of the colored ‘blobs’ become clear. In this way, the front and back of the map interact.
The map image was created using spray paint templates, inspired by street graffiti and the way lines on roads are applied.
The project further includes a matching signage system, with text spray painted on the road, and an app with bicycle instructions, which is still under construction and needs to be spray-painted to match the design of the map.
*Rozemarijn Oudejans has an MA in cartography from Utrecht University and is now a third year graphic design student at the Academy of Art and Design St.Joost in Den Bosch, The Netherlands. She is interested in using manual techniques en material experiments to create infographics and maps. You can see more of her work on her website and on Behance.