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implied lines problem

by JuliannaKunstler.com

Represent the part of the Earth that you live on.

Make it your personal map that shows your daily route from point A (school) to point B (home).

Consider a few stop points on the way home (gas station, practice, grandparents, friends, coffee shop, store, etc.).

Think beyond traditional map, but incorporate elements like a legend, a compass, visual topography, landmarks and points of interest.
Use implied lines to show the route you take.

Consider the speed you are moving with, feelings that you have at that part of the route, etc. No limitations here.

There are 4 steps to this project:

  1. research
  2. sketch
  3. design
  4. execute

You are about to tell your story!!!



step 1: research

Locate your START point (school) on a map.

Find the END point and stops you make on the way home.

Connect the points.

You do not need to be very detailed here.

Consider landmarks and places of interest that are close by.

Think of speed you are moving with, time, feelings and emotions you have at different parts of the route.

You might not use all of this information later, but you never know..

step 2: sketch

If you draw a straight line through the middle of your map - which side of it will be you START and END points?

Or may be you need to draw a horizontal line?

Mark your STOP points

Think of how to form your path.

Use symbols (footprints, cars, tiers, confetti, candies, circles, lines, ants, stars, etc..) to create implied lines that will map your movements during your way.

Mark landmarks and points of interest.

Later you will use actual photographs and cutouts or drawings/symbols for these places.

step 3: design

Use your first layout sketch as a reference now.

Take another worksheet and start designing!

Actually, you can take as many worksheets as you want to try out different ideas and designs.

Things to consider:

  • Do not try to copy the actual map - you are creating a design based on the map.
  • You can omit some of the elements
  • You can simplify elements and make them abstract
  • You can make your elements detailed and elaborate if you wish so
  • Use negative space in your design
  • You can add other people's (animals) tracks if you want
  • Exaggerated proportions - this map is not about miles - it's about your day and life. Make design balanced.
  • Come up with your own compass image. If you need to use a different view (other than North being at the top of the page) for you design - don't forget to rotate the compass as well.
  • Be creative designing your path (footprints, cars, tiers, confetti, candies, circles, lines, ants, stars, letters, words, snowflakes, tear drops, coffee beans, etc). Anything to fit the purpose.

Consider simplifying the lines and shapes.

Make them more interesting.

Proportions do not matter now. Good design is you main focus.

Think of symbols to use for your points.

They can be complex, funny, symbolic, realistic, a photograph.

You might rethink the layout a few times to better fit the composition. That's fine. Move things around!

Think of symbols to design your paths. They should be meaningful!

Try to have fun with it.

step 4: execute

Execute you design using Adobe Illustrator.

If you rather do it on paper or board - that's fine too. If you want to do it half and half - go for it!

Download the work file.

Open it.

Here are the tools that you will be using:


select, move, rotate, resize objects (shapes, lines, text, etc.)

direct selection

select and edit parts of objects (corners, points, etc.)


draw shapes


draw lines


select fill type & color and stroke (outline) type & color

Panels (settings)


If you don't see it - go to the Menu bar:

Window > Swatches

text settings

If you don't see it - go to the Menu bar:

Window > Type > Character

Create the "backdrop" for your story.

Each shape should have a meaning.

In my example:

Grey lines represent streets, blue rectangle - water.

If you need to add an image - search for pictures with transparent background. Add "transparent, png"to your image search.

convert images

If you want to use an image that does not have a transparent background - look for black-and-white image.

Paste it onto your map.

Make sure it stays selected.

From the Menu Bar:

Object > Image Trace > Make and Expand

Use Direct Selection tool.

Click on white background.


Now you have an isolated shape that you can edit.

Select your new shape. Click on Default Colors button in the Tools Box.

If you want - you can change colors now.

duplicate shapes

Duplicate shapes without Copy/Paste command.

Use Selection tool.

Hold Alt/Option key and drag your shape.

implied lines

Start forming your path based on your sketches and design concepts.

You can add or remove shapes as you work to improve the design.

As you see, at this point I added a few circles to represent lakes.

adding photos

You can use any shape as a "cutter" for your photo.

You will need to have some unity and consistency in your design.

If you want to create a custom made "cutter" - follow the steps below.

Start with placing a photograph onto your map.

Resize it if needed.

Use Shape tools and start drawing shapes to form your "cutter".

The shapes should cover the part of the image that you want to bee seen.

Now you need to combine all shapes.

Use Selection tool and select all shapes (hold Shift for multiple selection).

Open Pathfinder palette (Window > Pathfinder).

Click on the first button:

This will unite the selected shapes.

Select both: your new custom shape and the photo.

From the Menu Bar:

Object > Clipping Mask > Make

Now you have your photo inside the shape that you created.

You can edit it if you need to or return to the original photo (Object > Clipping Mask > Release).

Continue working on the design.

If at some point you will realize that the design looks too cluttered, you can start simplifying some elements.

Continue improving your design.

...more to be added later...