Maps have many purposes. One of the main reasons people come looking for a map is to decorate a space. People want something to represent their travels, show them the world or simply bring some color into their lives.

Graphic design is a very crucial part of the map-making process. We work with color, graphics, pictures and lots of data. This tutorial gives you a little insight into our world and how one type of map is created.

If you’re not familiar with the graphic design world, this is a quick rundown of what Illustrator is and how a Clipping Mask works.

Adobe Illustrator is a vector drawing program. It is often used to draw illustrations, cartoons, diagrams, charts, and logos.

At this point, you might be asking yourself, “What is a Vector?”

Vector graphics is the creation of digital images through a sequence of commands or mathematical statements that place lines and shapes in a given two-dimensional or three-dimensional space.

I might have lost you at this point. Don’t go anywhere! we promise it’s not as complicated as it sounds.

Let’s start from the beginning.

Step 1:

Pick two images that you want to overlay. Important note: for this to work, the graphic that you want to color in has to be a vector image. This means the graphic has to have been created in Illustrator.  

Step 2:
Open or create the map you want to use.
File > Open

Step 3:
Open the image you want to use as a mask.
File > Place
Place image on top of the map, covering the whole area.

Step 4:
Under the Layers tab, send the color layer to the back by dragging the color to the bottom of the layers.

Step 5:
You need to select the map and the color image.
Select > All

Step 6:
Create a Clipping Mask.
Object > Clipping Mask > Make


Now you have a colorful map that you can proudly hang on your wall, but we get it, sometimes life gets busy. For those moments leave it to the experts, we can create a special map just for you, you can even pick different finishing options.

We want to see your creations! Tag us on Facebook or Instagram, show us your best map.