The majority of commissions are for the custom illustrated map that fulfils a specific brief. A brief can be highly detailed and descriptive, or of a more general description – whatever the nature of the brief further discussion by phone, e-mail or a meeting helps to define the requirements.
Since the launch of the Hand Made Maps website in 2003, the work of the studio has developed an international clientele – many of the projects work through several time zones.
The first stage is to produce a prelimary sketch or rough. Depending on the project this can be a scanned pencil drawing or a digital file – both of these leave opportunity for change, deletion or addition (and spell-check). Prices allow 2 rounds of amendments at this stage (if necessary).
Once all is agreed the final artwork is then produced, scanned and a file delivered digitally.
Pricing is according to the usage of an image. As a guideline we use the Association of Illustrators price structuring for the UK and Europe, for the USA we use pricing structured by the Guild of Graphic Artists. In the first instance the quote would be for a single use licence, beyond this further use can be negotiated. Artwork is quoted on the fixed fee basis this enables the client to understand what the final cost will be.
Clients often remark on the large range of be approaches and ‘styles’ in the Hand Made Maps portfolio. This is due to several factors.
Firstly, that style is basically the mixing of technique and content, (not fashion-led).
Take for example, the BBC History map of Scott’s Antartic Expedition - the artwork was made from table salt, the sea being a turquoise dye that soaked across salt ‘coastline’ by capillary action, mimicking the effect of sea water and the ice seen from above. Then the artwork was photographed in the studio; the lettering superimposed in Photoshop.
This leads to a second principle, the emulation of the surface of the earth. Over the last 100 years, the photography of the earth’s surface has produced an infinite variety of beautiful images, all governed by chance effects of elements interacting. It is these effects that we try to incorporate in the the work, if possible – the visual description of a particular location through the use of surface texture and colour
Thirdly, the illustrated map artworks are a combination of three traditional skills – map-making, objective drawing and hand-lettering. Although based in these traditional techniques, the over-all effect is not one of nostalgia but is creatively applied within 21st Century design. The resulting variety of artwork can be seen throughout the gallery pages on the site.
Having produced artwork for the last 20 years (and sometime before that), we would like to thank all those who have offered work to Hand Made Maps Ltd. Without creative commissioning, none of this could have happened. All the best results come from a meeting of minds where creative sparks are allowed to happen – so thank you to the art directors/editors/buyers/private clients, who have commissed Hand Made Maps, for playing an important role in what can be seen in the Gallery section.