Along with my longstanding love of alphabet books and typography, I have had a life-long fascination with maps. When I decided that it would be fun to participate in a book swap on the bookartsforum with the theme of “my town”, a map-based book seemed the obvious choice.
I purchased a copy of a planning and development map for the city of Saskatoon (I live just south of the city) for a nominal fee, and created the kind of map/brochure that one gets in places like national parks and other tourist destinations.
I wrote short pieces of text about my house and my neighbourhood, and about the things to be found there. I included photographs of plants and birds and animals, and the scanned pages from a birdwatcher’s field guide on which we have recorded species identified on our property and the year first seen. I used aerial photos of our property, and pictures (taken from the then-new railway overpass) of stages in construction of the commercial development springing up between where I live and the rest of the city.
I also added a second Legend to the pre-printed side of the map, and used coloured stars and stickers to indicate places of personal importance in the city.
The original map came as a large roll of paper twice the width of my printer. I wanted the sheet to fold into an odd number of sections so that it would have the standard proportions of a commercial map, with part of my printed side as the top page when the cover was opened.
This meant multiple folding and re-folding of the sheet and careful alignment in the printer each time so that the columns would print correctly. I did several test prints, and in the end the spacing worked out at least as neatly as commercially printed pamphlets usually do! (Have I mentioned how much I hate ‘learning experiences’?)
The map closes with a traditional map fold — accordion fold, then fold in thirds — and is mounted in a two-flap cover held closed by an interlocked strip.
As a bonus for this week, here’s a hand drawn copy of the oldest map of Jerusalem from Maggie Koerth-Baker’s new blog.
And for all of you involved in the book arts, Happy Wayzgoose!