Illustrated maps have had a long history that stretches back to centuries. Unlike the traditional map that is usually used for navigation purposes, illustrated maps highlight particular landscape features to illustrate a place. The map illustrator invests a considerable amount of design and creativity in manipulating images from various sources.
Illustrated maps were an unappreciated form of art that thrived in the United States from the 1920s to the 1960s. Many of the pictorial maps were printed on brochures and posters for advertising purposes. Artists were commissioned by state tourist boards and local chambers of commerce to create maps that can lure visitors and businesses to the area. Other maps were created with the goal of appealing to children and spark interest in far-off places.
There were also illustrated maps that were geographically accurate; however, many artists prefer to ignore geography for the sake of simplicity particularly when they are trying to make a point. Playfulness is quite common in pictorial maps because artists want to emphasize the traditional American cheerful optimism. Artists are proud of their communities which is somehow appealing.
Illustrated maps are not suitable for a geography class; they are usually collectibles. The popularity of the pictorial maps reached its peak in the middle of the 20th century when America emerged as a world power. The US economy was revving up and companies wanted a unique form of art that can be used for advertisements.
The popularity of pictorial maps was unaffected by the Great Depression and the Second World War. There were many examples of World War II-era maps in map collections. However, in the 1960s photography took over American advertising. Besides that, many of the well-known illustrators were almost at the end of their careers. Although there are still map illustrators today that can skilfully create pictorial maps, the golden days of the illustrated maps were never recovered.
An artistic map illustration from Rabinky Art can be significantly irresistible because of its uniqueness and simplicity. An illustrated map can tell a complete story about a specific place to capture the attention of an audience. When you hang the piece of artwork in the boardroom, it can become an interesting topic of conversation.