I’m a huge fan of maps. I draw lots of them, and occasionally give them away free on this site. But I’m a bit old school when it comes to my preferences. I love hand drawn maps, but I’m not a fan of digital maps.
Why don’t I like fully digitally created maps? They take just as long as hand drawn ones, and arguably are just as good or sometimes even better looking. For me, purely digital maps look a bit too much like a computer game, and often they look a bit artificial. The really good ones look a bit TOO good. In many ways, they get away from the idea of a pre-tech fantasy world.
But hand drawn maps? They fit the fantasy setting. When I see a good hand drawn map, it invokes warm, fuzzy feelings and feels as if it was drawn by a cartographer on an actual fantasy world. It’s more in keeping with the games I play and the main reason why I will never go ‘full digital’ (I hand draw my maps and then color them digitally in photoshop, but that’s only because I’m an awful painter).
There are a number of old school, hand drawing cartographers out there. Many provide their maps for free or have patreon sites where you can get regular maps for a low price. Here’s a few of my faves:
- Dyson Logos – the granddaddy of b&w hand drawn maps http://www.dysonlogos.com
- Matt Milby – awesome hand drawn and digitally coloured maps http://www.milbysmaps.com
- Jared Blando – high profile professional and the peak of hand drawn mapping https://jaredblando.com/cartography
- Jonathon – another high profile pro. He did the GoT maps. Lots of tutorials, too http://www.fantasticmaps.com
If you like old school, hand drawn maps, check out my own maps at https://www.drivethrurpg.com/m/browser/publisher/13989
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