Maps are one of the most effective ways to communicate spatial information, especially about unfamiliar areas. As a business owner, you may need to create a map when you hold an event or if you run a destination business. For example, a map can help guests navigate a trade show or find a wedding venue.
However, creating a map on your own can be difficult. In addition to the basic information about the area, such as street names, you must also consider what other information to add, how to effectively convey your message and the best way to reproduce and distribute the finished map. In this blog, we list five tips to help you create your own map.
1. Consult With a Professional
The first step when creating a new map for a commercial purpose is to consult with a professional. You may not need the expertise of a career cartographer, but you will need the equipment and services provided by a marketing service, like Flottman Company.
You may also need marketing recommendations because, like any other print materials related to your business, a map is a component of your overall marketing strategy.
2. Decide What to Mark and How to Do So
As you begin designing the map itself, visit the property, reference any existing maps or floorplans and make a list of which landmarks your clients might consider important. For example, entrances and exits are essential for indoor venues, while these marks may not be as important for an open fairground.
Once you know what you want to include on the map, think about how you’ll mark those specific items. Consider using color, symbols and other recognizable images to make your map readable in a glance. Currently icons are playing a big roll in mapping. You’ll also want to include a legend for anyone unfamiliar with the indicators you use. Remember less is always more – rank your "marks" and keep only the most important ones. Ask for a second opinion to help narrow the scope.
3. Determine Your Map’s Scale
Your map will be most effective if it focuses on the landmarks that matter most to your clients. For example, if you run a rustic venue on an acre of land, you won’t necessarily want to cover the whole acre in a single map. Instead, make the buildings the center of the map.
As you consider scale, be sure to check what the map looks like at different sizes. If you try to include too many individual markers or too large an area, the map will look muddled and confusing when printed small.
4. Include Branded and Recognizable Images
As we mentioned in section one, your map is a navigation tool – but it’s also an important marketing tool. Consider the images you want your clients to see and how you want them to feel about those images.
You may only need to include your logo in the corner of the map or for a trade show you may want to include each of your vendor’s logos over their booths.
5. Think About Your Printing Needs
Once you finish the map, consider your printing needs. If the map is for a specific event or is a permanent navigation guide, you will certainly include a version of it on your website and be sure to view the map with your phone too.
You will also need to provide printed copies that individual clients can reference themselves. Will you send these with invitations? Pass a map out with each ticket? Have an information booth with extras? The number of maps you need printed will likely be higher than the number of clients you anticipate visiting at any given time. At Flottman Company, with our miniaturefolding expertise, we can assist you in folding your map from a table top version to a pocketable "carry with".
Use these guidelines to ensure that your event or property map is clear, readable and helpful for your clients, regardless of the industry you work in.
For marketing, printing and folding recommendations of your map, trust Flottman Company.