Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The White Forest of Iorden: a map commission

The White Forest of Iorden, a map commission by D.N.Frost for The Once and Future Nerd Part 3 of a series.
This post is Part 3 of a series to augment the Fictional Cartography by D.N.Frost available for free download. Start with Part 1 here.

This and other map commissions are gathered in my Portfolio Directory for you to explore.

Find more guest-inspired content in my Guest Directory.

With the project in full swing after Part 1 of this series, I encouraged Zach and Christian to be as picky and opinionated as possible. That's the best way to get a great map that really represents the spirit of an invented world. They asked for some color adjustments for the northern desert and southern ice, and they asked for the South Sea to be more rugged and broken up.

They also had a few other coastline adjustments, tweaking the areas that would become river deltas and adding a nice harbor where the town of Seahold would be. Finally, they asked me to soften the mountain transition from the western peaks to the broken stones and hills further east. After I got all the topography edges smoothed out, I added in some smaller mountains to show how the large mountains tumble into broken rock.

Check out this Fictional Cartography by D.N.Frost for more maps!

WIP Image: The White Forest of Iorden, a map commission by D.N.Frost for The Once and Future Nerd Part 3 of a series.
With the topography done, I perused the TOAFN font set and selected a legible italic font with some cool distress around the letters.

It was time to tackle the White Forest challenge.

Zach and Christian envisioned huge trees for their home of the elves, with bright silvery trunks that give the forest its name.

To represent the unique strangeness of this forest, and I played with my silver embossing technique from the cover art for Broken. I came up with some cool tree trunks in silver, but they looked weird and out of place on the map. I enlarged the forest symbols to give the trunks more room, but it still looked off.

My final solution was to apply silver embossing to the label itself. This made the silver more prevalent and obvious, helping make the tree trunks stand out as unique and beautiful, rather than awkward and unrelated to anything else on the map. Then I sent this render to the TOAFN team for feedback on the silver technique.

That's it for this post! Up Next: The towns and rivers of Iorden...

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1 comment:

  1. Hello there! My name is D.N.Frost, and I'm a fantasy author, cartographer, and world-builder. My love for storytelling drives me to build the Known World, map its lands, and tell its tales. Let me send you my free ebook at!


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