Restoring the vintage transit maps that I’m now selling in my store is a laborious, time-intensive task, but I think that it’s definitely worth it in the end. The major task is getting rid of blemishes: age spots, ink smears, tears, creases, dirt, dust, and even hair or other fibres that are between the print and the scanning surface. Here’s how I go about things!
I’m very pleased to announce that I’m now offering a range of carefully selected and lovingly restored vintage transit and railroad maps in my shop as an historical complement to my own modern transit map designs.
I found a 1959 map showing Class I railroads in the USA and Canada. The map was beautiful, but what really struck me was the border, which had the logos of the railroad companies featured on the map. It’s not often that you get to see so many contemporaneous historical logos from the same industry, so I cleaned them up in Photoshop to make this poster that showcases them.
In addition to the maps that I sell in my own online store, I also sell prints (and other products like phone and laptop cases) via the print-on-demand service, Society6. One problem with Society6 to date has been making all the photos I have there easily accessible. So it’s with some relief that I note that Society6 has finally implemented “Collections”which at least allows me to group my photos thematically and provide links to them.
While doing research for my recent 1947 Interstate Highways map recreation, I stumbled across some scans of American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO) road sign specifications dated from the 1920s. The very first page has a dimensioned drawing of the then brand new U.S. Highways shield that I find extremely interesting, as it doesn’t quite match the the shield as it actually first appeared on real world signage in 1927.
Having found and digitally restored the fantastic 1926 map of the U.S. Highway system, I started to look around to see if I could find a similar map from the advent of the newer Interstate Highway network. However, all my usual sources came up with either nothing or only low resolution scans — certainly nothing suitable for reproduction. So, what’s a map-obsessed graphic designer to do in this situation? Why, redraw the whole thing faithfully from scratch in Adobe Illustrator, of course!