To Draw a Map in Illustrator appears to be very complicated but with this technique, it can be really simple to create. You only have to be careful to create the layers for each individual step.

Creating your own maps is great because you can customize them according to your project and you don’t have to worry about the copyrights.

How to Draw a Map in Illustrator?

Step 1 Create the principal avenues

a) Draw the principal avenues. Make sure your path is set to have a stroke but no fill. Use the pen tool to draw the lines.

b) Select al the lines and set a big stroke. For this map, I’m using 22pt.

c) Duplicate the layer. Lock the original layer and in the duplicate change the color of the stroke to yellow.

d) Reduce the stroke of the yellow path; in this case, we are using 16 pt.

It is very important to name your layer so you don’t get lost


Step 2 Create the secondary roads

a) Create a new layer and repeat steps all the process using smaller values and a white color instead of white.

b) In this example, we are using 16pt to the black path and 11pt for the white path.

Draw a Map

c) Order your layers. You should order it this way:

1. Principal Roads Yellow

2. Secondary Roads White

3. Principal Roads Black

4. Secondary roads Black

Step 3 Create the background Detail

In this step create the large areas as parks, buildings, landmarks, etc. This should be a layer behind all the Road layers.

Step 4 Add the road names.

a) Duplicate the Principal yellow Road and name it text principal

b) Lock all the other layers

c) Click on the road with the text tool, this will create a line text that follows the path

d) When placing the text adjust the baseline. In the character panel, adjust it so its place in the middle of the path.

e) Add all the street names.

Draw a Map

Now you can add some effects, for example in the principal roads add a little shadow.

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Javier Cantero

Javier Cantero