Sarah Bergquist, California State University, Chico
Finalist, $200

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California Typography Map

California: Typographic Counties

Typically maps that portray the topography of California use Digital Elevation Models or raster data. To sway from these conventional formats I attempted to use letters of small sizes as a ‘pixel’ to show not only the color of the land but also the topography of the land by county names. I did this by spacing the county letters farther apart in areas of lower elevation and closer together in higher elevations. I attempted to show the terrain as true to the human perception of the land.

To begin, I gathered and overlaid 3 datasets: a map of California Counties courtesy of CSU, Chico, an elevation model of California (California Geologic Survey), and a shaded relief map of California made by the USGS. Then in Adobe Illustrator, I went county by county placing the text in the appropriate spacing and coloring each letter to match the colors of the land. The overall product is an 8 x 11 piece of paper filled with text. From a distance the text does not look mumbled, instead it is a field view of the land but up close the viewer can gather more information about which counties have certain topographic features.