Illustrated Festival Maps – Sanam Luang

Sanam Luang in Bangkok, Thailand, is home to the Thailand Kite Festival. Vasuphon Sanpanich has created a gorgeous illustrated map of the festival. The map shows local landmarks, and gives an overview of the area where the festival is held.
Information about the festival is written in the area around the main park on the map, highlighting that it’s the Traditional Sport of Thailand, and that the celebration involves song, prayer, and the Royal Ploughing ceremony.
The map shows quite clearly what happens at the festival. Participants can be seen flying kites, taking part in prayers, playing games, and enjoying other festivities. The map has a hand-drawn appearance, with bright colours and cartoonish people that are somewhat reminiscent of characters from The Simpsons.
As an example of how an illustrated map could work as an advertisement, Sanpanich’s work is outsanding. The message presented is that the festival is fun for all the family, with plenty of things for people of all ages to enjoy.
The water areas are represented by the familiar two-tone waves that are commonly used in modern illustrated maps. The Royal Garden is lined with bushes, and the vehicles on the road are abstracted just like children’s toys.
Abstraction is an important part of all illustrated campus maps. When a map is made too detailed, it becomes difficult to look at, and if you’re trying to get across a general point, such as “The Royal Garden will be home to a festival, where many activities will take place”, then that point is lost in the details. It takes an incredibly skilled artist to be able to find the perfect balance between abstraction, aesthetics, and clarity.
The only thing that could be considered to be missing from this particular map is a smaller traditional map that explains how a visitor could get to the Royal Garden.

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