Mythical Creatures & Mesmerising Detail - Our Latest Map Takes On A New Light
As a mapmaker, Marcus has spent much of the last decade looking down. Nothing strange about that; streets, seas and landmasses tend to be represented from a bird’s-eye view. But a particularly gruelling data-crunching session of an urban grid area got him pining after something that was rather more…out of this world.
As anyone who finds themselves in a bind might do, Marcus raised his eyes to the sky in search of inspiration. And that’s when he realised he was staring his next project straight in the face.
Many moons ago, Celestial Maps were bursting with mythical creatures and mesmerising details, turning the night sky into a fanciful realm of mystery and intrigue. But the star maps available on the high street today show nothing more than a cluster of lines and dots. Marcus was moved to try to bring back a sense of wonder to the star map.
It was then that he stumbled across some original 17th century illustrations of the constellations by one Johannes Hevelius.
A Polish brewer-turned-astronomer, Hevelius is mostly known for mapping the topography of the moon. His original drawings would have been engraved in copper, so Marcus scanned the prints and then set about exhaustively cleaning and retouching the images digitally ourselves. Slowly but surely, the illustrations were matched to the map data and slotted in amidst nebulae, star clusters and galaxies.
As with all our maps the colour selection was very important. We went all-out with a 7-colour print to lift the detailed data from out of the midnight blue background. The constellations are highlighted in fluo ink and 3 different metallics bring out the shimmer effect of the stars.
There is something so special about gazing up at the stars on a clear night. Our Celestial Map aims to reinstate some of that lost charm to inspire dreamers and realists alike to study the night sky. Can you spot the leg of a Gemini twin, or a Serpent’s tail? We’ll see you out there.