What Style for 1600-1700 West Indies Map

I saw a few historical maps of the West Indies circa 1700 or so. I am wanting to make a map in that style. These basically are on white paper, but some have parchment. Many have color, but not all. These maps are sort of like what I saw:

The problem is I can't seem to get a style to work. I tried Mercator Revisited, but even if I change the background to white and the land fill to white, the symbols still have brown. The same goes for Classic Fantasy. I tried the B&W Fantasy and Paer Lindstrom. They work better, but still not great. I forget the exact issue I had with them.

The closest style I can find that seems to work is Landform maps.

Is there any other style that I should try?


  • pvernonpvernon Betatester 🖼️ 34 images Traveler

    Julian, The batch of symbols that I noted awhile back should have the symbols that you need.

    BUT, you will need to find what you want out of the list and then turn the artwork into symbols .

    Peter V.

  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer

    If you decide to use any of those sets mentioned by pvernon, there is a comprehensive section in the Tome of Ultimate Mapping covering how to create your own symbol catalogues, or if you prefer to watch there are a couple of videos created by Remy Monsen here:


  • Thanks. I will take a look at those to see if they can help. Right now it is less the symbols, than the fills of the maps. But, that artwork seems to be for the exact period of map I will be make so they should work.

    However, since there doesn't appear to be a clear map style that works for these types of maps, maybe someone should get around to making one for an Annual . . .

  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer

    We do have a couple of historical styles available in the annuals already, just nothing from that collection. The Mercator style and the Ferraris Style are the first that come to mind because they are both based on particularly famous cartographic styles.

    Whether a historic style is created really depends on how many people want a thing, so maybe if anyone else wants this they should speak up now.

  • The Joseph de Ferraris from the 2020 annual is close, but it's 18th century rather than 17th.

  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer

    Yes, I nearly suggested using the template as a base, but none of the symbols and fills other than the parchment would really be much use.

  • I played around with the Ferraris style. It might be possible, but since it is for a city, it is not easy to adapt. I would need to somehow draw the water around tiny islands to leave them showing.

    The Parchment Map may actually work if I wanted to reproduce the few maps that colored the ocean. The mountains aren't right, but it should not matter than much.

    The Woodcut maps seems to come the closest. At least to second map link I posted.

    I honestly thought this was going to be very easy. The problem is that all but one style of the line art symbols have white fills. If you are going to have a faded paper background, that just stands out. It may work with a solid white background.

    I am thinking I will either go straight landform or use another style and just use the landform symbols. None of them have white, so it just blends in with the background.

    While I would like a map style to be around to reproduce some of the maps of this era, I am not sure it is worth it. It has almost no symbols. It is just a simple line drawing with added coloring for political boarders. With that said, pirates are trendy. People are also asking for steampunk overland maps. Doing an overland airship pirate style map for steampunk where you can just use less symbols or effects to come close to this style may be worth it. That way, you get two styles in one.

  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer
    edited January 2023

    You can solve the white background by putting the symbols behind the parchment and using a Blend mode effect on the parchment set to Multiply and 100%. This is how the parchment version of SS6 was done.

    The white parts of the symbols are to obscure the bits of other symbols that might appear through them.

    These symbols all have white backgrounds, but the parchment is multiplied over the top of the entire map.

    roflo1JimPAleD[Deleted User]MapjunkieWyvern
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