Vintage map design using QGIS

This post describes the three simple steps necessary to create a vintage-looking map using the blending feature in QGIS 2.0’s print composer. This is what we are aiming for:

alaska_oldpaper

1. Prepare the map

Like any other map, this one starts in the QGIS main window. Try to stick with earthy colors which will go well with the old paper look. For labels, try fonts which look like handwriting.

alaska_oldschool_overview

Once you are happy with your map

2. Prepare the composition background

To get that vintage feel, we need a background image with a great texture. You can find such textures on sites like lostandtaken.com. Download one you like and add it to an empty print composer. Make sure it covers the whole paper:

alaska_oldschool_bg

Lock the image by right-clicking it once – a small lock icon should appear in the upper left corner.

3. Finish the composition

The final step is to add the map on top of the background image. To make our nice background texture shine through, we enable the “multiply” blending mode in the map’s rendering options:

alaska_oldschool_print

Feel free to add north arrows or drawings of dragons as finishing touches.

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21 comments
  1. Phil said:

    This is great! The print composer is taking a HUGE step forward in the 2.0 release. I remember the first time trying to use it back in the .6 or .7 release, it was pretty rough. Congrats to the QGIS team!

  2. Reblogged this on The Spatial Blog and commented:
    This is amazing, QGIS 2.0 is going from strength to strenth. Another great blog from Anita.

  3. ajgdev said:

    Reblogged this on AJG-Develop and commented:
    QGIS is going to become a go-to piece of software. Amazing visualisations are now possible.

  4. Chris Scott said:

    This blend feature is amazing. The speed, ease of use and end result are amazing. No need for exporting to Photoshop and waiting hours for this sort of thing to render. Very Impressed!

    • Thanks that looks great!

    • Thanks they look great. Have to try adding them sometimes.

  5. Cécile said:

    Great new additions! QGIS 2.0 really is a pleasure to work (and play) with!

  6. Pierre said:

    Hi, very great demo. I’m interesting about the font you use in the map (the text “Beaufort sea”). Can you tell me which name of font it is please ?

  7. Pingback: Digital Geography

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