Topography & Design: Create Your Own Vector Topo Map

John Coleman, Designer | Illustrator

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6 Videos (24m)
    • Introduction

    • What is Topography?

    • Design Implications: What To Look For

    • Sketch Phase

    • Vectorizing

    • Conclusion & Class Project


About This Class

Designing with topographical (topo) maps has a lot of power in the design world - especially if you’re working for an outdoor, adventure, or nature-based client. With this class, you'll learn all of my topo secrets and walk away with your very own vector topo map to use for any design project you'll ever have.

My name is John Coleman, I am a designer / illustrator and not only do I love topo maps I have found they are very effective and add a really cool aesthetic to tons of design projects. However, not many people are familiar with topo maps nor do they know how to get their hands on an authentic vector version of one. In this class, I’m going to teach you what to look for on a topo map, how to design your own version, and for our class project we will translate that in to a live vector design.

Whether you are an established designer looking to add another skill to your tool belt, a designer-on-the-rise looking for an edge over the competition, or just someone who loves adventure and is looking for a fun personal project - this class is for you. I look forward to seeing you in class!

24 of 25 students recommendSee All

Great class. Really fun project
Informative, short, concise. Vectorizing with Illustrator.
Great class. Looking forward to developing this.
Lauren Turner

Learning for the fun of it!





John Coleman

Designer | Illustrator

John Coleman is the designer/illustrator of TopoBear Designs, a creative studio in Texas focusing on branding, print, and illustration.

John spends his summers in Colorado guiding backpacking trips where he has developed a love for the outdoors that naturally found its way into his art and illustration - including maps and topography. John worked under the tutelage of professional oil painter Kim Coulter (OPA), followed by Bart Cleveland & David Kampa of Job Propulsion Lab in Austin, Texas and now freelances full-time from his studio in Corpus Christi, Texas.

John is proud to work with the great people at Fayettechill, Howler Bros., Sendero Provisions Co., Young Life Camping, and a number of exciting start ups and small businesses in a wide variety of industries.