Category Archives: Map Illustration

Aerial Map of Charleston, S.C.

This aerial perspective map of Charleston, S.C. was done for educational textbook use. It demonstrates how the town looked and developed earlier in its history. The art was done in Corel (Fractal) Painter software, with a line art layer, and a watercolor art layer below, as shown below.

Charleston, S.C. - Aerial View Map

Charleston, S.C. – Aerial View Map – Line art and watercolor layers combined

Charleston, S.C. - Close Up

Charleston, S.C. – Line Art layer only

Charleston, S.C. - Watercolor layer

Charleston, S.C. – Watercolor layer only

Citibank Center Site Plan Map

This was part of a commissioned project to feature an updated design for the Citibank branch location in Oakbrook, Illinois. The site plan map below was developed from architectural blueprints and transferred to watercolor illustration board. The final art was hand inked using sepia ink in Rapidograph pens, then completed with Windsor & Newton watercolor washes.

Citibank Center Site Plan

Citibank Center Site Plan - Line and Watercolor

Rand McNally Streetfinder Map Cover

This cover illustration was done for map publisher, Rand McNally when maps were still done the old fashioned way and printed. The cover features the Chicago area with the downtown area distorted, and area major highways and counties labelled.

Rand McNally StreetFinder Cover Illustration

Chicago & Vicinity 6 County Area Map

The finished printed book product was about an inch thick and approximately 8″ x 10″ in size. I did the original art on drawing or drafting vellum using color pencils.

Cushing Academy Admissions Viewbook Wins Award

District Case IRandal Birkey recently recieved news from design firm Corey McPherson Nash, that the “Cushing Academy Admissions Viewbook” has been selected by the CASE District I as an award winner in the 2011 District I Communication Awards. Visit to see the complete list of this year’s winners as selected by the CASE District I Communication Awards Committee.

Here is the Cushing Academy Aerial Perspective Campus Map spread illustration that Randal Birkey did for the award-winning Cushing Academy viewbook.

Cushing Academy Aerial Perspective Campus Map - Color

Cushing Academy Aerial Perspective Campus Map - Color

Cushing Academy Campus Aerial Perspective Map

Cushing Academy is a private coeducational secondary school founded in 1865, and located in Ashburnham, MA. They have partnered with a design firm called Corey, McPherson, Nash to redesign their viewbook. Through a web based search, CMN contacted Randal Birkey Illustration and contracted for a new Campus Map to be produced both for the school viewbook and their website.

Randal worked from maps, photos and other references provided by CMN and Cushing Academy. The first stage in the illustration process was to produce a line art “pencil” of the aerial perspective view that best displayed the campus. This line art was done in sepia tones using Corel Painter at a size of  6450 x 3750 pixels.

Cushing Campus Aerial Perspective Map - Pencil

Cushing Campus Aerial Perspective Campus Map - Pencil

Once this “pencil” was reviewed and approved by the design firm and the client, Randal then added digital watercolor to a layer below the line art using Corel Painter. The final file was converted to Adobe Photoshop and delivered as a layered Photoshop file with line art on one layer, and color washes and texture on the background layer.

Cushing Academy Aerial Perspective Campus Map - Color

Cushing Academy Aerial Perspective Campus Map - Color

In this stylized version, the forested areas around the school campus were left white or blank in order to allow the buildings, streets and other fields to have visual prominence. The design firm will add all the labels and key to the site during the print production process.

Shands Healthcare Campus Map and Floor Plans

Randal was contacted through his new web design firm by Shands Healthcare in Gainsville, Florida. This organization is affiliated with the University of Florida, and located near its medical research facility. Shands has recently completed the construction of a new cancer hospital and needed to add some new floor plans and campus map illustrations to their existing website at

Randal and Taylor Birkey worked from engineering drawings and references supplied by the hospital to create a series of floor plans and a campus map illustration using Adobe Illustrator software on Apple Macintosh computers.

Shands Healthcare Campus Map

Shands Healthcare Campus Map

Shands Healthcare - Floor Plan 1

Shands Healthcare - Floor Plan 1

Shands Healthcare - Floor Plan 3

Shands Healthcare - Floor Plan 3

The illustrations will be used for both print and web applications.