My information design project was a brochure and map of Raccoon River Valley Trail, a community bike path that covers over 50 miles of West-Central Iowa. The brochure was designed to fold up into roughly 2.5″w x 4″h, which would make it easy to tuck inside a pocket, biking jersey, or backpack. The full size unfolded to be 17″ x 8″, which allowed for a decent size map as well as a lot of visitor guide information. The map folded in half lengthwise, then in half again from short side, followed by a tri-fold to create the compact size.
The biggest challenge of this project came from the fact that the trail itself is under construction.There are five trailheads (located in towns across the countryside) that will be completed soon, but are currently only briefly mentioned on the site’s existing map. My most difficult task was recreating the mileage chart that indicated distances between the trailheads. Since these five were not on the already-laid path, but instead created a sort of inside loop, the math involved in adding them to the mileage chart was more in-depth than I anticipated. I finally came up with a feasible answer, though not as elegant as the original, that sufficiently mapped out all trailheads current and future.
I also contacted the RRVT Association for high-resolution photos to add to the inside fold (the three color shots). They sent me seven average photos, most of them candid “Cheese!” shots, so I pulled a high res stock photo of fall leaves from the internet and used that in the middle, to show the changing seasons in the photos.
The map itself took very little time compared to all the reworking of the mileage chart, photos, and info. I pulled colors from the photos on the reverse side for the different logos, and used a second color, burgundy, on the trail to indicate the new additions. I considered also using the burgundy in the mileage chart to indicate the new route, but it began to clash with the transparency blending I had in place, so I left it all shades of gold to reflect colors like warmth (summer), harvest (corn, which you pass on the trail quite frequently) and nature. The headline font, called Galahad, was also used because it reminded me of nature/wood/Native American style. I used Optima for the body copy, since it was simple, readable, and paired well with the Galahad.