EucalyptusNow over on the Profantasy community forum posted an excellent little tutorial on creating decorative symbols by tracing graphics from other sources, and we thought it would be great to share this on the blog. So break out your mapping tools and follow along.

This is a tutorial for creating vignettes / decoration symbols out of rounded polygons by tracing existing images.

I’ve more or less stumbled upon this method, after I wanted a spider to decorate a map and could not find one exactly like I wanted, so I drew/ traced it.

Step One: Determine what you want for your map.

Based on the opinion of a certain younger member of our household, I’m going to use a unicorn as an example. It should be suitable as a crest, stamp or as a general map decoration.

Step Two: Find a suitable source image:

This image could be any drawing, picture or even photo. The most important thing is that the general shape of what you want to trace matches what you want.

Please keep copyright in mind if you are planning to use the created symbol for a map you are going to publish. I try to use public domain images whenever possible.

After some searching around, I’ve found this public domain crest on Wikipedia:

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