Creative Mapping 2018

illustration by Chris Leitch

Do you love maps? Are you an illustrator, graphic designer, or visual storyteller? Spacing wants you to submit your original creative maps inspired by a Canadian city.

The art of map-making has taken tremendous strides in the digital age. There has been an explosion of maps that are not necessarily meant to be used for directions, but instead are considered works of art and inspired imagination. We want you to create an illustrative map that reflects a Canadian city (or a neighbourhood, community) or is inspired by the urban elements that make up a city (examples: waterfront, transit, cycling, walking, graffiti, parks, architecture, laneways/alleys, streets, traffic, taxis, weather, sewers, infrastructure, etc….)

SUBMISSION DATE: Monday, April 30th, 2018

HOW TO ENTER: Email your entries to


How many maps can I submit?
As many as you like.

What do I submit?
We want two things:
1. Email us your map. Please keep file size to 2MB.
2. We would also like the title of your map and a short description of your map (purpose, inspiration, etc).

When will I know if my map is being published?
Spacing will email all selected mapmakers to make sure we have the optimal file for printing, as well as to make sure your name is spelled correctly. Nothing will be published in Spacing without your permission.

Do I get paid?
Yes, all maps selected for publication will receive $75 plus a lifetime subscription to the magazine. Also, since we have a store, we would like to work with you to sell prints of your map, which could mean a much more revenue for you.

What if I don’t live in Canada?
We won’t hold that against you. We just want the maps that you create to be inspired by Canadian cities (since our audience and distribution is exclusively within Canada).


Is there a preferred size to the maps?
Initial submissions should be in JPG and should not exceed 2MB in file size.

If your map is selected, we will follow-up and ask for a high-resolution version. If you’re starting your map from scratch, please consider Spacing’s page dimensions (landscape format) when submitting your maps. Your map doesn’t have to be the exact same size as our page dimensions, but you should keep in mind readability of text and other design elements in relation to our size. EXACT PAGE SIZE: 10.5-inches in width / 8.125-inches in height; add .25-inch to either side if you wish to see the map “bleed” off the edge of the page.

What type of file can I submit?
Photoshop: If you submit a Photoshop file, please make sure it’s saved as an uncompressed JPG, in CMYK, and has a minimum resolution of 300dpi. Make sure the file is “flattened” so that any fonts or effects are not lost when opened on Spacing’s computers. Please submit a low-res JPG so that we can compare/contrast with your high-res entry.

Illustrator: If you submit an Illustrator file, please make sure it’s saved as a PDF, and all colours are in CMYK. All fonts need to be converted to outlines (mandatory!). With Illustrator files it is always smart to submit a low-res JPG so that Spacing can make sure it has received the file as it is intended to be seen. Please note that any photo files that are embedded in your Illustrator file must be in CMYK and have a resolution of 300dpi.

What if my file is huge — can I upload it to a cloud service?
Feel free to send us a link to DropBox or WeTransfer or whichever service you use.

How should I name my files?
Please title your files with your name (ie. “jane doe map.pdf”). It will make us very happy.


Still not sure what we’re looking for? Here are previous examples of creative maps that have been previously published in Spacing. Click on the image to enlarge.

(above) MASH-UP MAPS (two separate subjects combined) like this one that was published in the Winter 2012 issue of Spacing. It imagines if the actual highways of Ontario were instead subway lines.

(above) Cindy Huang created this food and drink map of Montreal’s Mile End neighbourhood.

(above) Cameron Bush created this map of Winnipeg that cheekily shows where all of the beer stores and curling rinks are located.

(above) Paul Dotey imagined a tourist map of a future Toronto downtown partially covered by Lake Ontario.

(above) Hillary Cowen redrew the streets of Regina in typographic form.