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Aztec, New Mexico stands out among the desert towns of the Southwest because of its famous Aztec ruins, located on the north edge of town. It's also renowned as the site of a purported UFO crash in 1948. I always enjoy creating cartoon maps of desert towns, like Aztec. They add a touch of variety to my map catalog.

Experience has shown me that including buildings on a map often creates space problems. Because buildings occupy so much space on a map, they can cause a map to become distorted. Such was the case with the Aztec map. I agreed to draw all of the restaurants in town and include them on the map. After drawing them all, I attempted to place them on the map. But I found that there were too many buildings to fit into the alloted space. So we had to scrap the buildings and substitute them with circled numbers. Using numbers, connected to a directory, always solves the space problem on my cartoon maps.

I always recommend circled numbers over buildings to maintain the space integrity of the map, but clients often insist that I draw the buildings, regardless of the space problems that they cause. Buildings are often requested because they add to the perspective aspect of the map. The finished product always seems to look fine, regardless of whether it contains buildings or not.

Size: 11" x 17"
Created in: 2012