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How to buy and print my illustrated map posters

In this post I’ll show you how to order my illustrated maps, both custom and standard. Furthermore, I’ll also show you how to print your digital art from the comfort of your own home. It’s important to me that my customers are satisfied with the printable maps. From visiting my shop to hanging my maps on the wall, the process should be smooth and easy.

Why this tutorial? Ordering my illustrated maps is a pretty straightforward process, but we did get some questions about how to order a custom map. On top of that one of my customers emailed me because his print didn’t look the same as advertised. It turned out to be a problem with the print settings of his printer. While it was an easy fix, we’d like you all to get the best results on the first try. Reading this article can help you accomplish that.

If you don’t have time to read this post now you can either save it for later or you can watch my tutorial below.

YouTube video player

What are printable illustrated map posters

In our shop we sell digital art. Our illustrated map posters (hand drawn by me, Saskia) are digital products only, meaning you get digital files that you can download and print. No physical item will be shipped.

The printable posters are beautifully illustrated maps featuring watercolor drawings of famous landmarks, nature, food, people and animals. Once the drawings are finished I scan them to make a digital map that is ready to print.

An illustrated map of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula is printed on fine art matte paper. The picture is zoomed in so the viewer can see the detail of the hand drawn icons and hand written destination names.

I’ve made printable illustrated maps from countries like Egypt, Iceland and Vietnam or regions like Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and Australia’s Western Australia & Northern Territory.

These printable poster files are perfect for families who visited the country or region and want to keep the travel memories alive by showcasing their trip on the wall. The posters are ready to print at home immediately or you can bring the file to your local print shop for quick, easy and affordable wall art.

Buying my illustrated maps

Here’s the step-by-step guide to buying one or more printable posters. This tutorial focuses on the desktop version of the shop. The mobile and tablet versions might look a little different, but the functionality is the same.

The first step is to go to the shop page and then click on illustrated maps.

screenshot of the shop page of Sas Crossing Countries

Here you’ll find all the maps currently available. All posters are available in 4 colors.

screenshot of the illustrated map page in the Sas Crossing Countries shop. 3 maps are visible. A brown toned Cambodia map, a white and blue toned Egypt map and a green toned Iceland map. Below these maps you see a little bit of the next row of maps, but just a small part that doesn't show what countries or regions are available.

As pictured below, you get a small sneak peak of each color, by hovering over the 4 color variations below each map. And if you click on of the color buttons, the product picture changes to the color variation you clicked on, giving you a better idea of how the map looks per color.

The view options button will take you to the product page.

screenshot of the illustrated map page in the Sas Crossing Countries shop. 3 maps are visible. A brown toned Cambodia map, a white and blue toned Egypt map and a green toned Iceland map. Below these maps you see a little bit of the next row of maps, but just a small part that doesn't show what countries or regions are available.

Once you’ve clicked on the view options button you get all the info you need about the printable map. For this article we’ve chosen the Iceland map as an example. On the poster product page you’ll see the title of the poster, a short description of the product and the price of the standard edition.

When you hover over the map with your mouse you can view the entire map in detail. If you scroll down you’ll see the description of the item and, if available, reviews from previous buyers.

screenprint from the illustrated map of Iceland in the Sas Crossing Countries shop. You can see an example of the map in 4 colors and the option
screenprint from a description of an illustrated map sold in the Sas Crossing Countries shop. In this case of Iceland

Customize your map

Now we get to the part where you can choose to order a personalized poster. Let me take you through the different options

Add text to the illustrated map poster

If the standard map is exactly what you’re looking for, but you want to add text to the poster you click on Personalization in the first row and No changes in the second. The map on the left changes to give you an example of what a personalized illustrated map with your own text looks like.

As you can see, the map stays the same, but as an example the title text The Carters Road Trip and subtitle text summer 2023 have appeared. This gives you an idea of what the poster looks with a text of your choosing. Of course you can check this option out for all 4 available colors.

The price of a standard map with your own text is €11,90.

You’ll have to add your text at checkout. There’s room for 25 characters on line 1 and 20 characters on line 2. We will get to that later.

screenprint from the illustrated map of Iceland in the Sas Crossing Countries shop. You can see an example of the map in 4 colors and the option

Remove locations from the illustrated map

You can also opt to remove locations from the map. This comes in handy when the map contains destinations you haven’t visited. You can remove up to 8 locations. Giving you the flexibility to end up with a map that only contains destinations you’ve explored.

If you want to order the standard map (without a personal message) and delete locations you select No personalization and you select the number of destinations you want to delete. Deletion means that the name of the destination and the drawing connected to the location are deleted from the map.

You have the option to remove 1 location, 2 to 4 locations or 5-8 locations from the map. The price changes depending on the number of locations you wish to delete.

At checkout you can write down which locations you want us to remove from the map. We’ll get to that in a minute.

screenprint from the illustrated map of Iceland in the Sas Crossing Countries shop. You can see an example of the map in 4 colors and the option

Order a custom map

At this moment we don’t sell fully customizable maps. By that I mean that you can’t order maps that aren’t available in the store. If you don’t see the country or region of your choice in the shop, unfortunately we can’t help you (yet). As I’m the only one producing the maps it takes time to complete them. Every few months I’ll add a new map to the store. So check back regularly to see if your map of choice is added to the shop.

It’s also not possible to add locations to available maps. You can only opt to remove up to 8 locations from each map.

Add text and remove locations from the illustrated map

Of course you can also combine the two custom options. You can order a map with your text of choice and remove 1 or more locations from the map. To do this select Personalization and the number of locations you want to delete from the map.

This works the same way as explained above. You can add your text and note which locations need to be deleted from the map at checkout. And… you guessed it: we will get to that in a second.

Ordering illustrated maps

Was it really a second? I’ll let you decide. Either way, this is the part where we talk about how to order illustrated maps in our shop. First add your map to the cart. Make sure you have selected the following:

  1. The color you want
  2. Either No personalization if you don’t want to add your own text to the map or Personalization if you do want to add your own text to the map
  3. Either No changes if you want to buy the standard map or one of the 3 available removal options if you want to delete 1 or more locations from the map

After taking these steps you can click the Add to cart button. If you want a combination of a standard and personalized map add them to your cart one by one. All the while checking the steps I mentioned above. This is important, because these are digital items, meaning no refunds, exchanges or cancellations are offered due to the nature of these products. Of course you can always contact me about any problems with your order.

If you want to check your cart you can click on the icon of the cart at the top of the page. Or you can click on the View cart button that appears as soon as you add a map to your cart.

screenprint from the illustrated map of Iceland in the Sas Crossing Countries shop. You can see an example of the map in 4 colors and the option

On the cart page you’ll see all the items you’ve added to the cart. In this example I’ve added a standard  illustrated map of Iceland in the color green to the cart.

And I want to gift the family van Iersel a personalized map, because they recently visited Iceland and this is a great gift that will keep their travel memories alive. I choose a blue map of Iceland with a text of my choice and the option to remove one location from the map. Because I noticed that Husavik is on the map and they skipped a visit to this cute fishing village while road tripping in Iceland with their kids

screenprint from the cart page of the Sas Crossing Countries shop

Unfortunately I don’t have a discount code. If I did have one, I should’ve added the code in the box below the products in the cart, before clicking on Apply coupon.

🔥 If you made it to this part of the article, you deserve to be rewarded! That’s why I will give the first 100 people who use coupon code HOWTOBUY15% a 15% discount that you can apply to the entire order. I hope you’re one of the lucky people that get to use coupon code: HOWTOBUY15%. Good luck! 🔥

After checking the cart and applying the coupon code (if applicable), you can proceed to checkout or choose the quick option by paying via G Pay.

Don’t opt for G Pay if you ordered a custom map. In that case click on Proceed to checkout where you can fill in the order instructions for us to customize your map.

If you click on Proceed to checkout you’ll fill in your personal information and get the chance to opt in or out of a subscription to my Family Travel Letter (bi-monthly newsletter). You also get the chance to create an account. This is advisable, because your digital products will always be available in the download section of your account. If you don’t want to create an account you should save you email with the download links, because that’s the only way to always have access to your digital map posters.

screenprint from the checkout page of the Sas Crossing Countries shop
screenprint from the checkout page of the Sas Crossing Countries shop

Check your order one last time and fill in your payment information to complete your order. With one EXCEPTION: if you’ve ordered a custom map, there’s one final step to take. As you can see on the image above this is the page where you leave poster personalization instructions for us.

Fill in Poster Personalization

If you ordered a personalized map without changes to the map fill in the top box with your two lines of text. You can also opt for one line of text. One line will automatically be seen as the title text (larger font).

If you ordered a personalized map with changes to the map fill in the top box as well as the second box. In the second box you fill in the destinations you wish to remove from the map. One location per line.

If you ordered a standard map with changes to the map leave the top box empty and only fill in the second box with the names of the locations you wish to remove from the map.

As an example I come back to the gift to family van Iersel I dropped into my cart. I opted for a personalized map and one removal. In the top box I’ve added the texts I want on the illustrated map. Family van Iersel is the title text and summer 2024 is the subtitle text. I added an enter between the lines so it’s obvious what the title is and what the subtitle is. There’s room for 25 characters on line 1 and 20 characters on line 2, so my preferred text fits!

In the second box I added Húsavik. I wish to remove this location from the map. Since I only pay for one removal I only write down one location in this box.

screenprint from the checkout page of the Sas Crossing Countries shop. The customer added the text they want on their poster

Now you’re done! Agree with our terms and conditions and click Place order.

Once payment of the standard illustrated map (no personalization and no image removal) is confirmed, you’ll immediately receive your download link via email. Allow an extra working day or two for your custom maps to arrive in your inbox.

screenprint from an email of the Sas Crossing Countries shop, containing the download links of an order

Did you create an account at checkout? Click on your account (icon of a person at the top of the page) where you will find all your downloads and where you can view all of your previous orders.

screenprint from the personal download page of the Sas Crossing Countries shop
screenprint of the personal order page in the Sas Crossing Countries shop. It's visible that this person completed 3 orders.

What do you get?

I already mentioned the fact that you can download your files after we’ve received your payment. But what type of files will you get? You’ll get 4 high resolution JPEG files at 300 dpi and in CMYK color mode. Depending on the quality and the type of the paper you choose to print your map on, slight color changes may occur.

Aspect ratios of the 4 JPEG files:

  • A3 (297mm x 420mm)
  • A4 (210mm x 297mm)
  • Letter (216mm x 279mm)
  • Tabloid (279mm x 432mm)

Please note that these are digital files – no physical item will be shipped to you.

Printing my illustrated maps

You have two options when it comes to printing illustrated maps. You can send the files to a print shop and let them do the job or you can print the map at home.

When you send the files to a print shop they’ll ask you what kind of paper you want them to use. When printing digital art, the paper is as important as the ink. The print shop will use high quality ink, but if you pick the wrong paper you might end up with a print that doesn’t look like the picture on your screen.

While you can opt for standard paper in different weights, you risk the ink soaking to far into the paper, dulling the colors. The best option is to opt for acid-free archival fine art paper.

Matte or glossy coated paper

The next decision is making the choice between glossy or matte paper. Glossy paper will make the art pop, but you risk reflecting too much light. It’s a nice option if you prefer a glossy glow and if you decide not to frame the art. But if you display the art behind glass matte is the better option, because that doesn’t reflect any light

It’s a personal choice, but I would always choose a matte finish for digital art of any kind. Matt paper offers a more textured look, complementing the art. And it’s more resistant to fingerprints. We recommend choosing a matte coated fine art paper that’s heavier like cardstock.

Printing at home

Printing your illustrated map at home is an easy and affordable option. We already talked about the best options when it comes to paper. But before buying paper make sure your printer is fit to print the type and weight of the paper you want to use. You don’t want to break your printer.

When it comes to ink, the colors turn out the best if you use the ink the brand made especially for the printer. Using high-quality ink avoids your print looking dull or faded.

After checking if your printer is fit for the paper of your choice and you’ve checked if the ink levels are all high enough to get the best possible result it’s time to look at the print settings.

Adjust print settings

Before printing, make sure to adjust the print settings to ensure the best quality. For example, you can adjust the brightness and contrast levels, and select the highest resolution possible.

I realize every printer is different, but I did want to add some screenshots to show you the things you should adjust before hitting that print button.

Border or borderless
If you are planning on framing your illustrated map it’s best to print with a border. If you’re not framing it, the poster looks better without a border. In the example below you can see that if I click standard it adds a border. If I click photo there’s no border.

On this same screen I can select the paper size. In this case A4 (almost the size equivalent of US Letter), but the maps also look great when printed on A3 (almost the equivalent of US Tabloid).

screenprint of a desktop printer app that shows the choice between standard and photopaper and the available paper sizes

On the next screen, and again this might be different in your printer app, you can enter the number of copies you want and the print quality. I’ve set the print quality to optimal and color.

Now you’re ready to print. I highly recommend making a test print on cheap, normal paper. This way you’ll be able to see how the digital image translates to an actual print and adjust accordingly in case you need to.

screenprint of a desktop print app where you can select paper size, amount of prints, print quality and color options

That’s it! Now you know everything there is to know about the ordering process and printing my digital art. Am I wrong and do you miss info? Let me know in the comments and I’ll get back to you asap!

I hope to welcome you as a customer in my shop soon.

About me Sas Crossing Countries

Hi, I’m Saskia!

I travel the world with my family of 4 and write about our adventures.

Sas Crossing Countries is a family travel blog. It’s created to inspire other parents to travel the world with their kids. Gift your kids the world! It’s the most valuable present you can give them.

With all the experience I have as a traveling parent I’ve got lots of tools and tips for you. So on this site you’ll not only find family travel blog posts, you can also download FREE pocket guides, travel checklists and eBooks from my resources page.

All that I share can be used to plan your own ultimate family road trip!

above a couch you see 4 illustrated poster maps of different countries in the colors brown, blue, green and white. This picture leads to the shop page where you can buy illustrated poster mapsbanner image with the text get access to my free ebook with all the tools and tips you need to plan out and enjoy your ultimate family road trip. The title of the book is also shown and is The Ultimate Beginners Guide: Planning a Family Road Trip. A mock up is shown of a laptop, tablet and phone showing the cover of the ebook and 3 small images giving a sneak peak of 3 pages inside the book.5% discount link Heymondo Travel InsuranceVisit our travel shop!Download my FREE printable packing listsBuy your 3D wooden world map @ Enjoy The Wood with 10% discount code SASCROSSINGCOUNTRIESUPBecome a member of my private family travel Facebook groupLink to shop The Adventure BookRent a car via Discover CarsGet my free downloadable family travel pocket guidesGet an eSim from AiroloA picture of blogger Saskia is accompanied by a picture of a coffee cup with a lid on it. The text invites people to buy the blogger a cup of coffee to support her work so she can continue to offer free family travel resources. Clicking on this image leads to a page where you can support by paying an amount of your choice in support of Sas Crossing Countries.Download my FREE printable bucket lists

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About me Sas Crossing Countries

Hi, I’m Saskia!

I travel the world with my family of 4 and write about our adventures.

Sas Crossing Countries is a family travel blog. It’s created to inspire other parents to travel the world with their kids. Gift your kids the world! It’s the most valuable present you can give them.

With all the experience I have as a traveling parent I’ve got lots of tools and tips for you. So on this site you’ll not only find family travel blog posts, you can also download FREE pocket guides, travel checklists and eBooks from my resources page.

All that I share can be used to plan your own ultimate family road trip!

above a couch you see 4 illustrated poster maps of different countries in the colors brown, blue, green and white. This picture leads to the shop page where you can buy illustrated poster mapsbanner image with the text get access to my free ebook with all the tools and tips you need to plan out and enjoy your ultimate family road trip. The title of the book is also shown and is The Ultimate Beginners Guide: Planning a Family Road Trip. A mock up is shown of a laptop, tablet and phone showing the cover of the ebook and 3 small images giving a sneak peak of 3 pages inside the book.5% discount link Heymondo Travel InsuranceVisit our travel shop!Download my FREE printable packing listsBuy your 3D wooden world map @ Enjoy The Wood with 10% discount code SASCROSSINGCOUNTRIESUPBecome a member of my private family travel Facebook groupLink to shop The Adventure BookRent a car via Discover CarsGet my free downloadable family travel pocket guidesGet an eSim from AiroloA picture of blogger Saskia is accompanied by a picture of a coffee cup with a lid on it. The text invites people to buy the blogger a cup of coffee to support her work so she can continue to offer free family travel resources. Clicking on this image leads to a page where you can support by paying an amount of your choice in support of Sas Crossing Countries.Download my FREE printable bucket lists