More Tea?

This is a concrete (or porcelain) example of a map that instantly catches the attention of readers. The map lacks most of the crucial map parts and elements but its visual appeal compensated for that. This was taken from an informative blog entry on the geography and types of teas different people enjoy. Perhaps seeing this quaint little thing, incorporated with geographic data, imparts to the readers that warm, giddy sensation from deep within that a fresh cup of tea does.

Technically speaking, though, it is very flawed. Primarily, the map content lies below the center of the picture when in fact, it should be well above it in order to draw just the right amount of attention. Putting the title and subtitle within the teapot’s handle gives the reader an illusion of the map having some semblance of borders. The teapot’s surface or edge acts as borders for the content. From afar, the map looks like it’s projected conically because of the teapot’s shape. By using it as the background, the map maker was restricted into keeping the countries’ sizes small and to do away with grid lines. If he had made the countries bigger, the teapot would not be able to do its job of attracting the readers because he’d need a bigger teapot that’ll be nearer to the borderlines. The soft, fading effect on its edges brings the reader’s eyes to the map’s bold lines.

The countries depicted in the map are all white because the teapot has this old-rose or light mauve color and has a very prominent ‘texture’. The said texture was not softened so the map-maker had to make the countries appear very plain so as not to clash with it. The boundaries among countries are hardly visible and there was no need to label each and every one accordingly. One other thing that the map-maker failed to do is making the color of the hotspots different, even if just some shades darker than white. This would have made them easily identifiable. By failing to do so, thick hot pink lines were then used to point them out, making it appear as if the teacup had tentacles.

Still, even a grown man would say it’s cute.


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