ArcGIS Pro

Toasted Cartography: Burn a Tasty Vignette Into Your Map Layout

Here is a layout without a vignette…

A map without a vignette

Here it is with a vignette. A vignette is a slight deepening of the tones of an image around its perimeter, to draw the eye to the center of the composition.

A map with a vignette

Here is a quick and simple way to burn a vignette into your ArcGIS Pro layout using a polygon map note, a gradient fill, and the color burn blend mode.

I sure loved GIS and cartography courses in college. I realized this field of considering place, and how to represent it, was an amazing blend of scientific and technical thinking with craftful artistic practice. Just the two sorts of things that I had been infatuated with my whole childhood. As a youngster I’d be glued to Bob Ross, learning, copying, experimenting with colors and tone and attitude, then I’d tune in to NOVA to have my mind blown with astounding ideas, visuals, and manifested curiosity from the world of science. I found a similar sort of energy in art classes—particularly photography. The precision of focusing light and timing its exposure to film and paper. The creative greenfield of adapting how much of, and where, that captured light burned into the resulting image. The thrill of revealing a layout with a balanced composition through tone, contrast, and blur.

I loved them both for the same great reasons.

About the author

I have far too much fun looking for ways to understand and present data visually, hopefully driving product strategy and engaging users. I work in the ArcGIS Living Atlas team at Esri, pushing and pulling data in all sorts of absurd ways and then sharing the process. I also design user experiences for maps and apps. When I'm not doing those things, I'm chasing around toddlers and wrangling chickens, and generally getting into other ad-hoc adventures. Life is good. You might also like these Styles for ArcGIS Pro:

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