A show like no other

  • Client:
    Ascot Racecourse
  • Brand:
    Royal Ascot
  • Project:
    Illustrated Map

For the past 8 years, Storyboard London has been entrusted with the task of creating the map for Royal Ascot, one of the most prestigious horse racing events in the world. The client's request was to create a map that would showcase the traditional artistry of the event while highlighting the new grandstand, which has become an iconic feature of the venue.

An early illustration of the map with the now abandoned angle of view.


Storyboard London understood that illustrating maps of this kind comes with unique complexities, and thorough preparation is key. The first area of planning for illustrated maps is to decide on the angle of view, which must make user orientation easy and show key elements clearly. Royal Ascot's elongated site is divided into several key areas where guests move around, so after several loose drawings of multiple angles, Storyboard London chose a relatively low angle and isometric style that would allow views of the facade of structures as well as the ground plane.

To be in keeping with the history and traditional values of Royal Ascot, the client requested a classical style of illustration. Storyboard London began with a traditional technique using colored pencils but quickly realized that digital art offered greater flexibility and definition. However, pure digital art resulted in a finish that was too clean. After much experimentation, a mix of traditional and digital artwork was eventually settled upon.

A detail of the map showing the parade ring, selfie wall and TV news stands.


An illustrated map like this serves as a functional piece of art, and various key areas need to be clear and easily findable. The client will need to provide feedback on many aspects, and each year, the site develops, sometimes significantly. With all this in mind, Storyboard London needed to find a flexible way of working to accommodate all these elements. This resulted in a map that was constructed in several levels, going from a master ground layout all the way down to single tents. This allowed the team to change elements individually without having to adjust the affected areas around that item.

A wide of the map with overdraw, which would be cropped to suit each enclosure.

Through careful planning, attention to detail, and a flexible approach, Storyboard London successfully created a map that not only showcases the traditional artistry of Royal Ascot but also highlights the new grandstand, which has become an iconic feature of the venue. As a result, the client has continued to entrust Storyboard London with this important task year after year.

The Village enclosure part of the map with a key and vignette.