Graphic Design: Highland High School Fire Escape Route Map

THE PROJECT: The school has been using the same, tired old Fire Escape Route Map for years, copied over a million times. It would be nice if we could design a modern, clean version that could be be printed and placed in each room to identify proper emergency exits.  Students will use Adobe Illustrator to create just such a map.

THE BASIC PRINCIPLES OF THE MAP: The map should be easily read, with each room properly labelled and exit routes quickly identifiable.


SOME SAMPLE FIRE EVACUATION MAPS FOR CONSIDERATION:  Below, find links to four different maps similar to the one that you are creating now.  You do not need to copy the look of any particular map, they are just to give you some ideas for how a map can look:

  • Fire Evacuation Map #1- this map appears a little busy, with little cartoon figures and dotted lines all over, but the rooms and hallways are clear and simple.
  • Fire Evacuation Map #2- this map has a complex building drawing in AutoCAD, but the arrows and evacuation routes are clear and easy to understand, evacuation to staging areas is presented well.
  • Fire Evacuation Map #3- this map does not clearly define all exit routes, but the rooms and hallways are easy to identify and the exit doors are also identifiable.
  • Fire Evacuation Map #4-  this map has many of the features that we need on ours and might be a good one to emulate.

A JPEG of the current HHS Fire Exit MapIf you wish to take this into Illustrator as a guide, you can, click on the small map to bring up a larger version, which you can save and PLACE on your art board in Illustrator. I also have hard copy printouts, as well. (See why we need a new Map?)

Here are the SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS regarding the creation of your map:

  • The Map should be created on an 8.5 x 11 or 11 x 8.5 inch art board in Illustrator.
  • ALL FONTS on The Map should be either ARIAL or TIMES NEW ROMAN.
  • The Map should have the words "Highland High School Fire Exit Map" clearly printed as a title.
  • The Map should include ALL rooms in the building, drawn to scale to fit onto the art board. You do NOT need to include all of the minor details of the rooms, as in the current Map.
  • The rooms on the Map should be color coded for easy identification.  Please group all of the Language Arts Rooms in the same color, the Math Rooms in the same color, etc.
  • Do NOT include teacher names on the map, these change from year to year.
  • Room labels should include the ROOM NUMBER, easily readable.
  • Each room should have a wide line with ARROWHEADS leading from the rooms to the outside of the building.  (You can use either the LINE tool or the PEN tool for creating these.  PEN tool is easier.)
  • Outside walls and indoor hallways of the building clearly indicated.
  • Outside DOORS should be clearly indicated with a large RED letter "E", each with exit ARROWS heading out of the building.
  • NOTATION or ARROWS on The Map that all people evacuating building should meet at the FOOTBALL field.

VIDEO TUTORIALS FROM ADOBE.COM DEMONSTRATING THE SKILLS THAT YOU WILL NEED TO COMPLETE THIS PROJECT: (I highly recommend opening Illustrator and trying the techniques on your own as you watch.)


SAVING AND SUBMITTING:  Remember, in Illustrator, doing a FILE>SAVE AS will save your work as an .AI file, with all of the layers, text, fills and strokes intact for later editing.  To save as a JPEG, you will need to use FILE>EXPORT.  Save your completed work as


GRADING: This will be a 100 point assignment, graded half on the inclusion of all of the required items listed above and half on the usefulness of the final product as a Fire Evacuation Map.

USE OF THE MAP:  The BEST map in the class will be submitted to the administration for consideration as our new Fire Evacuation Map.  I may ask for you to make some changes to your map to perfect it before submission.