I'm a military historian (Google "Jon Parshall Battle of Midway"), and I'm writing a new book on the year 1942. One graphical tool I want to employ is a set of timelines, so that the reader can see what's going on during a given month on various fronts (see [url removed, login to view] for a rough idea). Designing the timeline layout isn't a problem; designing the icons *is*.
The basic icons will be about .4in (10mm) in size, and roughly square. This means, at printing resolution, you've probably got at least 240pix x 240 pix to play with, and maybe more. However, the icons have slightly different shapes depending on various factors. Refer to the ExampleIcons.png.
Icon #1 is a simple event, with no country associated
#2 is an ongoing battle, i.e., it lasts more than one day. The country that initiates the event (in this case Japan) is represented by a flag on the left side of the icon.
#3 is the continuation of an ongoing event. As we saw from Icon #2, Japan was the initiator. However, at the conclusion of the event, the winner is denoted by who's flag(s) are at the top of the icon. Loser is on the bottom. So, in this case, Japan initiated an attack in Icon #2, but in Icon #3 it shows that at the conclusion of the fight, Australia and America won, and Japan lost. What this also shows is that most of the icons need to have both single and dual-flag versions on right/left, top/bottom (and sometimes both).
#4 Simple event with America initiating. An example might be a new type of aircraft has just been developed.
#5 Battle. Japan attacks (flag on the left side), and America defends. Japan loses (flag on bottom); America wins.
#6 Battle. Germany attacks and USSR defends. Germany wins (flag on top), and USSR loses. This icon shows a tank silhouette, indicating an armored attack.
#7 Stalemate. Japan attacks U.S., but neither side wins.
#8 Joint event (such as a leadership conference). In this case, the U.S. and Britain had an event together.
The icon shapes that I've produced for these examples are... okay. However, something with a little more polish, better highlights, etc. would be appreciated. That's your first mission.
In addition to the basic shapes for the icons, of course, there need to be images connoting what the icon represents. At present, these are the events that I can think of that I need (you should probably allocate time for a couple more, because I'm probably forgetting a couple):
1) Aircraft carrier battle
2) Surface warship battle
3) Ship convoy
5) Amphibious landing
6) Armored attack
7) Infantry attack
8) Aircraft bombing city/factory
9) Leadership event (new national leader, or a coup, or something like that)
10) Diplomatic event (command conference, declaration of war, surrender, etc.)
11) Scientific event (such as the development of the Atomic bomb, or a new type of radar)
12) Industrial event (such as the development of a new tank, aircraft, or ship, or type of factory)
Refer to BookCover.png. This is a scan of H.P. Willmott's "The Great Crusade". I really like this style of illustration--it "feels" like the 1940s to me, which would fit with the book. However, I am wide open to other styles, if you think there's something that would be better. Bear in mind, though, that it is most unlikely that the book will be printed in color--so the artwork will mostly likely be in greyscale.
Obviously, I want separate bitmaps of the icon shapes and silhouettes. In addition, I'd also like the files in Adobe Illustrator (.ai) format, because 1) I'm not sure of the final size of the finished timelines and icons, and 2) I'm good enough at Illustrator to be able to modify with what you produce. This is a work for hire, and I get rights to use and modify your Illustrator files (with credit to you in the final book, of course). Agreeable?