A map template for the light gray canvas basemap and reference map is now available in ArcGIS Online and the Community Maps Resource Center. (UPDATE July 10, 2015: dark gray template also available now)
The Light Gray Canvas Map Template is an ArcGIS map document that can be used to create a high-resolution, multi-scale general purpose basemap in the style of the Light Gray Canvas basemap. The template contains two MXDs, one for the basemap and one for the reference layer, with sample data. Use the MXDs as your guide while you replace each layer’s sample data with your own data for streets, parks, water, borders and land areas. A set of style files is also included so that you can easily apply the cartography designed for each scale. Specification documents provide more detail about the layers in each scale.
This Canvas Map draws attention to a map’s thematic content by providing a neutral background with minimal colors, labels, and features. Only key information is represented to provide geographic context, allowing your data to come to the foreground. This map supports any strong colors and labels for your theme, creating a visually compelling map graphic which helps your reader see the patterns intended.
Click the “Download” link under the map template’s thumbnail to download the template.