U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) topographic maps are printed using up to six colors (black, blue, green, red, brown, and purple). To prepare your own maps or artwork based on maps, you can order separate black-and-white film positives or negatives for any color printed on a USGS topographic map, or for one or more of the groups of related features printed in the same color on the map (such as drainage and drainage names from the blue plate.)
In this document, examples are shown with appropriate ink color to illustrate the various separates. When purchased, separates are black-and-white film negatives or positives.
After you receive a film separate or composite from the USGS, you can crop, enlarge or reduce, and edit to add or remove details to suit your special needs.
For example, you can adapt the separates for making regional and local planning maps or for doing many kinds of studies or promotions by using the features you select and then printing them in colors of your choice.