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Questions concerning graphical artists.

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Anonymous

Is it true that a game inventor should have completed artwork from a graphic design artist BEFORE having their game printed? OR
Should the game printer work with the chosen manufacturer's in-house artists?

My reason for asking is to ensure that the artwork specifications my be utilized between different manufactures. No sense in wasting money for rework.

Do you know of any good graphic design artist that may be of assistance?

FastLearner
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Questions concerning graphical artists.

Different printers will have different specifications, but that doesn't mean you can't use a separate designer. Any competent designer will create to the printer's specifications.

Ideally you'll get quotes from printers, with and without graphic design, and will get to see portfolios for the graphic designers the printers will use, as well as portfolios and quotes from separate designers.

Sometimes printers will give you a good deal if you get the graphic design done by them, but other times it's a complete rip-off. You'll simply have to compare quotes and portfolios. And references.

If you go with a separate designer, you'll want to have selected a printer before the designers gets too far along, as he'll need to make decisions based on the printer's specifications and requirements.

-- Matthew

Anonymous
Questions concerning graphical artists.

In my opinion, it is always better to scoop around a bit. Where I live, printers and quaility design rarely goes hand in hand. Simply, their main profile is manufacturing, not artistic design, and tough they may claim that they can design a brosschure or magazine, they offen do crappy work(at least, that's the common case here in Hungary)

Better to find somebody who knows some guys in the design industry, so you can gain a bit extra information about the people you'll work with. Try to find somebody who will make the design of your boardgame by HEART.

What I mean, you possibly won't get too far with professional studios, unless you have lots of money. If they do work for big guys, they will have lot of sidejobs running, and won't give too high priority to your game. Try to find somebody you have a chance to get closer with, before the actual work.

Check art academies. Those places may be full of creative, young guys, still full of childhood dreams. They will do it for less money, and with more convinction. Be careful tough, as you have to check throughly. They may have the spirit, but lack the skill that a serious work needs.

In a nutshell, take your time, and find a designer you can trust.

hpox
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Questions concerning graphical artists.

This thread does not belong in Game Design Forum. Moved to Game Production.

kt123
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Questions concerning graphical artists.

Is there any real harm in having the game designed by a graphic designer before you talk to potential printers?
What issues and problems would arise from doing it that way?
I plan to handmake my game's originally, then only if it becomes a big sucess have it professionally printed.

seo
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Questions concerning graphical artists.

One of the main benefits of talking to the printer during the design process instead of after the design is completed is better production costs.

Minor measure adjustments in the design elements might result in huge paper and printing savings. In an ideal world, you'll know the prss and paper measures before you design anything. I've managed to reduce printing costs almost 50% by simply reducing a brochure size by half an inch.

If you get the design of, say, your cards done and later find that by narrowing o reducing the lenght just 1/8" you can save 30% of the paper costs, you'll be sorry to have had everything designed in advance.

That said, most times you can just reduce proportionally or adapt the design. But sometimes this adjustments mean a lot of extra work. This varies from job to job.

If you're planning to start handmaking, you will probably face different needs when you finally (hopefully) begin mass production, so I would probably concentrate on how you'll produce the game now, while still keeping in mind the theoretically final professional production.

In any case, you better give the designer as much information on how you plan to produce your games, so he can take the right choices. He would probably even help you with production issues. Some designer are more involved on the production side than others. If you find one that can help you with this decisions, you might save a lot of money there (e.g.: one client wanted to print 60-70 lettersized copies of a 4 color double faced brochure, he was thinking of color copies like Kinko's, but I suggested consulting with a small print shop; we got the work printed in offset, 250 copies, for the same price he was going to pay for the color photocopies).

Seo

FastLearner
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Questions concerning graphical artists.

The designer can co some of the work without picking a printer, but not things like lay out cards (can they bleed? what size precisely? how many up, and how are they spaced?), the board (what are the cheapest dimensions?), any die-cut pieces (how big is the die? what are the paremeters for spacing, tightness of corners, etc.?), or to a certain extent, anything that will be printed (what's the maximum ink density? what line screen can you support? what's the dot gain on that press, the minimum highlight dot, the maximum shadow dot? how many colors are in the quote, and do they allow for varnishes, spot colors, etc.?). And really at least a dozen other issues (size of the trap, box wrap specifications, etc.).

Once upon a time graphic designers just figured out what something would look like and left all of that up to the printer, but in today's world the graphic designer does the bulk of the pre-press work, that magical "desktop publishing" you've heard so much about. There are a ton of technical details that will differ from printer to printer, and you ideally don't want your graphic designer doing all that work and then RE-doing all that work once you choose a printer.

BTW, don't confuse "illustrator" with "graphic designer" -- some graphic designers have no illustration (drawing and painting) skills, and hire out that work, while others serve as both illustrator and graphic designer, but they are two different roles. Maybe you're thinking of illustrations more than overall graphic design?

-- Matthew

Anonymous
Questions concerning graphical artists.

How true. Substitute every references of a designer with illustrator in my former post.

In my circles, it's just natural being a little bit of both. That's way I didn't differenciate.

Anonymous
Questions concerning graphical artists.

True, any competent GD can design a boardgame to printer spec-- the better designers will use the proper programs/techniques to ensure that the design is 'editable' (color changes, sizing, text). Using programs such as Illustrator/Freehand, Quark and PhotoShop (GD Professional standards) will ensure the files are compatible and ready to go to any potential printer.

Jayhubbard
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Questions concerning graphical artists.

I'm a designer, if someone hired me to do the graphics and artwork for a game. I would need to know the box dimensions if its sold in a box. The size of the rule book, is it going to A4, A5. How many pages, will it be 1,2 3 or more colours, B/W or full colour.

Is there going to photography, or drawn illustration. Who is doing them, who will liase with them.

What file format does the printer need, does the printer take MAC or PC or both.

When do you want to see the first initial designs, page layout for the rule book. When do you want the finished product.

There is a whole list of information that would be required up front by the designer. A competant and professional designer would design the graphics in professional software, such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and Quark Express.

All of this needs to be prepared upfront otherwise what will happen is that the designer does a complete design, then it needs changing becuase of reasons with the print outputs. At this point YOU will be charged aditional costs for that additional work either by the designer or the printer.

FastLearner
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Questions concerning graphical artists.

phiblue29 wrote:
True, any competent GD can design a boardgame to printer spec-- the better designers will use the proper programs/techniques to ensure that the design is 'editable' (color changes, sizing, text). Using programs such as Illustrator/Freehand, Quark and PhotoShop (GD Professional standards) will ensure the files are compatible and ready to go to any potential printer.

Any competent GD would request the specs in advance, because it will save his client needless expense. Of course the designer would use modern DTP applications, but, for example, to change the trap on 20 illustrations from .1 pt to .2 pt is going to burn a minimum of one hour of extra time, and could burn 10 hours of time, depending on the illustrations. Switching from a four-color plus a spot design to a 4-color only design will take hours. Switching from 2.5" x 3.5" cards to 2.25" x 3.5" cards will take hours. Etc.

A good designer will tell his client that he will save a lot of money by getting printer specs in advance, and the designer will have the appropriate freedom and restrictions to work under to provide the best possible design within the printing constraints.

Designers who just do the work and then charge the client a ton for changes later without advising the client of a better way to handle it in advance are the very designers who give the profession a bad name.

Designers who just do the work and then don't charge the client for the changes will either (a) drag the project way down by finishing well past the due date, or (b) drive themselves out of business by underestimating. Who also give the profession a bad name.

-- Matthew

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