Just got off the phone with a publisher that want to give me a bid on producing one of my games. The problem? Like most of us here, I use PHOTOSHOP ELEMENTS to design the cards. In case you haven't tried it, PE is the best bang for your buck out there in making your game look good.
For $100 you get 'PHOTOSHOP LITE' - it's a steal. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles [which you don't really need anyway] and is probably the easiest to use program ADOBE makes.
When I design my stuff in PE, it comes out in RGB mode because PE doesn't support CMYK. So sometimes my stuff out stunning [like GODS ALONG THE NILE] and sometimes it gets washed out [like CARACTOR MATCH]. You can see samples of both on BGG or my website- terrangames.us
I've contacted the folks at ADOBE, but it seems all you can do is post something on their 'PHOTOSHOP FAMILY COMMUNITY SUPPORT SITE'. If you ever go there, please add a comment.
If anybody has found a converter program [that doesn't cost an arm & a leg], please let me know. I and my publisher will be happy to hear about it!
when you say publisher do you mean someone is going to license the game from you, have it produced, and sell it paying you a % of the take?
If that is the case you most likly don't need to worry much about the art being perfect unless they have said they want to use your art.
I use GIMP, which is absolutely free, and has CMYK plugins:
First off, there is ImageMajick (http://www.imagemagick.org/) and an online convertor (http://www.rgb2cmyk.org/), which I haven't tried since I just found it using a Google search. However it does let you pick format and PROFILE and that's a good sign that they know something of what they're doing.
As Dralius gently pointed out, I think you have a printer (or production company whatever you want to call them) but not a publisher. A publisher interested in using your original art would be able to (and want to) convert it themselves. It sounds like you're dealing with a printer that uses CMYK as a minimum threshold, probably thinking that requiring CMYK will prevent them from having to deal with loads of amateurs. The reality is that most digital presses and CTP (Computer To Plate) systems will do a better job at converting a RGB image, since they have profiles of their actual output and are not using some generic profile (having a generic profile is still better than none at all, hence my words above about the website).
Give those tools a shot and if you want me to take a look at your files, drop me a line here.
Dral - let me clarify. These are my PRINTERS, not my PUBLISHERS. I don't have a publisher - I 'publish' my own stuff. I create my own artwork, but when I submit it to the various POD printers, sometimes my RGB artwork comes out stunning [like I made it] and sometimes all the cool textures I gave it become washed out when the CMYK printing machines 'translate' it [or whatever you call it].
Matt - I have no idea what the problem with 'conversion' is. I've worked with this printer before - she REALLY wants to use my artwork as I present it to her. I know this person - she's not trying to screen anyone out. As she understands it [and she should understand it - it's her company] all her printing presses are set up to take CMYK images and reproduce them faithfully. Images created using RGB are always a crapshoot [as we both found out], which is why she wanted to make sure my current project is CMYK so the images come out as I design them [not as the machine spits them out].
Yesterday she spent an hour with me on the phone walking through PHOTOSHOP ELEMENTS looking for the CMYK filter [or button or whatever] and was shocked to discover there wasn't one. She considers CMYK as the 'industry standard' and couldn't understand why ADOBE would put out a product that doesn't render images in that mode. She's going to be contacting the folks at ADOBE [she has one of those 'professional' accounts], but I don't think she's going to get far. I called ADOBE myself [thinking perhaps PE10 might have included that feature - I'm using PE9], but after talking to the sales rep [I'm not worthy to talk to any of the big-wigs there] he just confirmed that if I want CMYK ability, I'll just have to buy the standard PHOTOSHOP suite.
I checked the Money Tree out back, but all it's producing is pennies [I'm using the wrong fertilizer - I just KNOW it!]. No help there. Besides - I don't really WANT to use the full PHOTOSHOP suite - I'm comfortable with PE. For those of us that are computer challenged, PE is perfect. Just enough stuff to do what I want without getting lost in all the bells and whistles.... except for CMYK.
Thanks for the two links. I will give them a try [and recommend them to my printer as well]. And if you'll drop me a line directly, I'll be happy to let you take a look at some of my images I've had problems with - thanks for the offer!
BTW KAndrew - I have tried the GIMP thingie before, but couldn't figure out how to use it. Thanks anyway!
Okay sounds like you're dealing with an owner/sales rep who's got (or is giving you) a basic understanding of the process. However, there's a lot more too it than what she's saying. Yes, every offset process job uses CMYK, but an old-school method of "make film, shoot plates, hang on press, turn on the water, load paper, print" has a different set of requirements than a "send file to computerized plate maker, print on waterless press". But all that's kind of inside baseball.
I know where she's coming from on PE, but remember it (and other products like Aperture, Lightroom, GIMP, etc.) are orientated towards "take a picture with a digital camera, mess with it, put it online" workflow. Adobe does offer their cloud suite, where you pay per month to have access to Photoshop and/or other Adobe programs, but I totally get your comfort level with PE. Learning a new program from scratch is hard even when you're getting paid to do it.
I've sent you a direct message with my email.