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Questions about artwork for cards

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LarryZ
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Joined: 12/31/1969

I've developed a card game which is in the spirit of games such as Uno, Fluxx, Chez Geek, etc. I've taken what I feel are the most fun aspects of various games, and combined them with an original theme.

I'm planning on self-publishing the game, and I have some questions about the artwork.

1) Would it be a poor idea to make all of the cards in black and white, or should I only consider full color? The cards all require artwork which is similar to that found in Chez Geek (cartoonish), and the artwork is very significant to the theme of the game. I assume that I should print all the cards in color, even if it is more expensive to do so. Does that sound best?

2) I'm thinking about having a talented friend do the artwork, since at this point I just can't afford a professional. What type of materials and media should he use? The artwork is in the spirit of a newspaper comic strip. My concern is that certain materials, such as colored pencil, may not scan well, and may not look good when printed on the actual cards. I'm not certain if using thin markers or similar would be a better choice.

3) Does anyone have suggestions for payment for the artist, once the game actually starts selling? The artwork is so significant to the game that I'm thinking I'd have to give him 50% of the profits, with some considerable money up front. The best analogy for the game would be Chez Geek---without the artwork, no one would be interested in buying or playing the game, no matter how much fun it is.

Thanks in advance for any insight.

Jpwoo
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Joined: 03/26/2009
Questions about artwork for cards

Quote:
2) I'm thinking about having a talented friend do the artwork, since at this point I just can't afford a professional. What type of materials and media should he use? The artwork is in the spirit of a newspaper comic strip. My concern is that certain materials, such as colored pencil, may not scan well, and may not look good when printed on the actual cards. I'm not certain if using thin markers or similar would be a better choice.

I think that black and white is fine for the 'play' side of cards, the card backs should probably have come color.

You also might want to get quotes for 1 extra color too. The addition of a single color can make things stand out.

Many artists use a kind of paper called Bristol which is very good for illustration. It takes ink or markers very well, while still letting you erase the underlying pencils. Then you can scan and use those images almost directly.

If you want to skip inking, or using expensive paper you may consider 'digital' inking. Or just scanning the pencils and finishing the piece out in one of many art programs. This has the advantage of being easy to fix mistakes. (this may have some expense for a scanner, software or a drawing tablet for the pc)

Ultimately you should go with whatever your artist feels most comfortable with. That will get you your best results in the short term.

Quote:
3) Does anyone have suggestions for payment for the artist, once the game actually starts selling?

I think your plan of paying him up front and then giving him a cut of the profits makes sense. Another thing you should do is put his name prominantly on the box and in the rules book. Generating name recognition is important for an artist (or board game designer).

Consider his time. If you have a 60 card game and he can do 1 drawing an hour, that is a week and a halfs worth of work if he works on it full time.

Spend at least as much time playtesting and editing as he does drawing :)

NetWolf
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Questions about artwork for cards

You definately need color. If you are looking to minimize cost by limiting color selection, reduce it to the primary colors.

The artwork could be done in any medium, really, though it needs to have a digital counterpart. Remember, save the images larger than the printed version. Reducing images maintains details while enlarging does not.

As for payment, the details really depend on the artist. Since the artwork is simple, I would probably pay him a lump sum for each image and then a small percentage per unit sold. If he's not willing to do that, be prepared to pay for it in entirety up front.

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