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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 158 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Graphic Designers (split)  (Read 3076 times)
Scott "DensityMan" Chevalier
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« on: May 17, 2006, 10:02:20 AM »

Sorry to dig up old posts like this, but thought it better than starting anew...

Is there a resource available for start-ups who are looking for a layout artist?

We're finally to the point where panic looms and cash is short (i.e. nearing the end of the creative part and the business part scares us)...  ;)
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Scott "DensityMan" Chevalier

Ustio: the Rebirth
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2006, 03:41:21 PM »

The above was split from Graphic Designers from over a year ago.

Scott, here's a rule for you - when you say "Sorrry to do X," and then do it anyway, you are disrespecting every single person attending the Forge. This isn't the internet. This is more like real people in a real society. You can't say "sorry" and just do it, especially when I am available, and very very happy, to help you if you ever want advice on the best way to post. Send me a private message (click on my name and follow the options), and I promise I will not bite.

Also, don't say "sorry" now either. I've fixed it by splitting your post. People will respond and you'll have a discussion, and that will be good.

Best, Ron
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Joshua A.C. Newman
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the glyphpress


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« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2006, 08:36:15 PM »

Thanks for splitting this, Ron.

What kind of resource are you looking for? Book designers looking for work? Or a place to talk about design? Do you want to design your book yourself, or do you want to hire someone else to do it?

Others whose work I really respect are Luke Crane (Abzu) and Matt Snyder.
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the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.
Scott "DensityMan" Chevalier
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Posts: 11


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« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2006, 03:24:48 AM »

Looking for layout artists who are both good  and affordable for a start-up.  Locally I'd found a company that we use at my mortgage-paying job, but they were looking at $20/page for a 300+ page book.  None of our partners or artists have experience in Quark (which seems to be the accepted standard still for printers) nor have we ever done anything save for web-page and small desktop layouts.

The resource I was inquiring about above I still haven't found; a listing of 'hungry' layout artists looking for work.  For that matter are there resources for artists in general who are looking for a break-in book for name recognition more than cash initially?

We have some ideas for layout, but would be willing to listen as well to a layout artists suggestions.  While I have a good deal of web-usability and layout experience, the rules seem to be different for print from what I've noticed.

Joshua, thanks for the suggestions on layout artists.  I've e-mailed one already yesterday.

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Scott "DensityMan" Chevalier

Ustio: the Rebirth
playbywiki
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« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2006, 03:57:28 AM »

Joshua:

My marketing consulting firm occasionally quotes out book design jobs, and has worked out some interesting deals. We can be pretty flexible, depending on how flexible the clients are and how much *boom* they're looking for for how little $$$.

Couple questions:

1. How heavy on the graphics/funkiness is the layout? IE, are there a ton of tables and graphs and illustrations? And, if so, are they "finished" yet and ready to be dropped in? Or do they still need to be polished? That will really affect your price with any designer, because you're not just talking about layout, but design/illustration work.

2. How are you planning on publishing the book? POD through a company like www.Lulu.com? Or are you going to have it actually off-set or quickprinted? If you're planning on printing a decent run, some designers who have long-term relationships with printers (and, thus, access to better than "street" rates) will sometimes do the design for a very low price, if you'll let them arrange for the printing and then charge a margin on the print buy. You end up paying about what you'd normally pay on the print, and they get to make, essentially, a commission for bringing the job to a printer they know.

3. Would you be willing to give a designer/firm a percentage of the sale price of the books in exchange for a lower cost design rate?

Let me know what you think of those questions here, and ping me by email if you'd like.

300 pages is a big book. You'll be hard-pressed to get anyone to do it for free just as a "show off the work" gig. After about 10 pages of the same layout design... you're not showing off anything, you're just working ; )

Some design samples of layout work we've done can be found at http://www.sanestorm.com/html/portfolio.html

One of the items there is "I'm on a Roll," the story of America's celebrity hotdog king, Louie DiRaimondo. That's a book my brother wrote for Louie and that we designed/laid out and that Louie is now publishing POD at:
http://www.authorhouse.com/BookStore/ItemDetail~bookid~23670.aspx although currently I prefer Lulu as a print-on-demand vendor.

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Andy Havens
awhavens@sanestorm.com
PlayByWiki.com: The text *is* the sword...
Justin D. Jacobson
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« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2006, 04:35:40 AM »

Whatever segment of the publication process you're needing (other than actual printing--and there you've got other options), you can always find someone willing to do it on the cheap. You just have to look hard enough and then decide whether or not the quality's sufficient to warrant the cheap price. It's often a very real trade-off.

In any case, you might want to post on the Freelancers forum at RGPnet. There are at least a few layout artists who frequent it.
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Facing off against Captain Ahab, Dr. Fu Manchu, and Prof. Moriarty? Sure!

Passages - Victorian era, literary-based high adventure!
Scott "DensityMan" Chevalier
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« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2006, 04:47:08 AM »

Hey playbywiki,

Reply by numbers:

1. The funkiness level is probably pretty high (isn't it for all RPG's?). We do have a few charts throughout character creation and currently for certain systems where we have yet to better evaluate how we want to present them.  Equipment, for instance, is a big chart, but looking for other creative ways to display such things.  The majority of the tables are in MS Excel, but there are a few tables done through MS Word included in the text.  There will be insets with system put through several exposition/background areas and perhaps some short-story insets.  Since the world and breeds/races are all 'unique' to our world the art level is pretty high as well.  Looking at something like an average of one pic per page.

2. We've been investigating off-set printing currently, but have just started looking at Lulu as well. The package deal you describe there makes sense actually.  We've recently had our hearts set on a full-color, hard-bound print run of probably 2000 books.

3. I've been reading a few posts that have examples like what you describe here (percentage of sale in exchange for layout), but most seem to think that this system isn't really used all that often.  At this stage of the game we're willing to think on an talk about all the options.

300 pages is a big book (and it'll larger with all the art necessary) so we're not looking for a Free job (wouldn't that be great though?), but with a world created from scratch we really can't see a way where we can create a small book and cover everything.  That said we're definitely trying to make sure it's a good 300 pages.  ;)

Justin: I'll definitely check out that resource as well.

Thanks for the info and questions,
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Scott "DensityMan" Chevalier

Ustio: the Rebirth
dwalton97060
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« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2006, 05:10:10 AM »

My day job is layout and design of promotional products.  Annually I put together the company catalog. (all photos... typesetting layout...design).  Its a small company and I just sorta slid into the role.  After 5 years its kinda fun.  2 years ago I started learning to do the web stuff also (www.humphreyline.com) anyhow I would always be interested in trying my hand at some bigger layout projects.  I have worked with many printers and I typically use Indesign ("the quark killer") and find that most larger printers use PDF standard.

Questions... who would be creating the "drawings" and Illustrations on your project?  Would the layout person just be taking all your formatted text (word doc. / text file) and tables from excell along with pictures and putting them together for you?  Describe some of the details on a job like yours.

-don

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Docbrown
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« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2006, 02:47:34 AM »

Scott,
The prices that you quoted above might be normal for some industries, but are way too high for the rpg industry. I'd love to bid on this job, and my prices are a lot more reasonable. They typically range from $1 to $3 per page.

I'm a professional graphic designer with over 10 years of experience. I've worked with a number of companies in the industry, including Grey Ghost Games, Rebel Minis, Abstract Nova, and more. Large projects aren't a problem; I'm currently wrapping up work on a 250+ page book for another client, but I've worked on projects of all sizes. Samples of my work are available on my website at http://www.docbrown.net.

Shoot me a pm, and we can work out the details.

-Ed Wedig
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Edward Wedig
Graphic design services: page layout, logo design, cover design, pdf creation
Let me make your next project shine!
www.docbrown.net
Joshua A.C. Newman
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the glyphpress


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« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2006, 04:42:46 AM »

I don't advise selecting a designer based primarily on price, nor do I recommend working on the cheap. I find it fosters resentment because the client wants things on deadline and under budget and the designer wants to eat food regularly, and so prioritizes better-paying clients.

That said, a deal's a deal, and those of us who want to work on a project because it's something we can believe in will often work in the $5-$10/page range if we really believe in the project. The hourly rate winds up being close to minimum wage at that point much of the time, so believing in the project is very important.

(No, I'm not saying a page takes two hours to lay out. I'm saying that there's a lot of screwing around that goes with the project. The amount of screwing around is in inverse proportion to the amount the client is willing to pay.)     
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the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.
Scott "DensityMan" Chevalier
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Posts: 11


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« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2006, 06:58:58 AM »

Thanks for all the great replies (again).  Going to try and post/PM some more specifics after evaluating some of the points that have been brought up and getting a better handle on what formats we have everything in at this point.

While price is NOT everything, it does matter for the little guy, but so to does quality to us.  That's why I'm asking all these questions though; trying to find out what I haven't yet thought of and trying to make our stuff as easy to layout as possible.
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Scott "DensityMan" Chevalier

Ustio: the Rebirth
Joshua A.C. Newman
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the glyphpress


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« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2006, 08:00:50 AM »

Scott, I think you'll find that prices vary as widely as the quality. Here's what I'd recommend.

Take a look at the work done by the designers you can find. Take the best, say, three of them. Ask those three what they'll charge. If you can afford two of them, figure out which one you like  best, both for the quality of their work and how much you like dealing with them in your communications. Go with the one who will be the most productive to work with who you feel will be able to create something unique and appropriate on deadline. If both of them will be a pain to work with, go with the third guy. Being able to "afford" someone's work means more than their initial quote, of course. You pay in ill-communicated ideas and wasted time what you don't pay in money.

-J22f3
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the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.
gpetersz
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« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2006, 11:29:40 AM »

If, as a first (2.) time post, may I suggest that don't contact any artist with "it is going to be a good addition to your portfolio" or "you can show off your work".
It just scares them away. I know I should be one of them, but I am not really. :P (I graduated as a programmer, so many time my brain works just works differently)

Under graphic designer you mean: design only (creating and putting elements together), or design and artworks (meaning some images in the book)?
(sorry if it is obvious, I might missed something)

http://www.easternraider.com
http://www.easternraider.com/gallery
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Scott "DensityMan" Chevalier
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« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2006, 10:43:44 AM »

To clarify, we've got all (or most anyway) of our art already, we're looking for someone to just put it all together and make it look pretty.

The more I'm reading (here and elsewhere) on the subject, I may end up just putting the money into InDesign and doing it myself.  /shrug

So many different variables, interpretations and price scales...  I have a neighbor who makes her living in newspaper and magazine layout (I didn't know that before) and offered that her usual rate was $30/hour and that a full-size newsprint page took her about an hour.  Even that gave me little referrence to work from (the two media being almost entirely different from a visual POV.

I guess what I'm talking about is simply the act of helping to design the page template(s), make tables pretty and/or advise us how to do that, THEN the tedious (and I'm sure creative too) process of popping text into it.  This totally intimidates us, but I'm not certain why at this point.  I design web-pages for a living already, and understand the process of designing the look (creative) and the work of filling in all the content (tedious) and then making it all work while remaining pretty (logic/creative).

Those of you who have done your own layouts, how'd you start?  Was the first job Hell? We're you already a layout artist?

(We're still looking around and trying to make our stuff easier to work with using tips from here, RPGnet and the GPA list, but we are also looking at doing it in-house now as well.  It would be great to find someone that gets the product and the creator's vision of it and works magic in making the book look great, but I'm definitely getting the vibe that cost will become an issue quickly)

Thanks,
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Scott "DensityMan" Chevalier

Ustio: the Rebirth
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