Feasibility of Color Art...

Started by Jesse Hill, May 12, 2008, 03:21:17 AM

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Jesse Hill

Hello friends and countrymen.

I've been lurking around here for a while, and I first want to say "Thank you" for all the advise you've given over the years. It has been a big help.

Now, my book is a little different because I'm not dealing with any rules. I'm making a world book which will be usable with any and all rule-sets. It's called OTHERWORLD and is, basically, a realm which has existed beside our own since the dawn of humanity. It is a place of dreams, nightmares, and destiny. Our fate is forever intertwined with it; it is our shadow... Or vice versa.

Yes, I'm being vague... But it's difficult to break down an expansive idea into a single paragraph. Heh.

Anyway, the style of the book will be that of a "travel journal" of a man who was transported to the Otherworld in 1894. His journal was published posthumously in 1908 by his nephew. It will contain numerous black and white ink illustrations made by the author during his travels. However, I will also be including some color art which he painted later, upon his return Home.

Here is an example:


Obviously, I want to preserve the color in this art. It's what I paid for! Trouble is, there is such an ENORMOUS price difference in POD services when it comes to color and B&W. It's difficult to justify the cost of printing 200 "color" pages, when really only 10 or 15 will be in full color.

Is there any POD that will print only SOME color? I imagine the answer is no.

Any advice?


Eero Tuovinen

Such services are possible. However, it's a specialty request, so you need a printer whose work flow is optimized for individualized project management instead of standardized and cost-optimized work. I can't help with finding such a printer in the US, but in general you might wish to look for printers that advertise the range of different work they do rather than price or such. It doesn't need to be a small and dingy art press, either - one of the largest digital printers here in Finland (and one I've used successfully several times) is well suited for specialty requests because they make a point of diversifying from their staple in architecture printing (which is already a very diverse field) - thus they have the capability for assigning a professional to figuring out strange book formatting as a matter of course. Compare to a place where nobody really understands the machinery and the only feasible option is to run pre-programmed compilations and cuts - the latter might be cheaper, but they can't do specialty work.
Blogging at Game Design is about Structure.
Publishing Zombie Cinema and Solar System at Arkenstone Publishing.


We can do it.

However, our listed color pricing (see URL below) assume the color pages will come in one of two varieties.


1) That the color pages are grouped together in just one or two signatures. Thus we can print them separately and insert them into the proper order by hand.

2) Our printer can print a mix of color and B&W in the same document, interspersed however you wish, but such machines are very sensitive when it comes to their automatic detection of "color" vs B&W pages. This means great care will have to be made during the layout to make sure the B&W pages are truly B&W in every aspect. We would have to run one print sample and watch the print counter to see if the printer charged the appropriate amount of color pages vs B&W pages. A B&W page not set up 100% B&W would get charged as color. If that were to happen on the test print, we would have to charge accordingly for that copy. Then stop printing so you can go back through the files to hunt down the B&W pages still containing color elements and fix it. Then repeat as necessary to arrive at a document the whole print run could be run with.

Ryan S. Johnson
Guild of Blades Retail Group - http://www.guildofblades.com/retailgroup.php
Guild of Blades Publishing Group - http://www.guildofblades.com
1483 Online - http://www.1483online.com
Ryan S. Johnson
Guild of Blades Publishing Group

Ron Edwards

I was under the impression that Lulu charged for color printing by the page, rather than considering the entire printing a "color job." Policies do change, however, so the best I can say is, check their website carefully for the current practice.

Best, Ron

Jesse Hill

Thanks so much, guys. Once again you prove yourselves to be a fount of knowledge!

It's nice to know that it can be done, and Ryan I'll definitely be looking your way.

Now I just have to finish the editing... :)

Jesse Hill

Actually, from what I'm now seeing, it doesn't look like Lulu offers that option. All the forum requests have Lulu rep's telling the customers that if you want one color page, the entire book will be printed in color.

So it looks like Ryan's print service is the way to go.