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Centre for Publishing


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The Publishing Project, Group 5: Illustrators and Illustrations

By uczccgl, on 16 March 2016

In publishing, illustrations or other images are often a complementary part to the manuscript. It can be anything from pictures in a cookbook to illustrations in a children’s book. As part of the publishing project, it is up to each individual group to decide if working with images or illustrations is something worth doing.

There is a lot to consider when working with text and images, not least of all the cost of production. In most cases, the inclusion of an image or illustration will increase the cost of printing, either because it takes up extra space in the book, or because printing in colour is going to be more expensive than printing in black and white. There is also the quality of the paper to consider. Depending on the colour and quality of the image/illustration, you might need a certain type of paper that lends itself particularly well for printing images and/or colour. Furthermore, you have to make sure that the digital files containing the images have been properly rendered. That means it is your responsibility, and not the printer’s, to ensure that things like colour and dot-per-inch (DPI) is correct before going to print.

If you are using photographs, you might also need a photographer and the proper equipment, especially if you want a high-quality level of images. Then there are illustrations. When incorporating illustrations in a book, you are hugely dependent on artists. You can either commission or curate an illustration for your purposes, but you have to rely on the artist to deliver a piece of quality work. For my group’s publishing project, Works in Progress, we are using no less than ten different illustrators, whose illustrations we have curated and matched up with one of the short stories in our collection. We got in touch with the different artists either through submission of work or by approaching them ourselves to ask permission to use their art. Like our authors, every illustrator signed a contract giving us the right to use their work and even make slight alterations (with approval) to the illustrations. This allows us to change images that were originally in colour to black and white for print purposes, or even remove certain elements of the illustrations.

Because Works in Progress is a multi-media project, we are able to showcase the illustrations in their original colour on our website even if they will be featured in black and white in the actual book.

Below is a couple of examples of a title page, one in black and white for the book, and one in colour for the website:

Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 13.54.34Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 13.53.50

To check out Works in Progress’ Indiegogo campaign, click on this link, or find out more about us via our Twitter or Facebook!

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