A recent topic in an illustration group I am a member of has caused a quite a stir. There is a shared and growing unhappiness over print quality of finished, printed picture books vs the artwork (whether digital or traditional) turned in to the publisher. In my short publishing history (2 picture books, 6 kids' graphic novels), each book has been over-saturated and far darker than the original artwork, to the point where light blue skies are suddenly dark purple and subtle shades of grey are harsh and black. I was wondering, as an editor, do you notice a disparity between original artwork and final product?The tough part for me as an editor is that I may or may not see the original artwork; and even if I do, I'll see the proofs somewhat later, and may or may not remember what the artwork looked like.
It's true that there's not so much that illustrators can do about this-- publishers may be willing to give you consultation over proofs in your contract, but they certainly aren't going to give you approval, which is the only thing that would prevent them from rushing ahead with proofs you don't like, if that's what they want to do.
The thing illustrators can do is to talk to each other about which publishers are screwing up and which aren't. If a publisher realizes that illustrators are going to stay away from them for the crappy quality of their printing, they'll have a motivation to improve.
Whose production quality do you admire? Who's burned you? Comments are anonymous.