Diane Sauer
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One mistake I admit I've made with previous games is asking my illustrators to do everything including the graphic design. Recently, during a game of Looting Atlantis with several designers the feedback they gave me afterwards opened my eyes. They all loved the game, but also said that the layout and logo were a discredit to it. Not being an artist myself, I never appreciated how much a graphic designer could add or how much I was asking of my illustrator. Not knowing better I assumed if someone could do one they could automatically do the other. I know some people can do both, but not everyone can, so it is something I will always consider after this experience.

Before


After


In addition, the new logo he created and the amazing job he did on the rule book has me hooked. Lesson learned!
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Luke Heineman
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I like the artwork, but I'm honestly not a fan of either of these designs. The top one: purple doesn't work, and the textbox at the bottom doesn't work because of contrasting colors and legibility.

The bottom one:

I'm not a fan of the title font, but that's personal taste. I'd rather see the title floating up higher to "center" it vertically in the dark space.

Why the big dark border? Also, the plain blue rectangle on that textured dark background looks strange . . . like it's floating above it. A decorative border of some sort to make the transition from that dark background to the blue/interior of the card would do wonders. And I'd rather see the artwork larger. . . . the blue rectangle on top detracts from the art. Is it really necessary?

The bottom text box: needs inset spacing badly. Text shouldn't push up to the bounding box of the text field.

Just my two cents. Anyone can nitpick any designs to death, so I don't mean to come across badly. I had a graphic design teacher I'd take my stuff to when I felt good about it and say "alright, tear it apart for me so I can learn to make it better".
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James Boardgame
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I'm about split 50/50 on the things I like and dislike on both designs myself.

The border seems to wide on the redesign, and although the colours are better, seems too dark to my nitpicky, unprofessional eye. Don't like jaggedy fonts (stick to Comic Sans...).

Not trying to wind you up about this, and I probably wouldn't have given it any thought if attention wasn't drawn to it.

Edit: Yeah, him above said it much better. At least it isn't just me!
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Paul DeStefano
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I don't see a better. I see two different takes.
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Diane Sauer
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Keep in mind that the black border and wide border are there for bleed and will be reduced quite a bit upon printing.

Here is a picture of the test print (from GameCrafter).

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Robert Beachler
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The newer one is certainly more polished as for layout though the dull flat color isn't one I'm fond of. The texture also seems rather busy compared to the art. I'd also find a border for it all and find a less annoying font personally but it's still a slight improvement.
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Yes, I don't see that much of a huge improve, although I appreciate some cleaner design. BTW,about something said in the first post, some of us are equally trained in both categories (design/illustration), one does not have to exclude the other, and not always is the case where it is one person super specialized in one field, but no so strong in the other. That's common, but not always the case. Is better just to give a go with objective glance to the design, no matter if the person is an illustrator as well. Is not an obstacle. Some of us needed to dedicate the same amount of years of training to both and even more profiles.(specially inside small companies)

Sorry if these bits are already said... Some spacing between text and blue rectangle's borders could benefit the design. Also, yes, adding some borders detailing work for those elements might be good, richer. But keeping it all in the futuristic sci fi theme, probably.

BTW, someone mentioned Comic Sans...Is so hated by many designers...Not me, as I think everything has its use and place, (which is not my designs, in any way, btw, I don't like it. There are tons of better fonts..just I don't see the need to remove it from the planet, as literally said by others.)

And yup, that big black border is not seen so, is bleed, usually 3mm for the cutting machine error margin.

Don't get discouraged (not here, as is a polite forum, but in some other places on Internet, people can be way too much negative, to the point of not even being accurate with reality), a project takes a lot of effort, there is the limit of small budgets, an things like this. And pulling out a project needs always a lot of energy, time, money...Need to keep optimistic, and moving forward.
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Steven Tu
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The original had some really terrible choices - the pink text, stroked text, white dropshadow on body text, texture just slapped down without any kind of integration, are all pretty bad.

The new one has sound decisions but is still quite uninspired. The artwork is still placed without any integration, the stroking on the symbols are unnecessary, and the title font... Not a fan.

Unless "Converter" means a specific thing gameplay wise, I wouldn't highlight it.

Yeah, it *is* definitely important to get a good designer! And in this case, maybe some art direction, but in a small project's case they're one and the same.

Sorry if we're all coming across as harsh, criticism is the only way your work gets better, and straight-up crit is always the best

Good luck!
 
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Carl G
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Feedback on the designs notwithstanding, you make a very valid point about those two skills being very different. I do see a more focused approach to the iconography and font usage in the second one. It's good for folks to know design is a separate ability from illustration. Thanks for sharing!
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Diane Sauer
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Tuism wrote:

Unless "Converter" means a specific thing gameplay wise, I wouldn't highlight it.


Convertor is highlight for a very specific game related reason. Same with the icon and color bar across the top placement.
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Yes, they are two different profiles... Just you can find people being very good at both areas. IMHO is more a case of evaluating in each case the quality offered, no matter if is a specialized designer, or someone counting with both profiles, the key is if the art provided is good, no matter if was made by a very specialized designer or someone with several profiles. Yet though, usually each of those requires quite some years, training, and in my opinion, professional experience, having worked under tight deadlines, and facing every minute very different problems, working under pressure, etc. Trust me, there's people doing great in both, and even covering more areas. (is a matter of years and the need of jobs/tasks switching). About critics, yes, more can be said here, but I kind of feel lately that if the original author sees too much negative criticism there's a possibility of feeling overwhelmed. You know that typical rule some art teachers apply, mixing spotting a negative detail, then a positive one, and so go alternating.

The design is cleaner as I said, although is true that it could use some extra element or decoration, that would play a bit better with the illustrations, as realism there seems to play with minimalism and large flat color areas not as well as probably other a bit more detailed and slightly textured solutions. Neither convinces me a clearly textured element(s), while all the others are untextured, strong solid color instead.
 
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Peter Wocken
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I agree with your assessment, the graphic design and illustration are two very different jobs. That's why when clients ask me to do the illustrations in addition to the design, I generally steer them towards hiring an illustrator. Doing end to end graphics plus all the illustrations makes a game take a lot longer to be produced.

The most important job that the graphic designer can do is make sure that their graphics, such as card borders, are done in a similar style so that the overall game looks cohesive. That's why I've found my background in illustration to be quite useful as I tackle the graphic design (really graphic illustration) on a game.

As an example, when I was working on Lagoon: Land of Druids, the bottom of the tiles were very important as far as conveying all of the game text and visual identifiers to help reinforce mechanics, but it was essential to make sure that the border and text box area felt like they had the same level of polish and detail as the illustrations. Here's a link to one of the tiles that I created: http://www.peterwocken.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/t...

Have a fun day!

—Peter Wocken
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Steven Tu
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diane1962 wrote:
Tuism wrote:

Unless "Converter" means a specific thing gameplay wise, I wouldn't highlight it.


Convertor is highlight for a very specific game related reason. Same with the icon and color bar across the top placement.


I understood the icon and colour bars, though I'm not sure why you're mentioning that they're there for gameplay reasons, it seems obvious. (The convertor less so because other cards didn't have highlighted words)

Even if they're gameplay-related colour bars and symbols, they still could be integrated better into the whole. Look at any of your favourite boardgame cards with illustrations and you'll see what that means:



Colours, check. Symbols, check. Integration, check.
 
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Robert Beachler
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I don't think it's necessary for us to school Diane on the benefits of "good" graphic design. I think she's already realizing this. What she had originally was poor, the next step up is better but still not beautiful by any means. Steven's example right above is a great one of what he says though and it's just fantastic work. Shooting for the best is what every game should try to accomplish.
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Yoyi
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robbdaman wrote:
I don't think it's necessary for us to school Diane on the benefits of "good" graphic design. I think she's already realizing this. What she had originally was poor, the next step up is better but still not beautiful by any means. Steven's example right above is a great one of what he says though and it's just fantastic work. Shooting for the best is what every game should try to accomplish.


Just to add to this, keep in mind as well that with quality, consts increase quite a bit.
 
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