As I describe our methodology throughout the rest of this article, I’ve included various samples of art pieces we’ve rendered. Our more complete art portfolio is available upon request!
Our Artwork Capabilities
The Lumina art team includes more than 45 team members with experience ranging from 2–25 years in the graphics field. Our capabilities range from rendering simple technical art to very complex illustrations including characters for animation and complicated photo manipulation work. We also house 3 high-end photo scanners, used to scan all modes of input at the highest quality. Outside of our creative team, we employ separate, dedicated teams to create high-end art stylesheets, perform accessibility evaluations, and to provide art management services.
When needed, we also bring on art development editors (most of whom are located in the US) to provide necessary art direction or interpretation. This is especially useful when the provided input or source material is unclear, subject to interpretation, or perhaps to be based on an external (reference) source. In those cases, in addition to providing creative direction, the art DE must ensure the rendered art does not infringe on the copyright of the original source material. For that reason, the Lumina Rights and Permissions team often supports the art team, with personnel from both teams collaborating to ensure copyright issues are avoided.
A key early stage in the process is analyzing the input files we are given. The input source material that we receive from clients varies greatly depending on the experience and creative capabilities of the individuals preparing those materials, which might include storyboards, descriptions of requested images, rough drawings, reference images, data tables, marked up manuscript files, and more. When analyzing input materials, we make sure that all files (including sources) are available, usable, of high-quality, and can be successfully opened. We also check if the necessary instructions or references are provided for us to be able to perform the requested tasks. We are careful to record all this information (and more) in a log that also includes a per piece cost estimate, in order to help the client plan their budget. We aim to work with whatever input files are provided and help realize the creative intention of each art piece.
Art Stylesheet Creation
Ideally, especially for complex art programs, we strongly prefer to meet clients and authors at an initial job launch. These launch meetings help us to understand the overall scope of work, and preferences, special instructions, content plans, the market, competition, and other essential information. As a first stage following a launch meeting, we create an art stylesheet that includes all basic technical information (such as fonts, stroke weights, arrow styles, approved color palettes, master elements, icons, etc.) along with some representative visual examples that help our art production team to follow and create all art consistently.
The Importance of Accessibility and Diversity
One of our primary goals is to create artwork that is visually pleasing. One way that we do this is by referring to the input material and maintaining the integrity of the author’s message and vision. We aim to enhance the author’s message with visuals, rather than detracting or distracting from the content. We also ensure that the artwork is “born accessible,” original without copyright infringements, and analyzed (pre-flighted) to meet print/digital requirements for resolution, color mode, dimension, etc. We also make sure that any line drawings that include or represent people (in whole or in part) appropriately reflect our diverse, global world by including multiple skin tones, genders, individuals with differing abilities, socioeconomic statuses, ages, body types, ethnicities, family makeups, religions, and more. Diversity and inclusion are essential principles for content creation, and we support all of our clients in furthering representation of non-dominant groups in all content.
Quality is always our top priority. To ensure that our art files are of sufficient and consistent quality, we rely on our dedicated art QA team, which specializes in checking all artwork produced. Members of this team are familiar with our standard checks, and are experts at ensuring files are created per all relevant standards. We verify our processes with individualized checklists and style sheets, and record all instances of quality issues via our iConnect system to ensure continual improvement across our teams. In addition to visually checking each piece in Acrobat, our QA team members also open the art application files to check spacing, layers, and to simply check that the files have been constructed correctly. Our QA approach is multifaceted and layered with redundancies to ensure we are catching errors prior to final delivery.
Regardless of your market, product type, or the quality of your input files, the creative specialists on our art team want to work with you to bring the art in your product to life! Are you interested in talking to our team of experts about your art program needs? We want to hear from you! Email our team to get a quote, or visit our website to learn more about Lumina Datamatics.