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Artists' Guidelines

Last updated July 24, 2013

These guidelines represent our basic requirements for art submissions and contract art. We do not buy art "for later" . . . anything we purchase is by contract for a specific project.

The illustrations shown here represent our normal standard of quality. We cannot consider amateur, "fan" art, but if you think your work might be of professional quality, we'll be happy to look it over.

What We Want – Black & White

We are looking for clear, bold, high-contrast pen-and-ink (or computer-generated) drawings, showing a thorough knowledge of perspective, anatomy, shading and proportion. Shading should be done with solid blacks or in a graphics program such as Photoshop.

Our black-and-white art requires computer files for computer-generated work. Contact the Art Director for more information. We will accept mailed artwork but only inked originals or high-quality photocopies for reproduction (i.e., scanning).

What We Want – Color

We are looking for bright, high-energy color work that shows good composition, attention to detail, and knowledge of how a cover should be laid out.

Covers require either the original or a professionally-done transparency.

Initial Inquiries

When you first contact us, please include a cover letter and samples for our files as a permanent reference. Electronic submissions are preferred, and website links are the best way to show us your samples.

If you are mailing your samples, black-and-white artwork should be submitted as clean photocopies, with your name and address on the back of each sheet. For color samples, we will accept slides, high-quality color laser copies, or color photos. Again, your name and address (if there is room) should be on each copy.

Include representative samples of your work, regardless of style and/or subject matter, as our needs vary.

All inquiries should include a self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE). If the return of any submitted samples is requested, the SASE must have sufficient postage and be of a sufficient size to handle that return. No materials will be returned without an SASE with sufficient postage attached.

Rights Purchased

We purchase all rights to the artwork we contract. We also sometimes purchase second rights (gaming and game-related advertising) on previously published color covers. We return all originals after the product is published.

Pay Scales

For book interior art, we pay as follows:

  • For each full page (57.5 sq. in. or larger): $150
  • For each half page (35 sq. in. up to, but not including, 57.5 sq. in.): $75
  • For each quarter page (15 sq. in. up to, but not including, 35 sq. in.): $50
  • For each piece of spot art (less than 15 sq. in.): $20

Cover payment varies according to our specific requirements; contact the Art Director.

We sometimes commission original art or diagrams for our online zines. When we do, it must be 72dpi color JPEG, high resolution, between 250×250 pixels and 350×500 pixels in size.

Regardless of size, we pay as follows:

  • B&W Illos: $25
  • Color Illos: $35

Art Specs

Contracted art must be consistent with the rules and text of the product. Therefore, we provide specific art guidelines for each project.

The artists are sometimes supplied with laid-out pages, showing the exact size and shape of the "art hole" to be filled, as well as any specific illustration instructions. Not all art spaces are rectangular or square.

Payment is based on the size of the "art hole," not the size of the finished piece. Artists are encouraged to work proportionately larger than the designated area, though the Art Director should be contacted if the art is larger than 11" × 17".

Electronic Specs

We like to have art submitted electronically because it saves us time in converting it. However, if you do send art through email, please follow the guidelines below.

Send electronic images in grayscale for black and white illustrations, CYMK for color. Do not send files in bitmap. Crop any excess white space from the edges. The resolution image size should be 300 pixels per inch. Save each file in TIFF format, not EPS. If you have Photoshop, save the file for Macintosh with LZW compression. Always label assigned art with an abbreviation of the project name and the page number for which the art was assigned.

These guidelines are for interior illustrations (for print production) only. Please contact the art director about sending color or card art electronically.

Inquiries should be addressed to:

Art Director
Steve Jackson Games
PO Box 18957
Austin, TX 78760-8957

You can also send email to

Steve Jackson Games
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