Consider this a rant, at the same time another polemic on free software vs proprietary software.
The cover illustration for one of the books was only available in medium-resolution JPEG format. Still, I didn't think it would be a problem as I only wanted two colors. It should have been easy to separate the red from the black, right?
Well, wrong. At least according to the Photoshop artists I spoke to.
"We can't work with this file," my designated artist said. "Look at this" -- he enlarged the file -- "do you see the jaggies there?"
"If you give us this file," his seatmate said, "we have no choice but to print it out using full-color." (That meant we would go over budget.)
"Waittaminnit!" I said. "Can't you just trace the file and turn it into a vector?"
"Oh, that's very difficult!" they said. "It will take hours!" And to prove their point, my designated artist did his thing on his Adobe Photoshop. The screen filled out with a jungle of blue nodes and connecting lines.
"Fine, fine," I sighed. "I'll do it myself."
I sat on it over a lazy Sunday, finally got off my butt this Monday morning, and fired up my computer. I separated the colors in GIMP, then traced the resulting images over in Inkscape. Voilà! I had my clean vector graphics in 15 minutes, done after breakfast and before I had to leave for work. See details above.
Danged spoiled Photoshop jockeys. Harrumph!