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  1. #1
    A Thousand Arms's Avatar

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    Default Let's start over. Permission Part II.

    So, that got out of hand in a hurry. I apologize for a new post, but my revised question would have gotten lost at the end of the previous thread. I appreciate the helpful answers to my previous post for their sincerity and the sarcastic replies for making me realize the current predicament I am in as a designer and why I felt the need to ask these questions in the first place.

    First, I live in Bozeman, MT and have been a vital component of the local music scene here for 6+ years. I have been in several bands, booked tours/shows, am currently co-running a small venue, and have heavily promoted for all of them. I have been freelancing as a graphic designer primarily for bands for at least 4 years and have quite honestly "paid my dues" by doing more than a fair amount of free work. I am very passionate about supporting local music, but it's very hard to progress in the poster business when there is a scarcity of new or even talented bands in your city. It is extremely rare that we even get a national-touring band stopping in Bozeman, let alone the whole state, so I haven't had many opportunities to gain first-hand experience with or work my up to dealing with major-label bands because the structure is just not in place in this state.

    I asked about Mastodon specifically because they are actually coming to Montana in May, but the question essentially relates to any major-label band. I have done (screen-printed poster) work with several indie labels and bands, but that's only because I could easily talk to the owners or members themselves via the internet. It gets a little more difficult reaching those people as the band gets more famous and has more people working for them. This was one aspect of my original question: When you would like to design a poster for bands of this level, who would be the best person to get in contact with, since it's almost impossible to get ahold of individual band members or the owner of the record label?

    This question mainly arose due to the fact that I haven't figured out who foots the bill for these kind of projects. Screen-printed gig posters are virtually nonexistent in this state, so venues aren't too keen on the idea of shelling out a few hundred dollars for something they see as just another form of advertisement. This led me to believe that if you wanted to design a poster for a band, you would get in contact with them and then pay for the production yourself.

    This also led to the question of compensation. I assume that as you increase your notoriety, bands start contacting you directly and commissioning posters, but how does one make the first step? I have always assumed I would have to take a certain amount of financial risk and investment in getting the first few out there, but I have heard different things regarding the actual sale of the posters. This is another reason I asked about who to get in contact with regarding poster production: I would like to be able to personally sell a small portion of the run to help recoup the costs of printing, but how does this all work out legally, taking intellectual property rights and branding into account?

    Also, who ends up receiving the money for actual sales of these posters at the actual event? I'm sure bands receive the money for tour posters that they take with them from city to city, but regarding venue-specific posters, does the money go to the band or the promoter? Knowing this would definitely help point me in the right direction as far as who to talk to.

    Someone in the previous thread mentioned going to Flatstock. I have been trying to put myself in a position to join the American Poster Institute since I joined Gigposters two years ago, but this requirement is the one I am currently trying to fulfill:

    'An artist or printer is eligible to apply to join the API as an Accredited Professional if he or she has produced more than one authorized commercially-released poster promoting an entertainment-related event.'

    I assumed the term 'commercially-released' meant designing a poster for a major-label band, as these would be the only ones affiliated with any higher form of commercialism. If anyone could clarify what is meant by this, it would really help me out a lot and give me some idea of what to work towards.

    Seeing the overwhelming response to my previous post made me realize what a vibrant community this is, and has made me that much more motivated to get involved with the gigposter community as a whole.

    Any responses to this mass of text are greatly appreciated.

    - A Thousand Arms


    P.S. Please keep the "move out of Montana" comments to a minimum. It will only be hilarious the first five or six times.

  2. #2
    andydiesel's Avatar

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    Do you know Hanna Montana?

  3. #3
    VonDada's Avatar

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    Detroit.

  4. #4
    farleypig's Avatar

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    seriously, i say contact both the band (through US booking agent) and the venue. Start with one and if they give you the ok or ya'll set up a deal, contact the other to make sure it is kosher.

    as far as the API, it seems quite clear to me that you can join. you have created screen printed posters for local bands and indie labels. i could be wrong, but i don't think so.
    seems like you have a lot of passion for this and are serious about going about it the 'right' way. hopefully someone that has a little more experience than me and that also sees that you are serious, can answer your other questions.

  5. #5
    Premium Member
    johnny's Avatar


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    I think you're putting too much thought into this.
    Go to band's website. Find management contact (it's on there). Send an email expressing interest in making (and selling) a poster for band. Await response, repeat.
    If you don't get their blessing, don't do it. Move ON.

    Did you even try to join the API? It's not like applying to McDonald's, they might actually accept you.

    A lot of people here who print their own posters go to the shows themselves and sell them. Sometimes they keep all the money, sometimes they split it with the band. That's worked out between poster person and band.

    Don't worry about bands commissioning you for work, from my experience, that didn't happen overnight and it isn't a consistent thing anyway. There's folks on here where this is their main gig, which is awesome, but I think it's also rare. Don't quit your day job just yet.

    I checked out your myspace (UK?) your work is pretty solid, don't know why it's not on here.

    My advice, keep your expectations low. Poster making for me is a money-losing venture. I do it for kicks. Whoopee-Doo!!! And for the fact that it leads to other low-paying extremely time-consuming jobs.

    It bears repeating, though, GO PREMIUM. There's a wealth of information on here, there's even more on the premium pages. Also, use the search function on the forums. You might avoid a torrent of unwanted sarcasm from people who understandably are sick of answering the same question over and over.

  6. #6
    MarkSkull's Avatar

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    I want to add my 2-cents:

    I want to say thanks to everyone for their posts about this. Contacting the venues is a good idea, same with bands. But here's what I've run into, at least personally. Some venues have people doing "posters" and "promotion", but they really don't. In my home town of Philly, there's a place that has a ton of great shows, and all the posters for metal shows are either generic ones or boring as hell, and they're only in the store.

    What I did was take the liberty of promoting national metal acts locally by doing gig posters pro-bono. I do it out of the love of the music and my love of metal and supporting it in my town.

    There's been a nice payoff to it, too. I did a poster for In Flames which their management saw and liked. If I was smarter about it, it would have wound up being a full-on official poster, but I screwed that one up. I also did one for Municipal Waste the same way and the only reason it didn't get used was, you guessed it, I screwed up in terms of contacting them. The band LOVED the flyer, too!

    So, my advice? Do it if you love it, and start showing the venues and the bands your work. Just be smart, be cool, and follow the advice these awesome people have.



    I hoped I helped.

    Philadelphia's Larry West Productions - Illustration - Design - World Domination

  7. #7
    Premium Member
    Pfahlert Creative Labs's Avatar


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    Oct 2007
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    Items for Sale

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by johnny View Post
    I think you're putting too much thought into this.
    Go to band's website. Find management contact (it's on there). Send an email expressing interest in making (and selling) a poster for band. Await response, repeat.
    If you don't get their blessing, don't do it. Move ON.

    Did you even try to join the API? It's not like applying to McDonald's, they might actually accept you.

    A lot of people here who print their own posters go to the shows themselves and sell them. Sometimes they keep all the money, sometimes they split it with the band. That's worked out between poster person and band.

    Don't worry about bands commissioning you for work, from my experience, that didn't happen overnight and it isn't a consistent thing anyway. There's folks on here where this is their main gig, which is awesome, but I think it's also rare. Don't quit your day job just yet.

    I checked out your myspace (UK?) your work is pretty solid, don't know why it's not on here.

    My advice, keep your expectations low. Poster making for me is a money-losing venture. I do it for kicks. Whoopee-Doo!!! And for the fact that it leads to other low-paying extremely time-consuming jobs.

    It bears repeating, though, GO PREMIUM. There's a wealth of information on here, there's even more on the premium pages. Also, use the search function on the forums. You might avoid a torrent of unwanted sarcasm from people who understandably are sick of answering the same question over and over.
    Better advice has not been spoken, nicely put.

  8. #8
    Premium Member
    jayryan's Avatar


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    1000 RRRms, the clause you're refering to is meant to keep out student work or fan work, which has not been commissioned or approved by the band. if the dude with the takamine acoustic who plays at the coffeehouse on tuesdays has "hired" you to make a poster, you've passed that test.

    contact the band through their sites, myspace, or by asking the promoter to put you in touch with the band.

    as mentioned above, everything else has been covered on this site like 4378 times.

    welcome to GP. you've passed your first hazing, and are now welcome to make fun on robbie,
    Last edited by jayryan; 02-17-2010 at 11:05 AM. Reason: your/you're
    most of the time we never fish!

  9. #9
    Premium Member
    allenboe's Avatar


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    Just go ride Bridger and forget about all this poster nonsense.

    Johnny probably said it best.

  10. #10
    Premium Member
    Andymac's Avatar

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    That must be a GP first. Guy reads comments, doesn't start crying, comes back for more with intelligent response. STILL WANTS TO HANG with the douchebags.


    Go Bozoman!
    Andymac

    services www.squeegeeville.com
    equipment www.tmiscreenprinting.com

    Todo es empezar.

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