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  1. #1
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    lil_tuffy's Avatar


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    Default Debate: The Free % of Run Merch Deal

    I'm starting a new thread because I think it's kind of silly to continually have these arguments in the actual threads and keep bumping something that really should just be squash (see: http://www.gigposters.com/forums/art...rs-europe.html ).

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Over the past few years, a trend has developed where a band will have someone organize a tour series presenting a deal where an artist (usually local) will design and print a poster and provide X% for the band to sell as merch at the show and the poster artist is free to sell the remainder of the run on their own terms after the show.

    Initially, these types of deals were set-up by gigposter.com friendly bands which presented an opportunity for folks here to do a poster for a band that has a pretty high profile and good potential for after-market sales.

    When people first start out and ask us for advice on how to get into making posters, we recommend doing posters for your friend's bands -- start within your community. I think many of us looked at the bands involved with these series and felt like we were kinda doing something like this but on steroids (sweet! I've always wanted to do a _______ poster!).

    Maybe we were naive, but now this model is generally frowned upon and met with the usual banshee calls of NO!SPEC.

    I'm gonna play devil's advocate here for just one second because I have done a number of deals like this in the past and still do it every once in awhile (the deal that inspired this thread is too shitty to even consider for the reason stated).

    Certain opportunities like this do work out in my favor but I'm pretty sure that this success is limited to me and less than a handful of other artists.

    I participate in EVERY flatstock and do at least one other festival or show a month (indie marts, bar shows, galley shows, etc). Usually, I can turn around those posters pretty quickly and, in rare cases, make more money than I would have if I had been paid to do the poster to begin. It would be even more lucrative if I actually worked with wholesalers and sold via my website. So, like Dave pointed out, having a limited license to sell band merch on my own terms does sometimes outweigh the risk of fronting the cost of producing a poster.

    /devil's advocate

    That being said, I rarely take on these types of jobs anymore because I realize it is bad for us as an "industry" and it also takes away from my other business model (one that other people here hate) of selling the poster at the show via pre-arranged percentage agreement with band.

    Lastly, should the API consider taking on more of a roll like AIGA and create a professional guideline for poster makers?

  2. #2
    HYNES's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by lil_tuffy View Post
    Lastly, should the API consider taking on more of a roll like AIGA and create a professional guideline for poster makers?
    The designing and creating of posters should already be adhered to under AIGA professional guidlines, - there should be zero difference professionally between this branch of design and any other area. I think part of the problem comes from the subcultural and renegade nature of making concert posters, its kind of a no mans land as far as design and its professional ethics and as a result has shunned the established design systems and fitted in more with the music industry, where as we all know, most people get fucked somehow or other.

  3. #3
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    steve w's Avatar

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    No!rules
    "I guarantee, the image will not be fade off and you will be pleasure it too. " - a bootlegger
    We need to print a tshirt "Avoid sucker effect!"-Fabio
    "fudge isn't sharp"-phoondaddy

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by lil_tuffy View Post

    Lastly, should the API consider taking on more of a roll like AIGA and create a professional guideline for poster makers?
    My feeling is no. This has come up before, and at the time I think I was in favor... The problems become apparent when we get into debating what those guidelines are, and to whom they should apply; if it is possible to apply them equally and fairly or whether they help some while unfairly restricting others, and if they can be flexible enough to apply to a dynamic marketplace.

    I'm not saying any of these issues are insurmountable, just that I am skeptical about getting to that point. Bottom line- API can and occasionally has taken action in cases such as flagrant ethical violations, plagiarism, etc. But API does not take the role of interceding in any way between its members and their clients, in a free marketplace, in varying locations with different standards and conventions. To do so would require a very different type of organization and structure, with the ability, mechanisms, and personnel to enforce said guidelines. Ultimately this would mean more restrictive membership requirements and a shift away from the inclusive spirit of API and pit the interests of some members against others, which I feel would be antithetical to our mission.

    As Tuffy points out, every time this comes up there is an element of old guys saying to new guys, "This thing that I did for years? It is wrong for you to do it."

  5. #5
    Zach Hobbs's Avatar

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    I wish I didn't love rock'n'roll so much. I'd be trying to make actual art or something I could sell.

    We can barely get a design fee out of clients. That should come FIRST. $5 per print aint' got nothing to do with design time.

    But whatever. I'm fat and happy so life goes on.

  6. #6
    Zach Hobbs's Avatar

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    and i made a new twitter acount so it is RILLY good round my hood.

  7. #7
    vrooooom's Avatar

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    Dan is right on.

    Should you be paid for the work you do? Yes. Always yes. But, paying poster clients don't materialize out of thin air. They want to see a portfolio of your poster work. Doing pro bono work for bands is a good way to build up a body of work in the real world, with real people, without resorting to bootlegs and "fake" posters. Good negotiation comes in here... try to be creative and push for a deal that makes both parties happy.

    I see this whole debate as a debate between two different viewpoints, namely that of the established poster artist and the developing poster artist. "Do what I say, not as I do" seems to be the idea here. How do emerging artists/designers get into the in crowd of Flatstock without doing some poster whoring? You've got to have enough poster work to fill a 10x10 booth to be considered, but you need to have a body of work to get the jobs. Catch-22.

    Tangent: I love AIGA (I'm a member), but I think the entire design world needs to wake up. Unless you work for corporate clients, nobody wants to be quoted on your hourly rate. They want a fixed fee, even if you derive it from your hourly.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by crosshair View Post
    As Tuffy points out, every time this comes up there is an element of old guys saying to new guys, "This thing that I did for years? It is wrong for you to do it."
    As an "old guy".. or older than new anyway... it felt like a raw deal then and it feels like a raw deal now. The difference is that the market wasn't so saturated back then. It was like saying... "hey, there's a jewel in that fire... if you want the jewel, you have to burn your hand but you'll get the jewel." I burned my hand a quite a few times and walked away with many jewels.

    Now you just have people saying "Hey will you burn your hand for me? Who want's to step right up and put their hand in a fire?" But the jewels are all gone (or few and far between anyway).

  9. #9
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    The other thought I just had about "do as I say not as I do".

    yeah it seems kind of shitty, but look at other instances/industries where people go along doing something a certain way until they realize, "shit... this is really fucking up the environment, we should stop... nobody do it this way anymore..." and the industry adapts and moves on.

    Seems like this is what's happening more so than old dudes throwing out a double standard.

  10. #10
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    Oh I agree completely.
    Which is why it's best to discuss this without anyone throwing out condemnation of how someone functions in the market (artists but also bands & other clients).
    It's hard to address things as they are with some moral judgment hanging over it.
    Then you get a pissing match, or keyboard kommandos trying to outdo each other sticking it to the enemy du jour.
    Which, I think, is why Tuffy started a new thread rather than keep it in the Monster Magnet vomment stream.

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