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September 25 2006

KANE music banner contest & pictures wanted. Christian Kane's band KANE is having a contest where they are asking their fans to make banners for their various websites.

They are also looking for KANE related pictures for their "KANE Around the World gallery".

[ edited by zeitgeist on 2006-09-25 19:03 ]

Some folks actually get paid for creating banners. I didn't see a mention of what the winning designer wins, did any of you?
Honestly, as a graphic designer, this was my first thought, willowy. I mean, I certainly understand why an aspiring band would want their banners done for free, and additionally, a contest may spark additional interest in their music, but this from their myspace page:

"We received some really great entries, but still have not found exactly what we want. Here are some guidelines we should have mentioned before. 1. We'd like the banners to utilize the KANE logo but not feature any of the band members photos or likenesses. 2. We do want to stay with the theme of the band KANE, country music, and everything the band's music stands for. If you would like to re-enter the contest using those guidelines, we would love to receive some more new banner designs..."

underlines the ol' saw "You get what you pay for."

Just as I would not expect a musician to write or perform music for my art webpages for free, I think it's a little something -- I'm not sure exactly what -- for a for-profit entity to run a contest to get free artwork. I'm sure there are people quite willing to do such things for free, but I'm equally sure that Kane shouldn't have a lot of provisos or caveats in their expectations -- especially as there is nothing noted as prize or compensation.

In my admittedly humble, artistic opinion...

[ edited by QuoterGal on 2006-09-26 00:23 ]
They're asking fans. It isn't like they made an appointment with a professional graphic designer and assumed the work done would be free. When Joss asked fans to spread the word about
Serenity, did anyone expect to be paid marketing fees? It appears all the winning designer wins is the satisfaction of seeing their work chosen. That's enough for some fans.
Designer here too, QuoterGal. For thirteen some-odd years, now. That's why I raised the question. It kind of put me off... but you explained much nicer than my vague query. Smacked of fan-milk to me, just a bit.

jlv, I hear you, but it chaps those of us in the profession when the work, and it really is hard work - fun, but hard - gets taken for granted.

Also the word 'contest' suggests some sort of win. There's no mention of that at all. Not even a credit on the site.
Willowy: "Designer here too, QuoterGal."

Twenty-five years & counting, Ms. Willowy -- back to when it was done with knives, wax and rubiliths, and there was none of this here now new-fangled computer machinery. I'm glad you raised this, even though there are no easy answers -- I've been struck with these thoughts before about such things in the fan-world...

jlv, I'm not saying it's all cut and dried, or that because some people get paid for that kind of work, no one should do it for free or somesuch -- I just never would be that kind of hardliner about labour in that way. And clearly I wouldn't say with any assurance that this is exploitive.

I could take up much more room and time here going into this question than anyone would care to see, but I don't want to completely highjack the thread, or dissuade anyone who's interested from entering this contest.

I will just point out that there were people paid for marketing on Serenity, that unpaid people donated their art and marketing energy & skills and time for Serenity not only because Joss asked -- which is and was a potent force -- but because we had recently lost Joss projects (Firefly cancellation, Angel cancellation, Buffy's more organic ending) and I imagine no one wanted to see another one go down through lack of sufficient promotion. Responding to a threat is a somewhat different situation than a regular business practice.

Except for close friends, or fairly dire economic, political or social reasons, I charge for my work, because it is highly skilled labour, by which I earn my living. I have non-profit rates, as do many graphic art firms, and different rates for well-established and large firms than for start-up or small companies, as well as rates based on the product, its intended exposure, and its shelf-life. Additionally, I do graphic production for my own amusement, and I imagine that for some, doing a Kane banner would fall under this heading. Though I get paid for writing, I write on WHEDONesque for free because I enjoy it. I do get it -- no one is holding a gun to anyone's head to make them do this for free.

I will just say that I have been in meetings where those who budget for graphics, marketing and promotional expenses have, with full knowledge that they are taking advantage of fan-love, shifted monies off from certain projects onto others because they knew and stated that they could run a contest and get it for free.

It's a trend that's only going to increase with fan & viral marketing, and I think it's worth talking about here. The laborer is worth his hire, and most people involved with most endeavours do it for a living -- Joss writes for pay, Serenity movie cast, crew and execs worked for pay, etc., etc. And while many things in this world are done for free and out of sheer love, it's worthwhile talking about which ones, and who, and how, and why.

(Oops, I did go on, and this is quite the diatribe, innit?)
Remembering too, the exactos and the frisket. Layers were made of this stuff, and great art was the result - way before me and you, as well...

Needless to say, I'm on board with your way of thinking. I do know that some other of us are also GDs... care to weigh in?

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