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Band artwork: for CD, stage, tshirts, etc., legal

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Band artwork: for CD, stage, tshirts, etc., legal

Postby 4TrackMadman » Tue Mar 27, 2018 5:10 pm

Hello all!
We're embarking on a costly design process with a graphic artist so I want to make sure I get my money's worth.
The artwork should be for CD release mainly but we're hoping to be able to cover everything: stage drop, tees, digital formats, LPs (records), other types of print.

What is the best size/resolution to request?

I am thinking at least 600 dpi CMYK .tif format but not sure on the size. CD is 12cm by 12cm by clearly need bigger for banners and teest and anything else that might come up.

How to ensure the artwork is ours?

We have a standard "work for hire" contract which basically ensures that whoever does work for us and is paid, such work is our property and can be used indefinitely and in all current and future formats. Artists want to be credited so I guess I can add that section.

Would someone have maybe a sample agreement to look at to compare?

Looking forward to your input!
Thanks!
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Re: Band artwork: for CD, stage, tshirts, etc., legal

Postby blinddrew » Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:46 pm

Can't comment on the legals but it's worth getting a copy of all the artwork in some kind of Scalar Vector Graphics format (e.g. pdf) so that it can scale up for posters, t-shirts etc.
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Re: Band artwork: for CD, stage, tshirts, etc., legal

Postby CS70 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:29 pm

4TrackMadman wrote:Hello all!
We're embarking on a costly design process with a graphic artist so I want to make sure I get my money's worth.
The artwork should be for CD release mainly but we're hoping to be able to cover everything: stage drop, tees, digital formats, LPs (records), other types of print.

What is the best size/resolution to request?

I am thinking at least 600 dpi CMYK .tif format but not sure on the size. CD is 12cm by 12cm by clearly need bigger for banners and teest and anything else that might come up.

How to ensure the artwork is ours?

We have a standard "work for hire" contract which basically ensures that whoever does work for us and is paid, such work is our property and can be used indefinitely and in all current and future formats. Artists want to be credited so I guess I can add that section.

Would someone have maybe a sample agreement to look at to compare?

Looking forward to your input!
Thanks!

Keep in mind DPIs can be a liitle misleading, because the DPI of a print depends on the digital image DPIs and the size of the print, it. So a 20x20 pixels image at 600 dpi will still look like crap when printed to fill the horizontal dimension of a portrait-oriented A4 sheet, because it’s 20x20 pixels! DPI in the digital file is just an instruction to the printer about the sheet size to print to. If you override that (and you often do) it’s pointless.
It’s much easier to think in terms of pixels: what’s the largest print you’re likely to want? Ask for that resolution or the highest nearer you can get, and then ask them to set it to 600dpi - that will ensure the image has enough resolution to be printed finely at that size (and with scaling at smaller sizes). A billboard-size photograph must have a very high resolution (even accounting for the viewer distance ). Of course the image must be made at that resolution, so that the pxels size is such that lines appear smooth at that resolution (upscaling afterwards requires interpolation of some sort). So if you plan posters, make sure you have enough resolution for posters, and then downscale for, say, cd covers.
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Re: Band artwork: for CD, stage, tshirts, etc., legal

Postby 4TrackMadman » Wed Mar 28, 2018 4:58 pm

CS70 wrote:
Keep in mind DPIs can be a liitle misleading, because the DPI of a print depends on the digital image DPIs and the size of the print, it. So a 20x20 pixels image at 600 dpi will still look like crap when printed to fill the horizontal dimension of a portrait-oriented A4 sheet, because it’s 20x20 pixels! DPI in the digital file is just an instruction to the printer about the sheet size to print to. If you override that (and you often do) it’s pointless.
It’s much easier to think in terms of pixels: what’s the largest print you’re likely to want? Ask for that resolution or the highest nearer you can get, and then ask them to set it to 600dpi - that will ensure the image has enough resolution to be printed finely at that size (and with scaling at smaller sizes). A billboard-size photograph must have a very high resolution (even accounting for the viewer distance ). Of course the image must be made at that resolution, so that the pxels size is such that lines appear smooth at that resolution (upscaling afterwards requires interpolation of some sort). So if you plan posters, make sure you have enough resolution for posters, and then downscale for, say, cd covers.


Good point about size and dpi, forgot to take that into account.

OK, in that case it will be a backdrop banner to go behind the drums. Not sure on size yet, have to research that...I think it should be 12'x12' or 8'x12', but that might be small when we headline Madison Square Garden :ugeek:
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Re: Band artwork: for CD, stage, tshirts, etc., legal

Postby 4TrackMadman » Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:02 am

Interesting read:
https://www.thoughtco.com/who-owns-copy ... ng-2578104

That indicates buying art for your band project is a nightmare.

I've been presented with artist agreements that want to limit use, sale, and at same time give them right for all of that, not even cover the possibility of their plagiarism.
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Re: Band artwork: for CD, stage, tshirts, etc., legal

Postby blinddrew » Fri Mar 30, 2018 9:10 am

That should be covered in the 'work for hire' part of the contract though.
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Re: Band artwork: for CD, stage, tshirts, etc., legal

Postby 4TrackMadman » Fri Mar 30, 2018 2:06 pm

Only option I see is "Work for Hire", artists are balking at that.
Everything else I've been presented with at this point seems to put things in a murky legal situation, opening up future liability.
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Re: Band artwork: for CD, stage, tshirts, etc., legal

Postby blinddrew » Fri Mar 30, 2018 4:50 pm

Might be worth looking at a creative commons option perhaps?
There really isn't any reason for these things to be complicated, it's just a license and these can be written in simple and straightforward terms. There's no reason it can't be licensed to you to use however you want (after all, you're paying for it) with the artist retaining copyright to do with as they wish. These aren't mutually exclusive and, if you get the right artist, should be mutually beneficial.
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Re: Band artwork: for CD, stage, tshirts, etc., legal

Postby CS70 » Sun Apr 01, 2018 12:47 pm

4TrackMadman wrote:Only option I see is "Work for Hire", artists are balking at that.
Everything else I've been presented with at this point seems to put things in a murky legal situation, opening up future liability.

Do find one who doesnt balk :)

It works for session musicians and music artists, should work for visual artists.

You could also Be granted a perpetual ‘use for all purposes’ or ‘use for single purpose’ license, the consequence being that the artist would retain copyright and be able to use the cover art it did for you for other purposes while you can use it according to the license.
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Re: Band artwork: for CD, stage, tshirts, etc., legal

Postby 4TrackMadman » Sun Apr 01, 2018 3:56 pm

It's settled, at least graphic artist #2 is ok with "work for hire" contract as long as we allow him to put up artwork on display on his site.
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Re: Band artwork: for CD, stage, tshirts, etc., legal

Postby blinddrew » Sun Apr 01, 2018 4:49 pm

:thumbup:
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Re: Band artwork: for CD, stage, tshirts, etc., legal

Postby 4TrackMadman » Sun Apr 01, 2018 5:36 pm

Now on to formatting....


Wonder what should I go for. Officially it is CD art but we want to put it on bigger media.

Someone suggested 3000x3000 ppi (pixels per inch)

Then there are the RGB vs CMYK formats, apparently RGB for monitors/screens and CMYK for the printing process and ink mixes.
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Re: Band artwork: for CD, stage, tshirts, etc., legal

Postby CS70 » Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:04 pm

4TrackMadman wrote:Now on to formatting....


Wonder what should I go for. Officially it is CD art but we want to put it on bigger media.

Someone suggested 3000x3000 ppi (pixels per inch)

Then there are the RGB vs CMYK formats, apparently RGB for monitors/screens and CMYK for the printing process and ink mixes.

In the RGB space there's colors that cannot be reproduced by CMYK, so if you're going to print in physical it's best to stick with CMYK.

The best is to use Pantone colors or similar predefined standards, so you don't need to calibrate your monitor to have good color accuracy (but you can get a printed book with the colors to see exactly what you're choosing). That said, if your art does not depend from plays of very similar shades of color but you're ok with "sort of" colors (with a quite reasonable margin), a regular monitor does the job just fine.
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Re: Band artwork: for CD, stage, tshirts, etc., legal

Postby wireman » Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:41 pm

Did you only ask the graphic artist for artwork suitable for a CD? If so then I think you need to ask for something suitable for all the other purposes you have and be prepared to pay more. I have no idea why someone would have suggested 3000 ppi, that makes no sense to me. For use on banners I think you are going to need the images in vector format (perhaps from a product like Adobe Illustrator).
If the graphic artist does not know how to produce something in the right format (why not?) then you need to do some research or find another one. The duplication/printing companies will tell you their requirements and probably even provide templates. For some of the terminology you might come across see here.
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Re: Band artwork: for CD, stage, tshirts, etc., legal

Postby 4TrackMadman » Mon Apr 02, 2018 6:28 pm

Thanks!

I was going through some articles online.
Maybe I should start with the graphic artist first :)
He is mainly web illustrator so not sure how much (if any) print experience does he have, so I am trying to educate myself to request the best possible artwork. As we're paying money this should be stipulated in the contract so if he doesn't deliver we're not obliged to pay him for the services or pay in part.

If you know offhand what I'll need for 12x12ft banners, tees, and CD.LP in format that would be great.
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Re: Band artwork: for CD, stage, tshirts, etc., legal

Postby BigRedX » Tue Apr 03, 2018 3:14 pm

Don't use Pantone colours unless you are intending to print them as special colours. Many Pantone colours are not accurately reproducible in CMYK, so if everything is going to be CMYK only you will be disappointed when you get your product back from the printers.

If this was for my band, I would be asking for everything to be done to print resolution (normally 300 PPI) at A2 Portrait size with all the important information/design to be contained within a square crop for CD/vinyl packaging. That way you get something that can be repurposed for just about all your promotional needs.

If your artist/graphic designer does not understand what is required for your intended printing processes, then you are using the wrong artist/graphic designer.
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Re: Band artwork: for CD, stage, tshirts, etc., legal

Postby CS70 » Tue Apr 03, 2018 3:42 pm

BigRedX wrote:Don't use Pantone colours unless you are intending to print them as special colours. Many Pantone colours are not accurately reproducible in CMYK, so if everything is going to be CMYK only you will be disappointed when you get your product back from the printers.

If this was for my band, I would be asking for everything to be done to print resolution (normally 300 PPI) at A2 Portrait size with all the important information/design to be contained within a square crop for CD/vinyl packaging. That way you get something that can be repurposed for just about all your promotional needs.

If your artist/graphic designer does not understand what is required for your intended printing processes, then you are using the wrong artist/graphic designer.

That's right, thanks, I thought I remembered the Pantone gamut was all inside the CYMK one but actually it isn't. Plain CYMK is best for print.

On the size side.. for large-size reproductions, vector graphics are of course cool because they can be scaled, but if you have say, a photograph, you really need to have it in a large enough resolution. In old times as a photographer one would use large film sizes for these kind of jobs (that is much larger than the then-ubiquitous 35mm). Nowadays it's just about using the best resolution you can get. That said, a large picture is made for being seen by far away, and nowadays digital photo resolutions are very good, so it's not a big problem so long you take the picture with a camera with a decent sensor. I've seen regular pictures printed on wide-format printers with great results. And cinemas pictures are "printed" on the big screen from 35mm.. (actually a little less)
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Re: Band artwork: for CD, stage, tshirts, etc., legal

Postby BigRedX » Wed Apr 04, 2018 11:05 am

Remember also that unless you are feeling particularly flush, it is not normally economical to print T-shirts in full colour - or at least not by any method that will last as long as the T-shirt material itself. So you'll need a one or two colour version of your design for your T-shirts. Since these are "spot colours" you will need a Pantone reference for the colours used.
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Re: Band artwork: for CD, stage, tshirts, etc., legal

Postby 4TrackMadman » Wed Apr 04, 2018 6:55 pm

Thanks!
Yes, I'll have to think about tees as well folding into less colors. Hopefully we'll use a relatively small pallette white, black, dark blue, red for the painting so that should work well.
Ugh...this is definitely headache inducing :)
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