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A Contest: Design the new DVD artwork and get a prize!

Friday, October 31, 2008, 8:12 PM

Chris Martenson Fans,

We're working as fast as we can behind the scenes, hoping to get the Crash Course DVD done in time for the holiday gift-giving season. We'd love to have a really great-looking graphic label for the DVD, so we decided to invite the growing community to help us through a design contest! Here are the details:

What we need:

We need a tasteful label design for the DVD. We'd also like to have a "matching" design for a jewel case insert. Here are the basic criteria:

  • The label design needs to prominently include both the name Chris Martenson and the title Crash Course. The words "Version 1 November 2008" should also appear prominently somewhere on the label.
  • It should be attractive whether printed in color or black and white. We'll be encouraging the community to reproduce the DVD, and we'll be allowing them to download the artwork for the label. We can't control who has a color or B&W printer, so we need a versatile design
  • The suggested retail price of $10.00 should be prominently displayed on the label. Our goal is to allow people who duplicate the DVD to make a modest profit. Although someone could modify the label, we hope that making it "public knowledge" that the MSRP is $10 will discourage anyone from exploiting Chris' generosity in making the content available for free.
  • The URL PeakProsperity.com should be prominently included on the label.
  • The notice "Copyright (c) 2004-2008 Chris Martenson" should appear in fine print.
  • The jewel case art should generally match the look and feel of the DVD label, and should also display the price, URL, etc.
  • You must grant us unlimited rights to reproduce and distribute your artwork, including rights to distribute the label artwork online for users to download and print. Sorry, we can't offer any commissions or payments of any kind.

What's in it for you:

Unfortunately we can't afford to pay a graphic designer for this work, hence the contest. On the other hand, if our viral distribution campaign is successful, the winner's art could literally be seen by many, many thousands, if not millions, of people! Here's what we plan to offer the winning designer:

  • The winning designer will receive the very first Crash Course DVD ever produced, along with a letter of thanks from Chris, which will acknowledge that the DVD you received is the first one ever produced. Our goal is to give you something "suitable for framing," so that when we change the way America thinks, you'll be able to legitimately claim you have the very first DVD that started it all! Who knows, maybe you'll sell it on eBay for millions some day? (Okay, okay, that's not likely, but who knows!)
  • We'd like to acknowledge you by name for your contribution, both in the announcement on the site when the DVD is released and in the actual jewel case art. This can either be "We would like to thank <name> for their contribution of the artwork for this DVD and case," or, if you prefer, "DVD label artwork donated by <name>." If you are a professional graphic designer and want to tastefully plug your business, you may include a URL for your own site in the jewel case artwork.
  • We're also willing to let you put your name on the disc label itself, but please, in a very minimal, small-type way. Nothing more than "Label art by Joe Shmoe" in very small type on the label itself, please.

How does the Contest part work?

The deadline for final submissions will be Nov. 14 (2 weeks from today). Chris will be the final judge and choose the winning design. If you'd like to participate, please do the following:

  • E-mail Amanda Witman ([email protected]) now and let her know you intend to participate. We have no idea whether to expect 2 contestents or 200, so we'd like to get a sense of how many submissions to expect as soon as we can.
  • Design for standard DVD disc labels. You probably know more than I do about that part.
  • E-mail your submission to Amanda no later than Nov. 14. We'll announce the winner the following week. Please send PDF or JPG files - not special Avery Labelmaker files or other proprietary formats we might not be able to read!
  • If you decide not to finish your submission for any reason, please send Amanda a courtesy e-mail letting her know not to expect a submission from you.
  • Go ahead and say whatever you want about yourself (tastefully and within reason) in the jewel case art. If we like your submission but don't feel comfortable with the way you've promoted yourself or your services, we'll contact you and propose an alternative version of whatever you submit. If you want to put your name on the disc label itself, please keep it very subtle.

We'll announce the winner (and probably show the winning artwork) on the site as soon as Chris chooses the winner.

Thanks for your interest! We can't wait to see your submissions!

Erik Townsend
Business Manager
PeakProsperity.com

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13 Comments

BN37's picture
BN37
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: May 17 2008
Posts: 39
Re: A Contest: Design the new DVD artwork and get a prize!
Is it OK to use Crayon?
mizbear's picture
mizbear
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 6 2008
Posts: 3
Re: A Contest: Design the new DVD artwork and get a prize!
Just wondering...what format will the DVD be in?  I am from Australia and we are Region 4.  Will we still be able to burn and distribute the DVD here??
Erik T.'s picture
Erik T.
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 5 2008
Posts: 1234
Re: A Contest: Design the new DVD artwork and get a prize!

mizbear,

Good question! Our intent is to get the Crash Course out to as many human beings as we possibly can, everywhere on Earth. So as a matter of intent, yes, we want to make this possible.

The distribution mechanism will be a DVD image file (.ISO) that will be distributed on BitTorrent, and we'll invite everyone to reproduce and distribute the DVDs.

I'm not an expert on this, but I think that the region code can be changed easily when you burn a DVD from an ISO file. So if you're in oz and need a Region 4 DVD, you would need to either use our ISO file and burn a region 4 DVD, else buy one from somebody who did that.

In any case, we intend to make it possible for anyone anywhere to download and burn the DVDs. I don't believe that it's necessary to have separate .ISO files for each region code, but if it is, we'd like to offer them.

Erik

 

ohmusama's picture
ohmusama
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 1 2008
Posts: 2
Re: A Contest: Design the new DVD artwork and get a prize!

Fortunatly the DVD gods made a special type of DVD called region free, that plays in all regions.  There are also region free players that play all DVDs.  I would hope that this DVD is produced using the ALL code.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DVD_region_code 

Erik T.'s picture
Erik T.
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 5 2008
Posts: 1234
Re: A Contest: Design the new DVD artwork and get a prize!

Yikes! I should have known better than to pretend I knew what I was talking about! :-)

Let me try again:

1) Our intent is to make the DVD available worldwide

2) People more savvy than me are involved, and I am confident they will do the right thing with the region codes.

3) When they do, I'll just act cool and pretend I knew what was going on all along! :-)

Erik

 

Eclipse Now's picture
Eclipse Now
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 1 2008
Posts: 2
Re: A Contest: Design the new DVD artwork and get a prize!

You're on!

1. There's nothing in the design brief about measurements... are you thinking those little square DVD computer cases, or full sized DVD flaps?

2. There's nothing about the "vibe". What does "tasteful" mean to mid 20's? 30's? Peak oil and economic collapse can bring all sorts of images to mind. Just wondering what your thoughts are? Are you going for corporate looking and respectable, or topic related? EG: Polished, or grunge? We can do grunge without looking like a Rock album.  Wink

3. Who do we email initial drafts to, and what feedback mechanism is there for how many you've received? We'd love to be involved... Chris has breathed new life into this burnt out campaigner. Cheers.

Eclipse Now's picture
Eclipse Now
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 1 2008
Posts: 2
Re: A Contest: Design the new DVD artwork and get a prize!

Another idea: the DVD should have not only cover & DVD artwork, but flyers.

Flyers should be in US letter and A4, and we could do those as well... flyers saved in .doc and Open Office formats so that people can download them and print them out to advertise that SOMEONE in their suburb/village has the DVD.

"For a copy of this DVD, please call ......"  (And the tear-off tabs down the bottom of the flyer can easily be customized or changed in Word or Open Office.)

 What do you think?

 

now the hard part... what design theme should unify both DVD art and the flyers. Hmm.....

 

 

ohmusama's picture
ohmusama
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 1 2008
Posts: 2
Re: A Contest: Design the new DVD artwork and get a prize!

the DVD case (Amaray) insert dementions can be found here:

http://www.hvs.co.uk/printdimsbookletdvd.html

the CD case (Jewel) booklet and back insert can be found here:

http://www.hvs.co.uk/printdimsjewelcasecd.html 

 

joe2baba's picture
joe2baba
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 17 2008
Posts: 807
Re: A Contest: Design the new DVD artwork and get a prize!

my two cents

no jewel case. we are after all talking peak oil.

post consumer recycled cardboard. simple design with

link to web site for more info. 

Erik T.'s picture
Erik T.
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 5 2008
Posts: 1234
Re: A Contest: Design the new DVD artwork and get a prize!

Great questions!

The part of this we are most focused on is the art for the DVD label itself. That is obviously industry standard and well known dimensioning. One more caveat is that I know a trend these days is "full label", meaning the graphics cover the whole disc and don't leave a big empty circle in the middle the way older discs used to be produced. However some people won't have the ability to print full-disc labels. So the art should be full-disc, but still look good if it's printed on the old-style labels.

My intention is to require anyone reproducing the DVD to use our label on the disc itself, to both keep a consistent look and feel to the "brand" and to protect Chris' copyright by clearly showing him as the owner on the label. We also want to make sure the web site URL and suggested retail price are clearly visible on the disc itself, so that anyone who receives a copy will be able to find their way back here to PeakProsperity.com. The reason for the price on the disc itself is to discourage people from getting greedy and selling the content Chris is giving away free for more than a reasonable profit.

Of course when I say we're going to require this, it's still an honor system thing. But my hope is that people will not be tempted to change the label or price tag, because if they sell a DVD to someone for $75 then that person sees the same DVD produced by someone else with the $10 price on the label, they'll hold the person who ripped them off accountable.

However, I do not intend to require the use of a jacket, jewel case, or sleeve that is approved by us. There are legitimate reasons to let people put the disc in their own packaging. For example, a financial services firm might want to include the DVD inside a package for their clients that also contains other materials. Several people have already suggested that Crash Course DVDs would make excellent stocking stuffers during the holidays, so we also want to make it possible for people who intend to give (rather than sell) the DVD to a large group of friends to do it in a super cost-effective way.

We want to have artwork for a jewel case available for download on the site, so that anyone burning their own discs can both label them and put them in a matching case. But you make an excellent point that some people might prefer to use full-size DVD jackets rather than jewel cases (which are usually for CDs). So let's do it this way: We will judge submissions based on the disc label art (primarily) and also the jewel case art (secondary). But once a winner is chosen, we'll invite that person to give us as many different forms (all having the same look and feel) as possible. Art for standard DVD sleeves, the matching flyers that you described, and whatever else you can think of. We'll take all we can get!

Our plan is just to put whatever the winning artist donates up on the site as downloadable material, so that everyone who duplicates the DVD will have nice art available for whatever container they decide to put the discs in. We will stipulate that the disc label must be used as is, without alteration. However, I would expect that some people reproducing the disc will modify the jewel case or jacket art. For example a CPA firm might want to make up a bunch of Crash Course DVDs in nice jackets that say "Provided courtesy of Duey Cheetem & Howe, CPAs". We don't object to this.

Regarding the question of "vibe" or style, my intent was to leave that somwhat open ended because we want to allow the artist some creative freedom. In general, our values are "factual, honest and unbiased". We want to strongly avoid any sort of religious or partisan political sentiment, for example.

Another thing I intentionally left up to the artist is the "tagline" that usually goes under a title. We really don't have a single, matter-of-policy tagline. Should it say "Finally explained in plain English: The Economy, the Environment and Energy", or should it try to appeal to more "what affects me now" sentiments... "You can understand what really caused the Housing Crisis, the Credit Crunch, the Bailout, and what to expect next!"... Or should there be no words at all, and rely on graphics to give a person a sense of what it's about? I really don't have a strong opinion on which is best, so I figured we'd leave it up to you, then let Chris choose from among your ideas.

Amanda Witman ([email protected]) will be coordinating the submissions. It's essential that you e-mail Amanda and let her know you are working on a submission. The reason is that we are juggling a bunch of issues, and expect to need to keep people updated. It's also a big help to know in advance how many submissions to expect, so we can budget Chris' time to review them and select a winner. The winner will be chosen on the general look/feel of the art, and we can always tweak the final version if necessary after the winner is chosen.

Your submission should be send to Amanda as soon as possible, but no later than Nov. 14. We had not planned a draft-feedback-final submission process because we didn't feel there was time for that. If you send in your submission early we'll look at it right away, and if we feel you're on the wrong track for some reason we'll certainly let you know.

I hope I answered all your questions. Thanks again for your interest in helping.

Erik

 

Maenad's picture
Maenad
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 18 2008
Posts: 43
The Logo

Is the header for the site a copyrighted logo? If it's not, then would you like us to use it as one, or would you prefer us to design other possible logos too? Logo design is a big job in itself but that's because it visually brings many sometimes disparate elements together.

Maenad 

Davos's picture
Davos
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 17 2008
Posts: 3620
Re: A Contest: Design the new DVD artwork and get a prize!

Maenad:

Hey, I can't find the post where you (and forgive me if it wasn't you (I'm recalling this by your cartoon graphic)) posted the (my own word) "rant" about us baby boomers.

I thought this was an excellent read and wanted to pass it along to you.

http://www.financialsense.com/editorials/2008/1103.html

 

Erik T.'s picture
Erik T.
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 5 2008
Posts: 1234
Re: The Logo

The PeakProsperity.com logo is indeed protected intellectual property, but you are welcome to use it in your design.

Also, if anyone wants to use a photo of Chris (like the ones in the intro to the CC), Amanda can get you the source files.

Erik

 

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