Tuesday, April 27, 2010

New Banner

I think I need a new banner for the blog. Much as I love my current one -- how could I not, given that it includes a snippet of the greatest piece of D&D art of all time? -- the fact remains that I don't own it, so I probably should remove it. Problem is I'm not sure what to replace it with. I have a lot of artists at my disposal, but what would I tell them to illustrate? What image could I suggest to them that would be as good as what I currently have? It's a conundrum.

Anyone have any serious ideas they want to pitch to me?

39 comments:

  1. Some archetype of a hero standing on a cliffside, looking into the sunrise, inspiring as hell, and just a whole ton of monsters and gnolls and stuff behind him sneaking up on him, going "Shhh!" to each other.

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  2. James, personally, I think Grognardia has come along to be something unto itself. What I mean, is that I think themes of Grognardia should provide basis for the image. But, I'm not exactly sure how to accomplish that. I'm going to think on it. I wanted to throw that out there, though.

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  3. I think you should consider what it is you love about the current banner's art (besides nostalgia). The subject of the art? Is it what the character's are doing? The art style itself? Make a list about your favorite aspects.

    Then you could turn the list into criteria for an art contest to help design the new banner!

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  4. Jimmy,

    You're absolutely right and that's part of why it's so difficult to think of what would make a good replacement image for the current one. Grognardia's come a long way from its origins and it really deserves a unique banner that captures what it is now. But damned if I know how to encapsulate that in a single image.

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  5. Do some art of one grognard bayoneting another!

    The blog is growing exponentially, so it is likely going to garner some notice from the souless machines at Wizards. But still, you aren't selling anything directly from the site. Plus it could maybe fall under parody, in which case I think you can use it. I say stick with it until you get a letter from a law firm, then make a hard decision.

    Anyway, you know eventually Wizards is going to call on you to be a spokesperson for their new line of old school products. You'll be alright, so keep the pic.

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  6. Some one in a dungeon performing a mundane yet iconic adventuring task.

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  7. Make it a d20 farting on the Wizards of the Coast logo.

    No, I'm kidding, really.

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  8. All jokes aside I really don't have any ideas. The truth is, I like the banner just fine, whether the art is yours or not; to me, everything that needs to be said about old school roleplaying is said on the cover of that players handbook. That was the image that introduced me to D&D.

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  9. A Fell Grognard in the wild clutching the white box in one hand, Chainmail in the other, and gnashing his terrible teeth in reaction to coming upon a slick and innovative publication, an interloper, one which throws the game too far from its roots to be proper:

    the original Greyhawk supplement.

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  10. I'm not a lawyer, and this isn't legal advice, but it seems to me your use of the portion of the artwork falls under the Fair Use doctrine of copyright law. In fact, it seems to me to meet the requirements of the four-factor balancing test.

    I would leave it for now, and only replace it if you grow tired of the logo, and want something new. Or you get a cease and desist letter, which I doubt will ever come.

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  11. Yeah, just keep the old one. It says it all. It isn't as if you own the RQ illo, the Wimpy Kid portrait, or the Labyrinth Lord or El Borak covers, either...

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  12. Why not something related to your Dwimmermount campaign? Like a picturesque view of the World of Grognardia!

    Ciao!
    Grendelwulf

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  13. Seems like a scene from the Dwimmermount campaign would be a natural, otherwise I'd keep the old one and not worry about it. I think it would fall under fair use - the major theme of your blog being the exploration of the history of role playing, it's illustrative and educational, literally. And while you're promoting something you're selling on the site, you're not directly deriving income from the web page itself loading. Or are you? Maybe I should turn adblock off... ;)

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  14. I actually agree with James that he might as well change it sooner rather than later... just to be a fair player.

    In a dungeon, an old veteran soldier, poking something shiny with a 10 foot pole. Or the like.

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  15. A dungeon corridor, with a hireling holding a torch looking on as a couple of adventurers gingerly poke a door with a 10' pole.

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  16. You could probably make a case for Fair Use in this case. I'd leave it as is.

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  17. Another vote for sticking with what you've got now unless you're forced to change. It's an iconic image and, even given the great artists that are contributing to the OSR, it's hard to see how you'll top it.

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  18. I love the one you have, but if you had to change it why not use the Dwimmermount piece and just change the name to Grognardia....

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  20. How about some reflection of yourself posed in a fantasy-type setting? One idea that popped out is a bespeckled sage, siting inside a chamber lined with books and weird artifacts as a he's looking though a magnifying glass at the pages of an ancient tome with the names Gygax and Arneson printed on it's spine.

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  21. Something with the same colours, though. Not having that bit of red at the top would make the blog look too different...

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  22. I suggest a new illustration, by a good artist, representing the same scene from the classic cover of the first edition of AD&D. Something like another version of the same figure.

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  23. Another vote for leaving it the same. It had a huge influence on me the first time I visited Grognardia ("This is it. I'm home.").

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  24. A room of 8 or so adventures standing over dead pig faced orcs. some our looting, some are looking at a map, some our drinking from the magical fountain some are playing with the levers on the wall.

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  25. It should be an illustration of you DMing a game session with a bunch of scowling grognard types. You should also be frowning in a very grognardian fashion. Or it could be an illustration of just you clutching a copy of an OD&D product in one hand and a burning copy of the 4th Edition D&D PHB in the other...

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  26. I'd recommend not trying to find the perfect image that communicates everything you envision the blog being about but instead concentrate on finding a visual that sets the correct tone for the page ... think more about creating the preferred mental space you want visitors in while they consume your content.

    Lean more towards ambience then message ...

    Just my two cents ...

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  27. I think you should "ape" something! Haha! Sorry, it was waiting to be said. :)

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  28. I would commission Pete Mullen. Just tell him to illustrate "Grognardia".

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  29. You know, Pete Mullen might be the artist for the job. His work does seem to have a new perspective on the old.

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  30. A cartoon picture of an old guy on his porch shaking his fist, with the dialogue bubble "Damn kids! Get off my lawn!" coming from his mouth... Through the open window/door behind him you can see a gaming table set up with some OGL OSR gaming materials laid out, like Labyrinth Lords or the Swords and Wizardry Whitebox, bags of chips, dice and cans of Mountain Dew... Suggestions of shadowy figures can be seen seated around the table, waiting for the man on the porch to come back in and resume gaming.

    The old guy shaking his fist and the open window/door with the gaming scene can bracket the word "Grognardia" as part of the banner.

    ;-)

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  31. I would add having the kids holding multiple copies of 4e in their hands. While the old man shouts," and don't bring that new crap to my house ever again! "

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  32. James, I'll paint you a banner. Seriously.

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  33. Something totally unrelated to Fantasy. One of the main reasons I have been reading this blog almost daily since shortly after you started it is that you have diverse interests. Coming up with a banner that reflects the hodgepodge that is Grognardia is a tall order, however, and I honestly don't care in the end what the logo is.
    ...
    Something you think is cool would be the perfect choice, irregardless of anyone's suggestions/opinions. I'm sure I'm in the majority when I say that the quality of your writing is far more important than your banner graphic, and I'm not worried in the least about that changing.

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  34. James,

    I think you should revisit some of your favorite Sutherland work (like the one from B1 you wrote about in your post "Old Days") and have someone update it. In doing so, you pay homage to all that you love about the old ways and at the same time celebrate how these very same old ways are used in the present in new and creative ways.

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  35. I'd try 'Grognardia' in a simple black font on a white background along with your definition of 'grognardia' written in a dictionary style format.

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  36. I think WotC would have acted by now. They obviousily know who you are since they mention and link to you from some of their own articles (esp the D&D Alumni articles in Dragon).

    Grognardia is many things to many people. The current art does capture the soul of it very well. Perhaps just have a fun little contest for artists and see what happens?

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  37. James, have you seen the tribute painting thread at OD&D Discussions? . . .

    http://odd74.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=workshop&action=display&thread=969


    Lee

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  38. How about a Mt Rushmore with Gygax, Arneson, etc.

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  39. James, I'll paint you a banner. Seriously.

    If you feel up to it and have some ideas, drop me an email and we can talk.

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