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» Blog Archive » Your Suggestions for Poster Sales

It’s been about a month since the last maps update. I’ve made incremental progress, but from here on it’s the sort of thing you’ll mostly need to zoom in to see. To be honest, this project has been mostly sidelined by a new work opportunity that arose unexpectedly. (More info on that in time…)

Here’s a zoomed-out view of the whole thing.

Might as well say now: my intention is to sell these maps as posters, along with Braid-related images and my old comics. Back when I was doing A Lesson Is Learned with Dale Beran, we sold prints of those comics. I printed, packaged and shipped each one myself. As much fun as it was to share the work with an audience in a physical way, it ate up a lot of time and we didn’t charge enough to make a worthwhile profit. So I’ve been looking for another way to do this.

At the moment, my favorite option is imagekind, literally the CafePress of art. You create an account, upload your art files, set your profit margin by percentage or flat amount (the base price is predetermined), and prints are made on demand. I’ve ordered their sample booklet and the prints are high quality. One of the paper options is the same as what I used to print myself from home (Epson Photo Luster). They even print on canvas.

On the plus side, I can offer a range of images and see what people like without incurring any up-front risk on a big order. Over time, I could even offer the entire back catalog of A Lesson Is Learned. (Each image requires some preparation, so this would not happen instantly.) So it allows a lot of choice for customers.

Also, because everything is handled by imagekind, I don’t have to do anything! I can keep my hands alien-smooth and customers can expect quick turn-around.

On the minus side, artists don’t have great control over what kinds of prints they offer and how they set their prices. Imagekind offers a dizzying range of paper options, and there’s no way to limit that. Maybe that’s a good thing for certain customers, but I’m a little concerned it could be confusing and deter some. (I’ll probably just indicate my recommendation and people can make up their own minds.)

Another issue is pricing. Each type of paper has its own base price, and I determine the markup (either as a percentage or a flat sum). The markup is controlled per image, not by paper/size. This makes it tricky to not charge too little or too much at one end of the paper spectrum. So the prices will probably seem a little high at the lowest end, and a little bit cheap at the highest end.

However, from a customer’s viewpoint, if you keep in mind that these are not cheapo things that you want to stick to your bedroom wall with rolls of Scotch tape, but really high quality archival art prints that you can frame, the prices will be reasonable.

Because I’m still mulling this over, I thought I’d share this with you in case you have any knowledge to share.

  • Anybody have experience with imagekind?
  • Know of any good alternatives to imagekind?
  • What images would you personally consider purchasing? (Braid, A Lesson Is Learned, maps, other)
  • What size print would you ideally want? (imagekind prints up to 60×60″!)
  • What is the most you are willing to pay for timeless beauty?


(By the way, some people have asked for wallpaper images for the puzzle paintings Tim assembles in Braid. I don’t plan to offer these as posters. The main reason, which may or may not amuse anyone, is that some things really belong in a certain context. Those images were made to exist in the game, and derive their meaning from that context. They are rewards for thinking through Braid’s challenges. I don’t think they are as good outside of the game. Also I don’t want to contribute to de-mystification of things that are better when you earn them. To the small extent of my influence, I don’t want those images out there to be seen by people who haven’t yet played the game. The secondary reason, also known as the convenient technical problem, is that they were painted at a resolution too low for printing. Sorry to those who’ve requested these!)

40 Responses to “Your Suggestions for Poster Sales”

  1. Daniel L. Says:

    Oh yes, please, bring back the posters – I would love some ALIL posters that aren’t just something I printed out on my own. (Can’t say I’ve ever used imagekind, though.)

    Just out of curiosity, are you ever thinking of doing commissions again ala ALIL partners?

  2. David Hellman Says:

    Oh, you mean the Patrons Gallery? (I used to draw portraits for people who PayPalled us a lot of money.)

    Well, right now I have a lot of distractions as it is! Maybe someday…

  3. Scott Macmillan Says:

    I’d definitely be interested in getting a print from the braid art – especially the hourglass promotional pic you have above.

  4. Lelia Thomas Says:

    Braid posters would be great!

    By the way, I’m an artist and use a number of different companies to sell my art. I recommend The Untapped Source (for customer service and love of art) and RedBubble (for its interface and love of art). I haven’t used ImageKind yet enough myself to comment on it. deviantART has the most product options, rivaling Zazzle and CafePress, even, but I don’t use them or recommend them, because of all the silly community issues that are there, as well as sometimes wishy-washy administration.

  5. Bill Saunders Says:

    Please, please put out ALIL posters again. I ordered two way back when you offered them, and would love to get more… and probably replace the ones I previously had, since I went with the scotch tape hanging method, and… well… learned better than to do that again.

    The Braid hourglass poster would be welcome too.

  6. Paul Broadbent Says:

    I’d be really interested in an ALIL poster. As for size, I’d probably go for something in the region of 20×30 (or perhaps a little bigger). Not really sure how much I’d be willing to pay, £30 ($50) perhaps, maybe more. Although international shipping costs would be likely to take a bite out of that.

  7. Josh Saiewitz Says:

    I was one of your last customers for ALIL, and I can still remember the anguish, knowing I only had a certain amount of money to order a few of my favorites and that I might never get another chance to do so.

    Thus, the news that they might soon be available again fills my heart with joy. I already have “Getting Over Women”, “Christmas Disaster Special”, and “The Last Few Moments of a Film,” (but they are old and a little worn at this point); I’d love to get at least a half dozen others, re-order the old ones, frame them all, do it right, have a wall filled with beautiful blendings of words and art, humor and sorrow.

    I’m not sure how much I’d be willing to pay. Probably 30-50 per, depending on shipping.

    As far as sizes go… I enjoyed the sizes and paper you used the first time around; so it’d be great to have your recommendations somewhere for “classic” ALIL dimensions for each strip.

  8. David Hellman Says:

    Thanks, Leila, I will check out those sites!

    Josh, thanks for that wonderful endorsement. The prints I used to sell were always 13″ wide; the length simply varied by the proportions of each episode.

  9. Kashkin Says:

    Excellent news, man.

    Although, I only managed to narrow down the list to nine ALIL prints that I desire. I’m hoping that bulk shipping to Australia isn’t account-crushingly expensive.

    I would definitely buy “Now is Not Good”, “Can You Come and Dig Me Up”, “Tiny, Almost Manageable”, and “This Will be Decided in the Traditional Way”.

    Also, I’d probably buy a Braid print – something like (http://www.davidhellman.net/braid/main.jpg), though if it included the dinosaur that’d be even sweeter. That or the City Panorama.

    I’m afraid I have no useful advice about where to get your work printed. Only that you should.

  10. Ryan D. Says:

    I’d definitely love a print of A Lesson is Learned. I don’t know how many images you’d be able to put up, but some favorites of mine are: “Bluerazz Sourpower Snackattackpacks”, “Wishful Thinking”, and “Tiny, Almost Manageable”. And definitely put out your recommendations for paper/sizing, so we’ll know how to make the prints look best.

  11. José Eduardo Terán Says:

    Hey Devid, it´s good to hear that we will soon have posters from your work.

    If you asked me, I´m willing to buy from Braid and it’s art (maybe a “landscape” version of some of the levels will be pretty awesome!)

    I know is not that cheap, but I know it will really worth it 😉

    Keep having a great week!


  12. Evan Says:

    I’d love to see a “Getting Over Women” print for sale.

  13. Nate (Imagekind) Says:

    Hi David,

    First let me say wow! You have some amazing work and I am glad The Google pointed me to your site!

    Second, in all transparency, I work at Imagekind and must say we’d love to have you start selling your work there. We believe we offer the best options for artists selling their work online. Everything from the wide paper and canvas options to the vast custom frames available for your work.

    You do have the option to set your “default” paper, canvas and frame, which we have seen make quite a difference in the customer experience when choosing the various options.

    Anyway, I could go on (and would love to tell you more!) but don’t want to fill up your post. Really, if there is anything I can help with, or any questions you have, shoot me an email.


    Nate Jelovich

  14. David Hellman Says:

    Well, then! Thank you for traveling all the way across the internet to deliver that message!

  15. Nate (Imagekind) Says:

    Haha! It was a long trip, only needed to stop twice though. Let me know if you have any questions. Also, via Twitter @Imagekind.


  16. Daniel L. Says:

    Yes, Patrons gallery, that’s what I meant. (D’oh.) If you ever do find the time again, I’d gladly pay for a portrait.

    As to your questions… I’m not very good at judging sizes, but I’d probably be buying ALIL strips that were somewhere between 15-20″ wide (with whatever height comes with it). I can’t imagine buying much larger; a gigantic booming ALIL strip would be a little odd to have in a room.

    It’d be pretty easy to tease the standard poster prices out of me for an ALIL strip (which I think is around $10-30, depending on the size of the poster). But for ALIL I’d probably spring for things a little more expensive than that.

  17. Paulasaurus Says:

    David! I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to buy a nice print from ALIL. I could never afford it when you were selling them through the website, but I have a little more money these days.

  18. Xandra Says:

    ALIL posters! Yeah!
    I think the size should be just close to average poster size. Not too big, but big enough to go on a wall.
    I’d like to see This Will Be Decided ijn the Traditional Way, Bluerazz Sourpower Snackattackpacks, and Trouble With Power Pyramids as posters.
    Braid posters would be neat too.

  19. Xandra Says:

    Oh, and No, I’m sorry would make a neat poster too.

  20. Boston Says:

    I had all but given up hope of owning amazing ALIL posters and would be all over that scene!

    In fact my combined frustration about the lack of coffee table style books for the complete works of ALIL and Scary Go Round is making me reconsider my dreams and begin a publishing house instead so that my CFO can handle the pain of my extravegant desires.

  21. Thom Says:

    I would absolutely love to have a couple of prints from ALIL (Getting Over Women is my favourite), as well as a couple of the Braid images – I have a feeling the city panorama would be a particularly popular one.

    In any case, another option you could check out is inPRNT!; I’ve shopped from them before and had no problems.

  22. Tim Says:

    I would be extremely interested in ALIL prints. Particularly Slumber Cakes.

  23. Jonathan Says:

    Please: Braid’s title level from the cold anonymous appearance on the bridge witness to the flaming field of city sunset through the transition to dark night and the inviting glow of home, minus the “Braid” title and any other letters, except perhaps your name/sig and maybe “Braid” as small title next to it somewhere on a bottom corner.

    A couple of people have already noted the same panorama, but I emphasize, no Braid title in the sky please.

    I also add that this Panoroma should be available as an extra large poster/print, say 3 to 4 feet wide or as large as the resolution permits (although imagine viewing distance to be minimum 3 feet away). If that would be too large to do a single print, then split it up into the same division in-game, I think it was around the bridge ramp, or even chunkier, and it would be up to the buyer to mount them as they like.

    The Panorama art would count for “reminiscent of impressionism/expressionism” (I don’t really know art history or style well) hinting at an appreciation for “traditional” art as well as being a hidden in plain sight signal that I game, yes.

    Plus a large piece would make a fun stage for Braid finger puppets…

  24. Jonathan Says:

    btw, the map is turning out pretty cool, but I much prefer the dynamic nature of the Braid title level/city panorama, although a story somehow attached to the map could liven it up if the “flat mapness” is not a priority intent.

    So far I’m getting “overworld map for a game that hasn’t incorporated it yet” unfinished look; most maps have signals that they’re maps (even a plain X), and this feels too top-down and darn stylistic to feel like a bird’s eye, except to a 2d game character’s pov.

    It feels pretty well balanced for a design though, with a hint of a larger world beyond to the “NW”, but still fairly static. I can almost see gamemasters adopting it for their games though!

    I suspect it would be a nice “more traditional” piece that can go in a dining room, but not very conversational by itself w/o more obvious narrative prompts designed in, or a story told to go w/ it. If it were printed, it should be big enough to roll up, and if it can go on plain unframed canvas, as well as perhaps your own interpretation of a map *chart* to keep fellas like me from wanting to draw in a blasted “X here be dragons marks the treasured spot by the compass rose along the indicated waypoints given by the following latitudes/longitudes…”

    Still, there is a point to leaving it fairly undetailed except to depict the actual physical features, leaving more of the interpretation to the viewer, but damn, do I want to mark it up like I annotate my books ^_^

  25. Jonathan Says:

    Oh, and THANK YOU for your work on Braid, I have had my head much in books and games and didn’t even realize I had visual art aesthetics buried deep in the junk o’ my mind; I can’t think of the last time game or book art drew my attention even half as much as the art in Braid did, which complements the rest of the game design but amazingly stands very well on its own and even flavors the gameplay further. I love it!

    Hey here’s a thought…if those print web service shops allow it, you should have a spot open for “tips” in addition to the minimum markup you’d like to charge. You’d already have the minimum profit per unit you’d like to see, plus buyers could signal their appreciation even more clearly if they are willing to do so with their wallets. I think the trick is to draw attention to your tip jar without making it too hard a sell.

  26. beggs Says:

    I would be interested in ALiL posters… maybe Braid. I have 2 ALiL posters from the old days, love then, need more.

  27. allana Says:

    I’d adore some ALIL posters, since I’m in real danger of forgetting how wonderful it is (PS, revive it plzthnx).

  28. Bakasai Says:

    I would definitely buy a high quality print/poster.

  29. Amanda Says:

    I’d jump at the chance to get a Braid or A Lesson Is Learned print. I think $40/$45 is a fair price for a good quality print at a decent size (20 x 30 or so).

  30. Cal Neuvost Says:

    I would be very interested in both Braid and Lesson Is Learned prints! I would especially jump at the chance to get “Morning, Sleepy Head!” and “Caroline’s Doppelganger,” as well as the Braid hourglass and title screen.

  31. Patrick Says:

    For a Braid print, would perhaps doing the entire house, including the tower and completed puzzle-paintings work? I know you said that the puzzle-paintings didn’t have high enough resolution by themselves, but perhaps in a larger print it might work.

  32. ennui Says:

    I would absolutely love to be able to purchase the full Braid title screen print. Additionally, I wanted to purchase A Lesson is Learned prints a few years ago but never got a chance to before the shop closed. I think this would be wonderful for you to look into as well!

  33. Rodriguez Says:

    Oh please do! It would absolutely make my week if you were offering ALIL prints (through any service) again. I would particularly like decent prints of ‘Christmas disaster special’, ‘Can you come dig me up?’ and ‘Getting over women’. Follow through on this print service idea, I’d pay a fair sum for the privilege,

  34. Derek Says:


    I don’t even know if you’re checking the comments anymore for such an old post, but I own 3 ALIL prints and I curse myself several times a year that I didn’t buy EVERY print when I had the chance. They were gorgeous prints of beautiful, brilliant comics, and if I had a chance to buy prints of ALIL again I’d buy so many more. I liked the 13″ by X” dimensions you had before, plus if you printed in that size they’d match the ones I have now.

    I am begging you, make those available again somehow!

  35. David Hellman Says:

    I’m still reading all the new comments here. Even though I’ve been quiet on this for a while, it is happening! Please stay tuned.

  36. Cayal W. Says:

    In that event, I must say that I would buy an ALIL print with zeal. I would gently fold it in half and in half again, set it under a favorite book from my childhood, and mere seconds later, giving into my impatience I would take it out, unfold it the way I unwrap Christmas gifts from a brother I don’t get to see very often, and fervently smell the whole thing, drinking in its sweet papery vapors. After this, I would nibble on the corners. Not enough to spoil my dinner, just something to take in the taste of. I would never finish the whole thing, and it would certainly be hung in a spot where I could be proud of it, maybe stapled to my bare chest. Are they printed on non-toxic ink? Would it matter?

    And if it sways your opinion any, I would wiggle my head like I had a good beat trapped in it while I chewed.

  37. Ben Says:

    I would love to see ALIL prints again, or posters of any of your art. Finally getting prints of my favourite ALIL episodes would be pretty much the only thing that would come close to a revival. You and Dale were doing something basically unique and I still re-read them periodically.

  38. Matt Says:

    I just want cast another vote for the return of ALIL prints, which I would be willing to drop some money on. Also would like to second Jonathan’s request for a print of the Braid title screen. Love your work, hope this becomes a reality.

  39. Patrick Says:

    Did these plans ever come to fruition? I know that a Braid print would still easily find space on my wall.

  40. Harrison Says:

    Any news? Sounds like, from Facebook, you are working on reviving ALIL

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