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Answerman - What Is "Key Art" And Why Is It Important?


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#861208



Joined: 07 Oct 2016
Posts: 180
PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 12:19 pm Reply with quote
What about those posters in Spoon 2Di and other magazines like that? How do they fit into this?
There are new ones of those in... 3-4 magazines a month for something like Yuri On Ice or UtaPri, and one at least every other month for something Like K or Hetalia. How do those fit into this?
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ultimatehaki



Joined: 27 Oct 2012
Posts: 354
PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 12:20 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Every once in a blue moon, there is an anime made that doesn't have any key art at all. I don't have any explanation for why that happens, but when it does, anyone who touches the show will have to figure out SOME way to promote the show without it. And... good luck with that.


No love to even offer advise to the people left out in the cold lonely dark huh. Savage Laughing

On a serious note I had no idea the key visuals was this huge. I see them in a new light now, thanks for the insight.
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angelmcazares
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 12:53 pm Reply with quote
Key Art has become very important to me. Daryl Surat said once in the AWO podcast that looking at the key art of a show is a very effective way to judge what kind of anime it will be. Through the years I have discovered that the anime shows that I have liked usually have key art that I find appealing.

Without key art I would feel kind of lost.
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ultimatemegax



Joined: 26 Jan 2010
Posts: 390
PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 1:17 pm Reply with quote
#861208 wrote:
What about those posters in Spoon 2Di and other magazines like that? How do they fit into this?
There are new ones of those in... 3-4 magazines a month for something like Yuri On Ice or UtaPri, and one at least every other month for something Like K or Hetalia. How do those fit into this?

Those are handled and created by the editing staff at the magazine. They'll decide what will likely help sell magazines and send a request to the publicist for that production who will pass it on to the main staff. That request will give generalties (We want these characters in this kind of pose/setting) for what type of image they want and what form they want it in. The main staff will assign the people to create that image (if accepted) and create a rough draft to be approved by the magazine staff. Once approved, it'll be created, checked by the main staff and producers, and then sent to the magazine for print.

Often, these images are chosen about two months before publication, giving enough time for each production to make an image for the magazine (or two depending on requests).
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Mr. Oshawott



Joined: 12 Mar 2012
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 1:18 pm Reply with quote
The visuals of key art has helped me find out which anime shows I would have interest in watching. Without it, anime-searching would feel like navigating through a labyrinth.
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leafy sea dragon



Joined: 27 Oct 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 2:50 pm Reply with quote
Ah, so THAT'S what it's called! Is it the same thing as promotional artwork, or is it just one of many kinds of promotional artwork?

Also, what are some examples of anime produced without key art? What do their home video releases and such look like?
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ultimatemegax



Joined: 26 Jan 2010
Posts: 390
PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 2:59 pm Reply with quote
leafy sea dragon wrote:
Ah, so THAT'S what it's called! Is it the same thing as promotional artwork, or is it just one of many kinds of promotional artwork?

Also, what are some examples of anime produced without key art? What do their home video releases and such look like?


It's one type of promotional artwork or promotional illustrations. Other types are what gets made for video/CD releases and magazine illustrations. Sometimes you'll see specific ones for tie-ins (like the SAO/Kanda shrine ANN news staff posted today) or more rare, ones for specific types of merchandise.
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leafy sea dragon



Joined: 27 Oct 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:01 pm Reply with quote
ultimatemegax wrote:

It's one type of promotional artwork or promotional illustrations. Other types are what gets made for video/CD releases and magazine illustrations. Sometimes you'll see specific ones for tie-ins (like the SAO/Kanda shrine ANN news staff posted today) or more rare, ones for specific types of merchandise.


Ah, good. I was worried I've been using "promotional artwork" as an umbrella term wrong and that I should've been using "key art" all along.
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NiPah



Joined: 11 Feb 2011
Posts: 54
PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 4:23 pm Reply with quote
The first thing that came to mind was back on ANNCast 17 Chad Kime talked about Geneon having to market Heat Guy J with two pieces of key art, the ugly robot head and a far off group shot. I actually got the collectors edition (from a blind box) and sure enough they had about 4 variations of those same images.
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SaneSavantElla



Joined: 25 Jan 2013
Posts: 73
PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 4:31 pm Reply with quote
I judge an anime by its cover. Key art is how I choose which shows to watch each season. Almost missed Yuri on Ice last fall because its key art was not really to my liking. Thanks to preview guides, I could at least sniff out other promising shows regardless of how their key art looked.
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everapril



Joined: 24 Apr 2009
Posts: 67
PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 4:44 pm Reply with quote
What are some of people's favorites/most memorable? I remember obsessing over Sailor Moon Crystal's. If I remember Black Butler II trolled the fans with theirs.
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Zin5ki
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 5:05 pm Reply with quote
leafy sea dragon wrote:
Ah, so THAT'S what it's called! Is it the same thing as promotional artwork, or is it just one of many kinds of promotional artwork?

Doubtlessly your guess was better than mine! I initially confused the phrase with "key animation", which, in turn, could be confused for animated adaptations of Key VNs.
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leafy sea dragon



Joined: 27 Oct 2009
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Location: Another Kingdom
PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 5:08 pm Reply with quote
Zin5ki wrote:
leafy sea dragon wrote:
Ah, so THAT'S what it's called! Is it the same thing as promotional artwork, or is it just one of many kinds of promotional artwork?

Doubtlessly your guess was better than mine! I initially confused the phrase with "key animation", which, in turn, could be confused for animated adaptations of Key VNs.


Don't worry, I did too, prior to this article. It's why I wasn't familiar with this definition--any time I saw mention of "key art," I thought it was interchangeable with "key animation."
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Mexican Batman



Joined: 15 Aug 2015
Posts: 65
PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 5:32 pm Reply with quote
In short, the art is the "key" to the series it's promoting. It introduces viewers to the series.
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Cutiebunny



Joined: 18 Apr 2010
Posts: 1080
PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 5:42 pm Reply with quote
I've always called this work 'hanken', as that's the general Japanese term used to refer to artwork drawn exclusively for promotional purposes, such as books, DVDs, etc. The original hanken artwork is highly collectible, and can sometimes be found for sale on Japanese auction websites.
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