What do the Community Artists do?

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Community Artists' Home Page | Why be a Community Artist? | What do the Community Artists do? | Community Artists' Code of Conduct | Volunteer to be a Community Artist

This page is OUTDATED!.

You can find the Community Artists here.

You've seen their work around the site - now you can find out what the h2g2 Community Artists actually do.

It's worth noting at the outset that being a Community Artist is entirely voluntary. We just hope that you like the site enough to help out in your spare time, and we try to allow Artists to find whatever pace they're happiest working at, though if you do nothing for ages we reserve the right to revoke the title - details can be found in the Community Artists' Code of Conduct.

We will never try to force you to do anything that you haven't offered to do, we'll just ask nicely. Everything you do must be because you want to help out with the development of h2g2. There may be added incentives in the future, but for now this is strictly a voluntary scheme.

What Being A Community Artist Entails

Artists' illustrations are needed for various places around h2g2. These include:

The Edited Guide

Graphics intended for the Edited Guide should be representative of the topic of the Entry, and should match it in tone. An Entry about a serious topic should not have a graphic that appears to be making fun of it, and graphics should always be suitable for a family audience as they'll most likely be appearing on the Front Page at some point.

Technical Specifications: Illustrations for Edited Guide Entries are 200 pixels square, preferably with a black border exactly 1 pixel thick, though this can be discussed with the other artists if it's felt the graphic would benefit from being borderless. The image should be saved as a gif or jpg, with a filename reflecting the name of the entry it's for. Which format you use is up to you, but the file should be no larger than 20KB.

The Post

Some Researchers are lucky enough to write regular columns for the h2g2 Community-run newspaper, The Post. Established columnists can request a logo or banner to be displayed at the top of each entry.

Though The Post's cartoonists are often Community Artists as well, it's not a requirement. If you would like to submit a cartoon to The Post, contact the Post Team to discuss technical specifications, deadlines, and other details.

Technical Specifications: Banners should be no bigger than 500 pixels wide and 100 pixels high, though if more flexibility is required, a quadrangle of approximately 200 x 150 pixels can be used. If a membership badge is required for clubs, they should not exceed 100 x 100 pixels. The image can be free-standing (ie, it doesn't have to be rectangular) so long as it fits into this frame. Remember that banners will have to look good on both blue and white backgrounds! The image should preferably have a black border with a thickness of 1 pixel.

Clubs and Societies

Club Logos & Badges: As with the Post, Researchers with established and well-run clubs and societies can apply for a club logo. The dimensions and other technical specifications are the same as those of banners bound for The Post.

Note: While we will try to treat each request on its own merit, due to limited resources and other potential restrictions, we cannot promise that every request will be met. Sadly, the Community Art scheme is currently largely on hold due to lack of resources.


h2g2 smileys are very well known around the site, and used more than any other images. Occasionally, we like to launch a new collection, and on those occasions we'll give the Community Artists a list (selected from the current list as requested by the h2g2 Community) and ask whether they will make them for us.

Smileys need to follow a rather specific set of technical specifications in order to be used on the site:

  • Smileys must be no higher than 16 pixels, because if they were any higher they would interfere with the text in conversations. There is no specific maximum width. Our longest is currently 67 pixels across; try not to exceed that.
  • Although we understand everyone has a style of their own, for smileys we'd like to stick to the established 'House Style' where we can. That includes anti-aliasing to smooth the edges rather than leaving them in a pixelated style.
  • Any image that is not rectangular will need to be anti-aliased to the each of the two background colours and then saved in 'gif89a' format with the background colour set to 'transparent'. The background colours used are blue (HEX number 000066) for the Classic (Goo) skin and white (HEX number FFFFFF) for the Alabaster and Brunel skins.
  • We'll need two files in gif format for each smiley, one for the blue background named b_smileyname.gif, and one for the white background named w_smileyname.gif, where 'smileyname' is, obviously, the name of the smiley.
  • Smileys must be optimised to make the files as small as possible, otherwise they increase the download time for conversation pages too much.

Communicating With Other Artists And The Editorial Team

If the technical side of being a Community Artist has kept you from joining up, now's your chance - an FTP program is no longer required - just a free Yahoo Mail account. You can choose to use an existing one or sign up for a new account to use just for h2g2.

After you've been accepted as a Community Artist, you'll get an invitation to join the Community Artists Group on Yahoo Groups. You can use the mailing list to communicate with other Artists. This is also where you'll upload your finished files to the group area for review by other Artists and, eventually, approval by the Editors.

Finally, being a Community Artist is supposed to be lots of fun, and we're always open to suggestions for improving things. So do let us know what you think of the scheme...

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