For your convenience here are the answers to many of our most commonly asked questions.
1. How can I join the Guild? Is there a review process?
Graphic Artists Guild, Inc.
31 West 34th Street, 8th Floor
New York, NY 10001
The Guild does not have a review process, we take you as you are.
2. What’s the status of my membership? What about renewing my membership?
The Graphic Artists Guild considers you a member once we receive your application in the office. Full processing of your application takes approximately 3-4 weeks. This includes receiving your membership pack and copy of the printed edition of the Handbook. Click here to become a new member of the Guild.
Guild membership renewal is based on your anniversary date. For example, if you join May 13, 2016, you will be billed about two weeks before the beginning of May each year. We send out three notices, spaced about a month apart, for renewal. If at the end of those three months you have not renewed, you are considered an expired member. You can also renew online by logging into the members area. If you are having difficulty logging in, you may be past the three month mark for renewal and will need to call the office, 212-791-3400 or email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. May I pay my dues by credit card over the phone?
You may renew your membership with a credit card over the phone. New members need to submit the full application with your signature and payment, so that needs to be mailed or completed with the online application.
4. I haven’t received my membership materials from the Guild even though I paid. You guys haven’t forgotten me, have you?
Never. It typically takes about 3-4 weeks for you to receive your membership materials, including your copy of the printed Handbook. If it’s been longer than that, please call us right away and we’ll chase it down: 212-791-3400 or email, email@example.com.
5. How do I notify the Guild of a name, region or address change?
Send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll take it from there.
6. What’s the difference between being a full member and an associate member?
The membership application explains this, so you may choose the option that best defines you when you sign up. Simply, "Professional Members" are working artists who derive more than half of their income from work they do as graphic artists. "Professional Members" are allowed to be listed under three disciplines in the portfolio section of the web site. "Professional Members" can upload up to three images to their portfolio.
"Associate Members" are people engaged in the graphic arts field in some way who support the goals and mission of the Guild, such as lawyers, agents and artists’ reps, or they are people who make less than half of their income from their graphic artwork. "Student Members" are also considered Associate members. "Associate Members" do not have voting rights and cannot hold office. In the portfolio section of the web site, "Associate Members" are listed under the "Associate" category. They can upload one image to their portfolio.
7. Am I eligible to become a member of the Guild? What sort of artist must I be?
The Guild supports all graphic artists (including, but not limited to: designers, illustrators, cartoonists, animators, digital artists, and photographers) The Guild embraces graphic artists at all skill levels. See FAQ (6) about levels of membership.
8. Where’s my nearest region?
The Regions page on this site lists them all.
9. How do I find out about events sponsored by my region?
Click here to jump to the page that carries the region links.
10. I lost my proof of membership. How can I get another copy?
Please send us an email at email@example.com and we’ll send you a replacement.
11. What is the difference between the Guild and AIGA?
The Guild's mission is to promote and protect the social, economic and professional interests of its members. The Guild is committed to improving conditions for all graphic artists and raising standards for the entire industry. The Guild embraces graphic artists at all skill levels. Our members include (including, but not limited to: animators, cartoonists, designers, illustrators, and digital artists) educators, intellectual property lawyers, artists representatives and others in related industries.
We fulfill our mission through education, legislation and community.
AIGA's mission is to advance design as a professional craft, strategic advantage and vital cultural force.
12. I live [name your country] can I join the Guild?
Yes, we do accept international artists, however our information is based on U.S. law.
13. I already have the Handbook. Are there any other books I can receive as part of my membership?
Sure. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org on how to receive another book of equal or lesser value.
14. Does the Guild offer classes?
The National office offers webinars. There are about 10-12 new webinars a year. Click here to see our upcoming webinars. All the webinars are available to members as part of their membership. Archives of all the webinars are inside the members only area. Non-members can attend any of our webinars at a cost of $45.00/webinar. A link to the webinar recording will be sent to you once the webinar ends in case you can’t attend live or want to view the webinar again.
15. Can the Guild help me in any way with health insurance?
The Guild does not directly offer any insurance; however, depending on where you live, we can point you to organizations who offer individual policies. Click here for additional Information
16. What other insurance options exist for Guild members?
The Guild does not offer insurance policies; however, we do work with certain providers who offer other insurance policies. Please visit the Guild’s Benefits page to learn what’s available to you.
17. I need some legal help with my business. Can you help me or recommend someone?
The Guild office cannot provide you with legal advice. The Guild has a national network of lawyers who are expert in the issues we most commonly face: copyright and intellectual property, contract negotiations, internet issues, licensing, royalties, and collections. This network is available to members.
Every state is different, so you will be best served to consult a lawyer in your state who knows the particular laws affecting your situation and who is licensed to practice where you work.
We can e-mail you information about lawyers available in your area. Although we know we don’t have lawyers in every state, we will do our best to connect you with someone. Please forward your requests to the Guild at email@example.com.
Note: We suggest that you discuss fees with the attorney before you accept advice or assistance. Only you can decide if the attorney is appropriate for your situation. The Guild will not interfere in the attorney/client relationship, and is not responsible for the lawyer or his/her fees.
18. Do you have digital electronic copies of contracts I can use?
For non-members, our book, Graphic Artists Guild: Pricing & Ethical Guidelines Handbook has a number of sample contracts for your use. Members receive a copy of the printed edition as part of membership.
19. I’m confused about how Copyright laws work or how to register my work. Where can I get this information?
Our Tools+Resources page provides a lot of information about copyright. Click here to navigate there. If you need more detailed information, try www.copyright.gov. Chapter Two of the printed edition of the Handbook covers your legal rights including copyright information. If none of these sources works for you, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
20. I heard that the Guild is part of the UAW. Is this true? Should I receive UAW benefits or have access to their scholarships and grants?
While the Guild was affiliated with the UAW at one time, we severed our partnership in 2004. Therefore, no benefits that are tied to the UAW are available to Guild members.
21. Are you a union? Do you have a bug or logo I can put on my work?
Yes, we are trade union and yes we have bug for you to place on your artwork.
Note: October 2014 the Guild membership voted to change from a union to a trade association. The Guild is in the process of changing our status.
22. Where can I find copies of the disability symbols?
23. How do I locate a [fill in the blank] type of artist in my area?
We have a list of member portfolios on the site with their regions provided. Select the type of artist you need and then take a look at the work presented. Links are provided to the individual members’ website.
24. I’m trying to find an artist so I can get permission to duplicate his/her work. Can you help?
Email the Guild’s email@example.com, and we’ll see if they’re part of the Guild and refer your inquiry to them.
25. Can the Guild find me a job?
The Guild does not help you find a job. We have a creative career board to help you with your search.