Logo Design Love

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Himalayas Art Museum gets it wrong

Himalayas Art Museum

Himalayas Art Museum is asking designers to submit speculative (free) work in the guise of a “contest.” The rules state:

“Once the design is accepted, all copyright, ownership, right of alternation, and right of use will belong to Himalayas Art Museum. The designer should not use it anywhere else, or in any other way.”

So not only we being asked to work for free, we can also forget about using our designs in our portfolios.

It’s a real shame, because this is a project I’d love to be considered for. It’s not like the museum doesn’t have a budget, as the “prize” is in the region of €12,000.

Yet again an arts organisation is asking us to fully complete a design project, then transfer all copyright, with nothing but the mere hope of compensation.

“Speculative design competitions or processes result in a superficial assessment of the problem and can only result in a design that is judged on a superficial basis. [Such competitions] will not result in the kind of work a client deserves.

“Only too often, [spec work] results in a client eventually having to bring a more experienced designer onto a project in order to execute it.”
— RICHARD GREFE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, AIGA

Remember, if you value your time at £0, don’t be surprised when your clients do, too.

Story via Debbie Millman and Doug Bartow on Twitter.

Related:
How to respond to spec work requests
AIGA President Debbie Millman on spec work

Himalayas Art Museum image via mask9.com

Logo Design Love: A Guide to Creating Iconic Brand Identities

57 appreciated comments

  1. David B

    Here’s 2 logo ideas for them: Can of HAM or just a plain hamster.

  2. This is awful! I’ve also experienced Requests for Tender which work along these lines too. So you end up spending hours on all the creative work that you HOPE will be recognised by agreement to employ…only to lose out on the contract anyway!

    Grrrr!

  3. Sad, sad story… and the Richard Grefe quote is all too true.

    ~J

  4. dp

    Just tell me where to send my angry letter.

  5. I wonder how much they spent on that rather horrible bit of ‘architecture’.

    I wonder if the art inside was all created for free and the authors of the art have no ownership of it.

    I wonder if the people who run the museum do so for free and are not allowed to tell anyone.

    I wonder if this has been thought through in anyway shape or form.

  6. I get so cross every time I see one of these ‘competitions’
    Why do organizations keep doing this? – because designers sadly keep participating.
    The design profession needs to act professionally and say no to free pitches.
    I understand it is hard when trying to win new business but ultimately these competitions do not benefit anyone

  7. This is a joke! It’s like “Let’s be stolen Competition”.

  8. What a shame and especially coming from an arts group! They should know better.

  9. Yet another sad crowdsourcing story.. sighs!
    I agree with Sarah above, these companies and organizations can get away with crowdsourcing only because designers participate in them. And why do designers participate in them? They want either recognition/compensation to boost their ‘careers’ and join the elite gild or whatever.
    It would be such a relief if designers worldwide could come together and decide not to get into crowdsourcing. Well well..

  10. nathan

    10$ says they end up with:
    1) someone who didn’t read the rules winning, and ultimately pissed.
    2)absolutely nothing, except flamboyant uses of multiple filters and little use of actual creativity.

    (personally I’m hoping they a jpeg of their establishment’s name in times new roman with a drop shadow…Classy. JK)

    NOTE: I’m 15, and so crowd-sourcing is kind of good for me, I can’t really get a serious client or anything, so it is fun to actually have a project, whilst I spend my time waiting for the trivial years necessary to be taken seriously as a designer.

  11. John Watters

    Repy to ‘young’ Nathan.

    As a Creative of over 40 years of practice, those ‘trivial’ years you mention, is what in the real world we term ‘experience’. Go to College. Look, see, learn, grow.

  12. This is outrageous ! I understand that designers have to earn their money somewhere but this is so unfair to every single artist that spends days creating something he can use in the “competition”, they should ignore it and refuse to participate, museum would have to change rules eventually. Unfortunately such consensus among the designers’ community is quite unrealistic.

  13. I, too, agree with Sarah above.

    If designers refuse to work for free — and this qualifies as less than free for everyone but the winner — then these kinds of contests can’t happen. Why not just hire someone and pay them the equivalent of the prize from the get go?

    Curious, do folks think spec-work, perhaps, constitutes some kind of slave labor? It’s also an art organization that should know more than any other kind of organization that art ought to be fairly compensated for.

    How can artists make a good wage if even art organizations buy into them doing stuff for free?

    Good post! G.

  14. nathan

    @John

    I have full intent to go to college, however, you have to get experience somewhere, and only hiring people with expired is the largest catch-22 in the history of the planet. College may be useful in learning design elements, but in order to originally gain in-field expired, you have to actually get into the field. I appreciate the concern, john, but I also realize the value of experience and innovation over blindly created work. I don’t think I just go into college with no experience and come out thinking I am all of the sudden a professorial. If practice makes perfect then let me practice before the “real game” and value my pursuit of “experience.”
    BTW, I have only done one crowd-sourcing project, and it was for digital globe for one of their satellites. Placing in the top four was one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I was allowed copy write, and it is in my portfolio. I seriously think that young designers like me have all of the incentive in the world to seek any project they can get, while you expired veterans can take the paid, client jobs. You can deny me the title of “professorial,” john, but I would appreciate it if you did not deny me of my “experence.” Thank you.

  15. Nathan, you’ll gain experience that’s vastly more beneficial by working pro bono rather than participating in spec contests. Good luck.

    Giulietta, I think exploitation is more apt.

  16. nathan

    Thank you David.
    I already do a lot of T shirt and event design for my church, but your article was very helpful. Pretty impressive that we both exposed the catch-22 in the same exact way. I really appreciate you helping me out. Thanks again.

  17. nathan

    http://www.digitalglobe.com/index.php/230/Winners

    That is what I entered two years ago to Digital Globe. thought you’d have some insight that could improve my work further.

  18. John Watters

    Re: Nathan,

    Thanks for such a lucid reply, the benefit of a College or Art School period, not only proves that you can utilize academic investigation and comment to the outside world. Experience is just that…and that takes years, as the business is continually changing through technology and client need. I lecture at Colleges as a visiting professional with the main aim of adding personal and professional development to the courses of degree level.

    Professionalism is not a given, it is a level that has to be earned. I agree wholeheartedly that it is a catch 22 situation for younger creatives but ‘networking’ and discussing your practice with the established professionals (globally) is 100% necessary. No one is too aloof to contact, and they will always impart knowledge (if they appreciate the creative ‘need’ in all designers.
    By all means continue to work for free..whilst you can. Good Luck.

    John

  19. I went to a networking event last night, an event that was once great. It’s supposed to be a showcase of local businesses in a trade show setting, and an opportunity to meet a ton of “like-minded” business people. The average attendance is around 8,000 people. You know, something you go to to hopefully generate some new work. In its better days it was also a place you’d go to see your competitors set-ups and designs. Last night I gathered two things: 1) every design related booth was offering free or extremely discounted services with the shittiest design work I’ve ever seen to back it up. And 2) There were 600 booths, 3 were well designed…all the rest looked like they had the printshop they go to throw something together for the show. On top of that every logo looked like it had been crowd-sourced or designed by someone’s “designer” friend of a friend. I felt like puking, or crying, or both.

    The only up side to something this atrocious is that it surely has to give eventually…At some point anyone with half an ounce of intelligence will see that one of the reasons their business is failing to engage the audience is because they’ve been cutting the bottom line where they should be putting most of their budget: design and branding. Honestly, there was nothing differentiating one bad design from another, attendance was high, but no one stayed for the full duration as had been the case in years past, and hundreds of businesses packed up their display’s early because they were not getting the results they hoped for. It was sad really, but I seized the opportunity to hand out my business card to as many people as I could with the line “I guarantee you will need my services this year, keep this in a safe place.”.

    You pay for what you get, and these free-bie requests coming from “respected” institutions is truly sad. That’s the fad right now, good design is a thing of the past. Like any fad, It will pass. In the meantime we just need to stick together and not cave in because of desperation.

  20. It’s like none of you are smart enough to read the grand prize. So I’ll repeat it here for you:
    “If the winner is based outside of China, the prize package will include a cash prize of €10,000, round trip airfare to and from Shanghai, and 5 nights at a hotel in Shanghai with an opportunity to show his/her works at the Himalayas Art Museum in 2012, as well as the opportunity to participate in the artist residence program hosted by Himalayas Art Museum.”

    The grand prize winner gets to show their work at the museum, and participate in the residence program. This is huge you brainless twits. The residence program is worth well over 10 grand US, and getting to show your artwork in any kind of museum situation is major.

    Whomever wrote this article needs to learn how to read before they post.

  21. This is absolutely disgraceful.

    You can give them a piece of your mind here:

    Himalayascenter@gmail.com

  22. John Watters

    For Kevin,

    Have you entered? Good Luck. Have nice time in Shanghai.

  23. M.

    The cries of entitled designers… this never gets old.

  24. Actually M., it’s the cries of hard workers fighting for possession of their profession, and in many cases their very livelihood. I don’t know what you do, but everyday we designers lose a little more of our grip because of shit like this, and if you are a designer (new or seasoned, entitled or not) contributing to this, then you are part of the problem. There are a lot of times where I feel I would have been better off choosing another profession, but this is the route I’ve traveled and this is the profession I love, AND I’m going to fight for it! You can take your cutesy comment elsewhere.

  25. Sorry if I’m over posting on here, but one of the companies I mentioned in my first comment actually contacted me via Twitter, here is a link to their site if you would like to take a look for yourself. Their schtick is offering free “custom built” websites, not sure where the catch is besides hosting with them (undoubtedly other up-sale tactics), but I’m not a fan of any company looking to make a buck by underscoring our community and threatening our livelihood.

    http://www.freecustomwebsite.com

    This may not be spec, but I’ve had enough.

  26. Chris, if you were a real artist, you would know what a residency program does for REAL artists who work in Museums.
    A residency program at even a half decent museum is worth more than just money.
    This contest is about education and exposure. The fact you don’t get what museum shows and residency programs do really show how much lack of knowledge and professionalism you really have.

  27. It doesn’t matter what the prize is, and in many cases, it may as well be $1M.

    I’m just a youngster in the design profession, so by all means take my words with a grain of salt, but there’s no denying the status of Debbie Millman as an ambassador to graphic designers everywhere, and I recommend reading what she thinks of these spec contests.

  28. James Random

    It’s an all-too common thing, I’m afraid. People actually think we’d rather do the work for free simply to be able to say ‘Hey my work is featured in the Himalaya’s art Museum’ than actually for money. I think many of them may not entirely connected to reality.

    It would happen often when I was at University. Companies would come along with a ‘competition’ giving us a brief and the best would be picked. I refused – much to the bemusement of my peers. But my argument was this: I don’t work for free. If the work is counting toward a grade then that is fair enough, but working for a multi-million dollar corporation for free simply because it *might* get selected to be used up and down the country is unacceptable. I’m a designer and my time is my money: if you want something from me, pay for it.

  29. It’s a shame to see a museum do something like that. Thanks for sharing it with us, David.

  30. Having read (and identified with) the chorus of outrage from the designers’ community, I wondered if seeing this from the museum’s (well-intentioned and sincere) perspective might offer us some insights. This is what I came up with:
    > The museum may not want to commission any single agency for this, believing that a wide range of options might help them obtain a unique and fitting logo for themselves.
    > Another reason they may not want to commission any agency is to avoid possible controversy and allegations of favoritism and corruption (not unexpected in the South Asian context).
    > They may believe that there’s enormous young, unsung, invisible talent without a track record that could never win a formal commission, but that they would like to reach out to, and encourage.
    > They might think a competition is the perfect ‘level playing field’ for all shades and variety of creatives; where pure merit scores over reputation.
    > They probably do not think that brilliant logos can be generated through any process, and by opening this to everyone’s involvement – whether intensive or casual – would enhance the quality of their choice.
    > Perhaps they are being advised by marketing or advertising buyers, where spec work is not uncommon (well, nor is it in the design world, either – if we were to be honest).
    I think it would only help our discipline if we evolved solutions for prospective clients who don’t find our usual, prescribed mode of working meeting their needs or requirements.
    I would also like to hear from more designers who submit or wouldn’t mind submitting spec work on their views on this; obviously there are a lot of them out there (but equally obvious, they remain silent in such forums!).
    I must clarify in advance that I have nothing to do with the museum, nor am I entering or endorsing the competition or spec work. I am a design consultant-academic hoping to view both perspectives with empathy in an effort to evolving mutually respectful and workable long-term solutions.

  31. Sabina

    2 Logo Ideas
    1. put a Tibetian Flag on a can of hamster
    2. wrap a ham in a picture of the Dalai Lama

  32. M.

    Yes, I do design – amongst other things.

    One thing I’ll always defend is the right of anyone, anywhere, to invite contributions. First, because they might need the help more than you might want not to give it. Second, because it can create the impetus for inspiration. Third, because there are thousands of people (in this case, designers) who are thirsty for the chance to be seen and/or heard, and this gives them one avenue to pursue that.

    This has been said many times, but it’s iron clad: the market prices the work. The best rises to the top. If you are a good (or better) designer – and have an inkling of business acumen – you will do well in the world.

    There are many, many bad designers in the world, and they do clog up the wheels for laypeople, who sometimes can’t tell good design from bad. But designers are not tastemakers. They are experts a particular discipline. They do not have the right to tell laypeople not to look at certain versions of designs, or acquire them in only a certain way. They have the ability to do so – and obviously exercise that – but not any moral right to do so.

    They do have the moral right to educate by doing good work themselves, and paying attention to making themselves better.

    When you volunteer your time (and that’s what you’re doing when you enter a contest), you shouldn’t expect rewards, money, or your name in lights. If that comes, so be it, but you’re doing it because you feel obligated to the cause, and hopefully to learn about yourself and improve.

    And furthermore: a designer’s entire career, much like anyone’s, is an exercise in speculative work. The strength of your portfolio and your reputation is your “entry” into the world of competition for design work. No one is forced to hire you, but if they like what they see, they might.

    That said, designers are free to organize and make this an important cause for themselves, just as I am free to think it’s an encourages complacency over meritocracy. So, have at it. I will continue to believe that the organization of designers is generally a good thing, but that this particular cause is a fallacy.

    If you don’t agree with me, it’s fine; I’ll leave you with a last thought. Don’t ever help anybody, and don’t ever accept anything for free.

    If a junior designer ever asks you for a tip, or for a little help learning some software – don’t. You’re taking money from design schools.

    If you’re having a big event catered, don’t ask for a tasting session so you can get a feel for the food from a few places. You’re demeaning the work of everybody in the profession.

    And if your buddy asks you to watch his kids on a Saturday night – don’t. You’re screwing over babysitters in his neighborhood. And they’re posting about you – and your morally wrong practices – on their message board.

  33. M.

    And no, I’m not entering the contest – it doesn’t appeal to me. If it did, and I thought working on it would lead to an improvement in my life as a designer, I might.

  34. John Watters

    This article has invited a very mixed response. Not so strange it has
    returned some quite ‘agitated’ replies. As what I call ‘Commercial Artists’
    we actually design to afford us a living. Am I right?

    Therefore whether pitching for business, entering a competitive arena of any kind, we are hoping to eventually make some money out of it. Competitions, if they offer a prize, is a reward. If this is a cash reward, we are merely doing what we do to live.

    We ALL do free work at some time, the wife’s sister’s wedding invitations, the handouts for the local church, the local dog pound or whatever. This is just being human and hopefully charitable.
    When we are asked by a company to pitch for a negotiated low fee, is when
    we as professionals should consider our position.

    Why do companies invite designers to pitch? because they have investigated the work the designer does, word of mouth? or maybe the designer has contacted them. Only a professional from ‘their’ side would actually enter into looking at the work of the designer they invite. Then, why pitch? if they like your work?
    They surely should speak to you and discuss the project. A pitch is usually a ‘fashion show’ unless the client is aware of the specific outcomes they require. We all know this is a rarity, subjectiveness is the basis of all design. As I tell students, ‘that is why we all wear different shoes, drive different cars’ etc.

    One does not try and beat down the price, or invite pitches from a heart surgeon, nor put one’s appendix up as a prize in a competition.
    It is all down to personal choice, ethics (dangerous word) and proven professional practice.

    Love and peace to all…including the unscrupulous whoever they are?

  35. Kevin, you know absolutely nothing about my knowledge of things so cut the condescending comments. I’m well aware of what the prize being offered is and I understand full well the effect it will have on the “winners” life…but what about everyone else who participates? What is their compensation?

    For those of you who do participate in speculative work similar to this, I just don’t understand how you can justify being taken advantage of? The argument that doing spec is a good way to build experience and get exposure is a weak one at best…if it’s experience you’re in search of, there are plenty of ways to cut your teeth outside of something like this. Why not supply some pro-bono work in your community and build your reputation locally first, before trying to take on the world? We’re not talking about an awards competition based on submitting existing works here, we’re talking about asking a whole lot of people to work for free for someone else’s benefit.

    I’m all for pro-bono work, I do it quite often to help small and struggling businesses in my area that I believe in. What I don’t agree with is spec work of any type. Since it’s growth in popularity, I have become as much of an educator as I am a designer, and fortunately I still manage to get work that pays appropriately because of it…it just takes a lot more work than it once did. I can’t help but think that because of “contests” and the willingness of “designers” to participate, the industry has been cheapened to some extent, and I don’t feel like the “creative” is being respected as much as he/she once was.

    Fin.

  36. The. Sheer. Cheeeeeeeek!

    That is all.

  37. When I read this post, I couldn’t believe the rules but now I think about it, I guess I have been roped into these types of competitions too. At uni, we were constantly asked to submit work into competitions except you had to pay to be able to enter and then it was a case of only getting something out of it if you won. However, at college/uni I think this is acceptable because you are still learning and if you win a competition it gets you a little recognition as well as having something to put on your CV when you leave and start looking for work.

  38. @Kelly – What you describe sounds like an honest “competition” in that there is an entry fee (some are free) to enter designs you have already created for consideration for some type of award (be it published, featured, exposure, etc.). Because the design(s) have already been created it means you should have previously received compensation for them, unless of course it was for a grade, or done for leisure. You enter into it knowing your competition is stiff, but willing to take the chance because you believe your design(s) stand a chance…otherwise, why else would you pay an entry fee?

    Competitions like the one in this post, however, are asking you to create something new (in this case a logo) free of charge with no promise of compensation except in the guise of award that only one designer of x-amount will receive. See the difference?

    But you brought up a good point, could you imagine how much more money these spec companies could bring in if they could trick their “designers” to pay an entry submission as well? Is that how crazy things are going to get before we say “wait a minute!”?

  39. Free pitching – in other industries –

    “walk into mcDonalds, ask for a Big Mac, a Cheesburger and some Fries – tell them that you’ll think about it but won’t be giving them any money as you are sampling their menu”.

    “walk into a car dealership, ask to test drive one of their cars for a couple of months, give it back with no feedback”.

    “get a painter to come in and paint your walls, tell him you won’t be paying him unless you really really like the colour he has chosen (don’t give him any indication as to what colour you would like on your walls) if he doesn’t pick the exact shade that you would like don’t pay him”

    Free pitching means giving your work away for free, without the necessary collaboration with your client.

    And competition such as the one outlined above usually is because the client is lazy. I say lazy because they can’t be bothered to put together a decent brief, to work with their design agency, to give insightful feedback to develop a solution that both the designer and the client is happy with…. design is a collaborative process it can take a while but will be well worth it in the end.

    A competition is a lazy way to answer a creative problem.

  40. M.

    Bad analogies.

    “walk into mcDonalds, ask for a Big Mac, a Cheesburger and some Fries – tell them that you’ll think about it but won’t be giving them any money as you are sampling their menu”.

    In this case, you are demanding complimentary samples. If McDonalds wants to give them to you, they have every right to. If they do, I don’t think you would claim they were betraying their industry. In fact, I’ve bet you (like most people) have taken a free food sample in your life.

    “walk into a car dealership, ask to test drive one of their cars for a couple of months, give it back with no feedback”

    Again, you as the client are demanding something here. It is up to the car dealer to comply. If they do, or if they straight-up offer you a “drive it for 2 months and give it back no questions asked if you don’t like it” deal, that is a business decision. Would you be guilty of an ethical mis-step if you took them up on those terms? Or just smart?

    “get a painter to come in and paint your walls, tell him you won’t be paying him unless you really really like the colour he has chosen (don’t give him any indication as to what colour you would like on your walls) if he doesn’t pick the exact shade that you would like don’t pay him”

    This comes the closest to a relevant analogy. But it’s more like, invite two dozen painters to come in and paint a wall of one of your rooms – you’d then pick the one you liked the best and award him/or her the job. You’d then get a bunch of painters that responded – some might say to themselves, “I’m busy and this isn’t worth my time.”, and not come in to paint for you. Others might show up and be terrible. Others might be starting up a painting business and say to themselves “this could be a huge break for me – I’m going to impress the crap out of this client.” And then give you an amazing sample.

    This is how a market economy works.

    Here’s an analogy for you: A producer and a director are casting their new play. They want a few amazing lead actors in the role, and they want to see a bunch of options. So they hold a “casting call” where actors show up and, for free, perform lines in the play. The producer and director huddle in the back, judging what they are seeing. They call a select few back for more free performance work – which the actors are excited to provide. In the end, they can only select two leads, who get a paying gig for a few months.

    Imagine if casting actually worked that way?

  41. A quote I read earlier from The Personal Cost of Designing on Spec:

    “Let the market run its course, but if you don’t agree with where it’s headed, push back and fight for what you believe in.”
    — MARK BOULTON

  42. M.

    Completely right. It’s the implications that design contests are unethical or morally suspect that bother me, not the fact that designers want to push for less spec-based work.

  43. M., your casting analogy isn’t applicable. The designer equivalent to casting is showing a portfolio. The lead actors you mention aren’t expected to perform the entire play from start to finish. An actor shows a sample, like a designer shows a portfolio. This contest requires that all designers who enter complete the entire project from start to finish, before finding out if there’s any payment to follow.

  44. M.

    David,
    I respectfully disagree with you. An actor’s equivalent to a portfolio is a headshot, or a clip reel. Those things are pitched to everyone, to general audiences. An audition is called to see if there is a connection between a particular actor and the specific piece of work they are expected to perform.

    The Himalayas contest is an audition. And furthermore, an invitation. Not a greedy attempt to exploit.

    And thanks for the response – I’m seriously not trying to troll here, and I’m hoping for an open-minded conversation. I am a designer and don’t wish to be painted with the brush that competition equals exploitation – and I’m trying to express that in a respectful and honest way. It should be said that I don’t believe the best design comes from contests or open calls; simply that they are not evil or morally corrupt devices, and that those that hold them are not at all worthy of scorn from the design community. A confident “meh”, maybe, but not scorn.

    M.

  45. john watters

    We see differing opinions throughout the postings, which illustrates the
    views of the posters. We get the impression of experience of those who have had problems with clients in the past, which can in turn colour judgement
    and open old wounds (even nasty grazes) and revisiting past annoyances.

    A competition offering a prize, is just that, and it is open to all who wish to accept the criteria presented. Personal choice, free will and if one feels exploited, then this is really self exploitation.

    Must close, going to buy a lottery ticket.

  46. M.

    Ha! I would love it if the lottery was based on merit.

    Oh wait, that’s just capitalism!

  47. You’re very welcome, M. Disagreement is encouraged in comment threads. I, more than most, have learned a lot from reader input.

    My opinion is that an actor/actress without previous performances to draw upon for upcoming roles is like a graphic designer without a portfolio. Just as said actors will need to attend more castings, the equivalent designer will need to showcase skills by presenting ideas prior to winning a contract.

    To those designers without a portfolio adequate enough to secure new clients, I fully recommend improving your portfolio with pro bono design.

  48. David – completely agree with you a strong portfolio will speak for itself.

    We’ve found that where a client wants to engage in a free pitch, or “run a competition” they usually don’t have the confidence (or experience) in themselves to know what will work for their brand – they want to see many different options to help them along – rather than trusting a design professional to guide them. (I mean what would I know with 15 years design experience??). We clearly explain to anyone who approaches us to engage in a free pitch, that we don’t participate, but we will put together a proposal with demonstrated case studies/work examples – sometimes it pays off, sometimes we lose the project – I’m happy with that, and that is our business decision.

    As I stated above, the design competition in this case is NOT just a design competition – if that was the case entrants would maintain copyright of their FREE work. These guys want as much choice as possible and then want to hold onto all of the designs submitted. That is

    M, an acting equivalent would be to get an actor to turn up, perform the play from start to finish in front of a paying audience – for nothing in return. The actor is giving away his performance for the possibility of landing the gig.

  49. I have to admit, I get it, and here’s why:

    Why should they pay to go out to a proper studio and have them professionally create their image when they can get thousands of entries and simply change their look on a whim. And, why the heck should we be able to put our hard work in our ports? Ehh… we’re just artists….

    This type of stuff never surprises me, ever. Artists in general are taken for granted in a lot of cases. But, I digress… lol

  50. Metz

    Guys, it is a COMPETITION.

    Am I the only one here who knows how things work?

    Beside all, you are competing in this, it’s like IF YOU APPLY, then YOU DON’T HAVE TO USE YOUR DESIGNS ANYWHERE ELSE.

    Or, you will like to use something similar from your design on other place? And thus making you a fool?

    Nevertheless, I hope everything will be OK with this competition.

    I submitted 3 designs, and I hope for the best, like everyone else does.

  51. Michael

    Well, as we can see now, it was a complete joke:

    http://logo.himalayasart.cn/en/index.html

    They got 1400 entries and couldn’t decide. So nobody won. 2 finalists got 10000 CYN which is a joke. Unbelievable.

  52. “…no single entry was unanimously approved by the judges in terms of its fitness to the museum’s philosophy and vision…”

    What a complete shock. Nobody could have seen that coming.

  53. Dan

    That’s hilarious.

    We have to remember though, it’s just a silly competition. Just ignore them and wish the fools the best of luck.

  54. Under Australian Copyright law, this rule is completely un-enforceable as all original work created may be used by the creator regardless of any private contractual arrangements—Moral rights are a serious issue that every designer should be aware of.
    I’ve even had a law firm challenge my use of material in my portfolio, to which I responded with their own earlier advice on moral rights.

    It really is a shame that the end result here will suffer.

  55. alex

    I’m gonna ask the plumber and my mechanic to do some spec work.

  56. Mac

    Hi all,

    Disclaimer. I’m not a graphic designer, but I value and lead a product/content design/development team of nearly 40 people for a TV company. For approx. 90% percent of the work we do we use our permanently employed in-house designers.

    1. I find the acting comparison to be quite valid, which paints dark clouds to especially entry-level designers/design. I worked in the industry in London for 6 years and most people calling themselves actors/actresses, especially there and LA, get most of their income doing other jobs. Aspiring actors and actresses compete like crazy for even unpaid jobs, and send hundred of applications and attend tens of castings just to get unpaid work, in the hope of making contacts that could lead to something someday. Open calls for proper paid jobs, even if only promoted on acting websites, yield thousands of replies in a week. Yep, it is often very bleak. But do established actors call aspiring actors/actresses, who are clinging onto this acting dream long into their thirties and forties, hacks or out of reality dreamers? No. They normally offer encouragement and give respect to all these hopefuls, as they have quite likely experienced the same at some point. I believe that fields of design and content creation will become like acting and in some respect. You think the competition is fierce now, it will get a lot tougher in the future. But the design field will still have its successful and well-paid leading ladies and gents, but to get to be one is going to get a lot tougher.

    2. A rule of business: If you don’t pay anything or pay very little, then you are the product being sold.

    The real customers of these spec sites are the designers and hacks. (Side note I don’t like labeling anyone as a hack, I believe that content and design should always be judged purely on its own, regardless of its creators credits/past.) The spec-site companies have not realised that there is a need for cheap logos, but that there are loads of designers/hacks/(teens) willing to do whatever to get to do design for somebody else than their relatives or community and dream off at some point getting into the industry. In the future there will be seemingly “high brand” spec/job sites that actually charge designers a monthly membership fee to get to see the jobs/competitions. It will be free for the companies that advertise jobs/competitions, and it will be sold to them as a hack-free-zone, as “only serious designers are willing to pay the fee”.

    3. What can be done?
    1. Entry-places for design courses should be limited. As so many people dream of creative jobs, the education industry is taking advantage of this and educating way too many people.
    2. Design as a profession should be made less desirable compared to other jobs. Like that’s going to happen, although spec sites are helping here :)
    etc.

    But in the end nothing can be done. Individuals must have a free choice to pursue any career they want, the way to pursue it. They can be educated, but the choice is theirs to make.

    To some design and spec competitions can be just a hobby. At the company I work for there are loads of creative people, who have quite mundane jobs, although they work in industry, which is seen as a creative industry. For them these kind of competitions can be a hobby, and they don’t care if they are paid or not. And again it is their choice to make.

    OK, too long already.


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