Monday, September 08, 2008

Enough with the SPEC Contests already.

Today I am seriously angry.
It turns out that our leading industry magazine in this country is turning 100 years old.
100 years of being the voice of our profession.
This morning, I logged onto their website to read the daily news and staring me in the face was something I could not believe.
They are promoting their anniversary by holding a logo spec contest.

I felt like I was slapped in the face.
All my trust, all my respect is now gone.

How can a magazine that speaks for us, that stands for us, turn it’s back and promote an unethical competition that undervalues our profession?

As designers, we get paid for our creative skills. If every company had a contest like this when they needed some creative work, we may as well hang up our hats.

No professional designer with some self-respect should take them up on this opportunity.
We have years of schooling (and thousands we have paid in tuition).
We have expensive computers with design programs (that we once again paid thousands for) and we have years of experience under our belts that we would use to design their logo. All for the chance for them to print our artwork in their magazine, pat us on the head and say “nice work”?

A colleague of mine, Neil Tortorella of “Tortorella Design” (Ohio, USA) says it best…

“Would it make sense to ask your mechanic to work on your car for free? Would you look him in the eye, with a straight face, and tell him that his compensation would be the ability to have his work shown to others as you drive down the street?

Would you offer a neurosurgeon the “opportunity” to add your name to his resume as payment for removing that pesky tumor? (Maybe you could offer him “a few bucks” for “materials”. What a deal!).”

100 years old. And still they have much to learn.

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