View Full Version : Competition or rights grab?

Mar 21, 2012, 04:59 AM
I'm interested in what designers think of this. This morning I was sent an email about a competition to illustrate/design a t-shirt for a folk music festival. The prize is a free family ticket. As a photographer as well as a designer I am used to photography competitions being labelled 'rights grabs' where basically the organisation is getting photography for free thus undermining the photography industry.

Do designers feel the same? Do you think that this organisation is damaging the design industry by asking for free work and then profiting from the sales? Or is it just a friendly competition?

jeremy h
Mar 21, 2012, 05:54 AM
It's slightly different in that one can generally use photography multiple times for different applications etc, but say an ad or t-shirt design is often quite specific. Also, we tend to hand over copyright - designing a logo and then charging the client everytime they want to use it on a new 'thing' wouldn't really work. So I don't really see them as a 'rights grab' more of a we want something for nothing!

Most designers are very suspicious of competitions in that (unless they're student ones - which are often respected) as they're often either an attempt to get cheap work or a huge free pitch. Or more likely a combination of both.

I don't think I've ever seen a competition run by a company I'd be prepared to enter. For example - let's guess the family ticket is 60. Perhaps that's worth 40 to the company (They make a profit on the face value and there will be VAT I guess). So in my hypothetical case they want to actually pay 40 for a t shirt design.

So the proposition might be - I'm inviting 20 designers to submit design for a T shirt, I'll choose one and then pay them 40 for the final artwork.

Pretty rubbish deal.

I know of no designers that enter them. I suspect in most casesthe people that enter are non-designers who fancy being able to have something they've 'designed' being seen on other people.

Mar 21, 2012, 08:53 AM
Yeah, I can't really see any professional designers entering. Most designers are dead-set against pitching work for free. I just wonder if designers view amateurs, students etc working for nothing as a threat to their trade in the same way photographers do?

Personally it doesn't bother me but when I saw the email I started to wonder if other designers were going to be wound up by it.