Tag Archives: AIGA

An Olympic Mistake: Tokyo Crowdsources Logo for 2020 Games

30 Nov

tokyo2020

If you follow this blog, you know my opinions on crowdsourcing and speculative work, which I share with AIGA and the Graphic Artists Guild. Candid Thoughts on the 2020 Olympic Logo is a critique by Ian Lynam, Art Director of Neojaponisme, of a version of the 2020 Olympic Logo. In one part, he lays out a strong case against contests and spec work.

The post is worth reading in its entirety, but here’s the takeaway:

Why can’t the Tokyo Olympic committee afford to pay someone for something that is going to make them a lot of money whether Tokyo wins the bid or not?

Mr. Lynam also shares his thoughts on competitions:

I hate design competitions, and moreover, I hate student design competitions. Sure, it may help that student get a job after school, but design competitions are a form of speculative labor. We don’t participate in design competitions with my design studio, and I actively encourage my students to not participate in design competitions, as well. School should be a time for exploration and experimenting in the laboratory, not aping market rules, visual trends, and reductive thinking.

Mr. Lynam’s criticism of the logo, which was done by a college student, lays out strong arguments for why a professional designer’s expertise is worth the investment, and his comments on the competition provide a good explanation of why designers—and clients—should avoid crowdsourced spec work.

Pratt Sets a Terrible Example by Crowdsourcing New Mascot Design

1 Jun

I am a proud graduate of Pratt Institute (ComD/Graphic Design, ’92), where I received a solid education from some of the world’s top creative professionals. But, I could not be more disappointed that my alma matter is using a competition to crowdsource the design of a new Athletics Brand Identity for the Institute. It’s shameful that Pratt is engaging in this practice, which is harmful and damaging to designers.

Pratt_MascotLetter

My letter to President Schutte and Vice President for Student Affairs Matusow-Ayres. (Click the image to enlarge and read it.)

It is unacceptable that one of the top design schools in the world is asking hundreds of students, faculty, alumni, and staff to work for free, with the promise that one of them will receive only a fraction of the fair market value of their work. As a member of AIGA, Freelancers Union, and the Graphic Artist’s Guild, as well as a freelance designer, I know firsthand how unfair crowdsourcing is to designers, and how harmful it is to the industry and economy. In fact, the AIGA Position on Spec Work, and the Graphic Artists Guild Code of Fair Practice for the Graphic Communications Industry state each group’s specific opposition to it.

I’ve written to President Thomas F. Schutte, and to Vice President for Student Affairs Helen Matusow-Ayres, asking them to cancel the contest, and conduct the project ethically and fairly. If you would like to join me in expressing your disappointment, you can email them, and tweet to @PrattInstitute and @GoPrattGo. Pratt should be setting a much better example for its community, especially its students.

Correction: An earlier version of this post omitted the Twitter handle for Pratt Athletics, @GoPrattGo. It has been added.—JC

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