The blog Things that suck touches on the design industry, politics, and American life in general.
It's perfect timing really, as just this week I came across an announcement (thanks Ronnie) concerning what I have on my own list of 'Things that suck' - unethical spec competitions.
The United Way Logo Contest for Toronto is, in my opinion, a spec contest.
Being a bit ruffled over the contest, I sent a Protest Letter to the United Way. From their response, I felt they were ignoring the concerns of the design industry so posted my thoughts on Designers who blog. Yes, non profits do ask for probono work, but do they run a similar contest for attorneys and accountants to pick just the one? Not on your life.
Should the United Way be above design contest rules as set out by Society of Graphic Designers of Canada where this is being held? Should the United Way be above the contest rules as set out by GAG? My personal opinion is a resounding NO.
Since I posted this on Designers who blog: Things that suck, people are coming forward with different responses from the United Way than the one I received several days ago.
"We will be meeting with your colleagues from RGD in the near future to better understand the position and to determine steps moving forward."
Excellent, but until this is resolved, the United Way Logo Contest will stay on my personal list of ‘Things that suck'.
For further reading ...
Creative Latitude has several articles on the subject:
When a "contest" is not a contest by Jeff Fisher, Engineer of Creative Identity, Jeff Fisher LogoMotives
United Way and Speculative Work By Art Javid
Design Contests Are Dangerous For Your Business By Robert Wurth, Creative Director, Freshly Squeezed Design
AdLand ad-rag.com has several on offer in their rants section:
Spec Sucks for Everyone By caffeinegoddess
Who needs ad creative? By Bill_Bernbucks
The Association of Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario (RGD Ontario)
For a bit of background regarding spec work, read Why Speculative Work is Unethical, a letter sent by the executive director of The Association of Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario (RGD Ontario) to the editor of Marketing magazine.
Society of Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC)
When protesting the 2010 Olympics logo contest, the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada stated …“A spec design request or contest means asking designers to work for free. For designers, this is a waste of time and it also erodes long-term buyer-designer relationships. GDC advises its members not to participate in requests for spec design or design contests and recommends that organizations decide which designer is right for a project by reviewing portfolios of previous work and looking at the designers' understanding of the needs of the project.”
I truly wish there was a happy ending to the continuing Spec saga, but as long as Designers agree to work on speculation, clients will continue to make the request (paraphrasing from an apt statement made by Matt SamyciaWood )