How does a cheap ass company get hundreds of designers to work for them simultaneously without spending a cent? Easy, have a design contest. It’s become more and more prevalent in recent times. Companies have these contests all the time now. “Design our new logo” “get your photos published” “get your t shirt design produced”. It’s complete bullshit. Companies draft up these contests in an effort to get young designers, photographers and artists to essentially work for free. These Contests are presented as glorious “opportunities” to get published, be discovered, get your name out there. In addition to the privilege of having someone else profit for your work most of them offer some ridiculous cash prize of $250-$500. A pretty sweet deal!!!! If you’re the company. Getting a boatload of young designers to work for you and getting to pick and choose from the lot must be fun. In the end the company generally owns the work you produced and they have paid 1 designer a sub par wage for their work. Read the fine print. Below are actual terms from one of these contests.
*All submissions become the property of (?company) and will not be returned.
*By submitting your work for consideration you agree to its use by (?company) without reservation.
*by submitting the attached image, you are granting (?company) a permanent right to publish the image
*By submitting an entry to this contest, the contestant grants (?company) and its affiliate companies the rights to freely publish said image online or in printed media in relation to the contest, without remuneration.
*In entering a creation in the contest, the contestant hereby irrevocably grants to (?company) all right, title and interest in and to such creation (including but not limited to the copyright, trademark and other intellectual property rights therein), and any and all ideas and information embodied therein, in perpetuity and throughout the world.
*(?company) reserves the right to reject, edit, or change submissions without limitation.
Oh ya that’s right. They own it. They can change it, copyright it, print it and in some cases they own not only the winner’s design, but any design submitted. So before you hit submit, run down to Walgreen’s and get some KY, cuz you’re about to get fucked.
If you’re a young artist, designer, photographer, do yourself a favor… Get your portfolio together, get it out there and get properly compensated for the work you do. By voluntarily signing away your work you not only screw yourself but you also fuck up the marketplace for people who make their livings as artists. Don’t get exploited.