Update - October 14:
Obamaspec is getting some heat from the press, finally
President Obama, using creatives for free work isn’t supporting your “create jobs” campaign
Obama has now decided to promote his jobs bill by making designers work for free.
Gotta love the irony in that, right?
You should tell them your thoughts on this. Contact the Obama Administration through this form. (Be professional tho, don't use profanity)
Spec-work is the biggest threat to our profession, bar none. And now the President of the United States openly supports it.
(Want to note that I have no intentions of using this opportunity for personal gain to get more followers or whatever. As a matter of fact, think I lost a few already, hah!)
Identical post up on Forrst - http://forr.st/~P4y
EDIT: English is not my first language and I mixed up the terms here.
I have probably confused "Crowdsourcing" with "Outsourcing". (Thanks Kurt)
So I apologize for that. But it's kind of hilarious, you'll have to admit that!
Besides, I'm sure you all get the point ;)
about 2 years ago
You mean, the government wants to get something for nothing? You don't say .... haha
@Mike - Hah!
Campaign time. #AntiSpec
This contest is the equivalent of a grocery store having a colouring contest for kids, where they can display the winner's art in their flyer, and the kid wins a blown up picture of their work signed by the store manager.
I'm against design contests as outlets for companies that are trying to shortchange designers, but this is nothing like that. Put down the pitchfork.
@Matt - They're using spec work to promote their jobs bill. You really don't think that qualifies as the height of hypocrisy?
What's worse, is the principle and how they're basically saying "Spec work is fine".
This is unfrickin believable. WOW, they never seem to stop wanting something form us for nothing. okay, I'll shut up now.
Thanks for posting, Emir.
It's not spec work. You are not designing a poster in hopes of winning 'the job'.
It's a contest to promote their bill, yes, but everybody is only bitching because it may involve photoshop.
If this was "cook an obama inspired meal, and Barrack with cook the winning recipe and put it on our website!", you won't see chefs going "OH MY GOD WHAT HAS HE DONE TO OUR PROFESSION?!!!?!"
Outsourcing is a bit rich too. What art director DOESN'T get 3rd party illustrators/designers with specific skills for a job? That's the entire concept of freelance, no? I don't know if you noticed, but they actually had their team design posters for this as well.
@Matt - If spec work was a problem in the restaurant business, I'm sure a lot of them would.
It's a bit harder to get people to cook and send in their dish for free tho :)
Well I'm just using that as an analogy really. Chefs don't really apply directly. Spec work is a problem. Value-less contests are not.
Just playing devil's advocate here, but It seems to me you're getting up in arms over Obama more than this innocuous attempt at raising awareness for a bill. I hate spec as much as anyone, and this doesn't really seem like it. If you support Obama and this bill, entering the contest is tantamount to donating to his campaign. That puts this more in the league of pro-bono design work than spec, in my opinion. Essentially every poster created has a purpose and use in supporting Obama, a donation to his cause, as opposed to spec work where a winner is chosen and everyone else's time is wasted. Just my 2¢.
EMIR YOU ARE THE MAN!!!!!!!
Fight! Fight! Fight! Everybody else form a circle around those who are sparring! I'll meet everyone out on the blacktop and I'll bring chains and brass knuckles. This is gonna be gooooood!
Who is this Obama guy? A new irish rapper. I love rap.
I'm not out to slap anyone on their wrist here, for having their own opinion.
But make no mistake about it. This IS spec work.
I'll have to say tho, I'm a bit surprised at some reactions both here and on Forrst. People just don't seem to get the bigger picture.
As far as my personal views on Obama and his politics, I'll leave that unsaid. Not the time or place for that.
Sounds like it could be taken two ways:
1. People already pay taxes, and now the government wants them to work for free?
2. By asking people to donate their designs/work/time to this, the government won't have to spend more tax money on a design campaign. (Added bonus: fostering community involvement in politics.)
I'm not saying one interpretation is right and the other is wrong, but, even tho I probably won't contribute, I personally prefer the latter.
@Matt I wouldn't say it was valueless.
You need a couple of ingredients for a spec comp. Firstly you need bait. Typically this is 'fame and glory' and a token prize (in this case it's a framed copy of your own work).
Secondly for a spec comp you need the competition holder to profit. This can be directly or indirectly. In this case the winning artwork will reproduced and sold off and profits go into the coffers. Indirectly the campaign gets more publicity.
Governments are in business and this should be view as such rather than 'Obama is cool so this campaign is cool'. Not saying that you are saying this :)
Perhaps more importantly Obama's use of spec work here sends a clear message to businesses everywhere that harvesting potentially 1,000s of free design hours is acceptable to promote your business/cause. It isn't. Worse still it reinforces spec work in the minds of young designers.
I agree with Matt and Ben that this isn't the same as the typical spec work scenario. Campaigns often ask many things of their supporters simply for the sake of their cause.
While I personally think this differs, I do see how this can easily be interpreted as spec (which is a valid interpretation). In that case, it's not such a hot message from the administration.
But really, it's not that different than asking people to host campaign parties or make calls or donate whatever skill people have for the sake of an election. They're asking for works of passion.
If somebody "wins," it's national recognition. That's pretty cool. Plus, have you seen Obamas design stuff? I don't think they are going to just use some scrub's artwork. It's a glorified coloring contest. And, cheap asses are not going to be changed by the fact that there is a contest that involves designers. It doesn't help, but it doesn't hurt either. Emir, your passion is unrivaled. Major kudos man.
Also, I think you're confusing "outsourcing" with "crowdsourcing."
You are so right Kurt. English is not my first language and I confused the two words.
But that just makes it kind of hilarious, don't you think? ;)
Did anyone else notice the bit in the Official Rules that requires the "winner" to release all rights to their work? It will become the property of the Obama campaign and therefore said "winner" can potentially get NO recognition. Plus he/she cannot advertise this as his/her work - it's Obama's work. This is wrong. //end rant
@sassy I don't think that they can sue you for putting up your own work...maybe just throw you in a prison in Cuba that doesn't exist. Damn, that sucks. That would be the entire point of doing it is the recognition.
@sassy I think they'll say who did it, like they do with the samples at the top.
You're correct in the fact that the Obama administration will profit on this directly through sales, and so I can see why people could be upset there. The indirect profiting is also true, but the contest could be 'tweet about jobs in america', and they would recieve indirect profit, so that's not much of a concern (if you don't want to support, don't tweet).
In that sense I can see the validity of it being interpreted as 'speculative', but this isn't a business asking for a logo design. It's equivalent to a church asking it's patrons to design a poster with the winner getting theirs put up, and the church selling them to fund their missionaries (I think they're called) to go out and spread the word of god.
And as a Canadian and Atheist, neither of those scenarios mean much to me :P
Just want to make one thing clear.
Presidential campaigns are not funded from Tax dollars, but from Campaign Funding.
So if they would actually HIRE a group of designers to design the posters, they would be using their own funds. Not taxes.
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