President Obama, using creatives for free work isn’t supporting your “create jobs” campaign
To be clear AntiSpec has absolutely no political persuasion on this particular campaign. In fact Mark Collins, founder of AntiSpec is from little ol’ England.
Quote from Obama website:
Obama for America is seeking poster submissions from artists across the country illustrating why we support President Obama’s plan to create jobs now, and why we’ll re-elect him to continue fighting for jobs for the next four years.
Why request the design community to work for free then. If you have an agenda then pay a designer to create your artwork. Political parties have money. Lots of money. Pay for a designer. Please.
Is this spec?
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 live handsomely as a result and this should be viewed as such rather than ‘Obama is cool so this campaign is cool’.
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.
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