Creativity Awards Closes Book on Cover “Contest”

Creativity Awards closes book on cover “contest” by Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

I’ve always been a huge fan of the design competitions conducted by David E. Carter, resulting in books such as the American Corporate Identity, The Big Book of Logos, and Creativity series.

Last Thursday, I was somewhat stunned when opening an email with the subject line “Design the Creativity Cover” to find that a “contest” was being conducted to select the cover of the upcoming Creativity 36 volume. The email had the headline “Be the first on your block to design Creativity’s cover.”

For me, the distinction between “design competition” and such “contests” is very simple. “Competitions” are conducted to evaluate and select graphic work already completed by a designer. Most so-called “contests” are requests for the creation of new work for possible review and selection – and that is “spec,” or speculative, work. No designer should be asked to work for free as a condition for the chance of being selected as the “winner” or possibly being hired for future work.

Today I was surprised to receive an email from Tim Moran, the Director of Marketing for the Creativity Annual Awards. The subject line read “Creativity Cancels Cover Contest.”

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2 responses to “Creativity Awards Closes Book on Cover “Contest””

  1. Though i am completely against Free Pitching, I feel NoSpec has construed this particular matter in a wrong way.
    Competitions are not bad, as they help emerging designers put a stamp adn get their name known. Its ok for proffesional creatives to say tsk tsk, but whatabout those who could really gain from contest exposure? The Adobe photomanipulation awards really helped me convince employers of my prowess, and gave me a good point when i was initially looking for jobs. It’s obvious that a designer who is already working in the industry will not require, adn rather should not try the contests, but what about a really creative amateur, for whom this would be a great mark on the resume. Think from all sides when you put down a factor, as some people may be seeing a window of opportunity flying away if all such competitions were to end like this one did.

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