Obama crowdsourcing to support American jobs?

A tweet from Niki Bivona (@nikibivona) on Twitter says it all:

“RT @nospec http://my.barackobama.com/page/s/artworks-submission Obama is now crowdsourcing a poster, about job creation. Irony.”

Obama, if you aim to support American jobs, then perhaps paying designers to create your campaign posters would be a good start.

10 responses to “Obama crowdsourcing to support American jobs?”

  1. “Three winners will receive a framed edition of their poster signed by Barack Obama and a limited edition of the poster distributed by Sponsor (approximate retail value $195)”


  2. The rules also state that, “all federal, state and local taxes associated with the receipt or use of any prize are the sole responsibility of the winner.”

    Note to IRS: Is it permissible to claim uncollected revenue from the time spent “working” on Obama’s spec project to offset any taxes on that $195?

  3. “Intellectual Property Notice. The Promotion and all accompanying materials are copyright © 2011 by Obama for America. All rights reserved.”

    Again, classic.

  4. Why is the design community so jaded? Grassroots campaigns are a great way to get involved in something you care about. For students and other designers who want to do something but don’t know what they can, contests like this get their voice heard. To vilify this type of community driven campaign is to miss the picture. They aren’t asking to create the campaign logo, or the new 2012 poster. This seems like a nice well meant contest to allow people to feel like they can be part of something bigger.

    Nospec has its place, and when it replaces hardworking design teams to crowdsource logos brochures and other marketing materials its bad. But poster contests are a great way for designers to have a focus and be part of something outside of themselves.

    Also, the Obama campaign is probably one of the first that truly understands the need for great design in politics, for the 2012 campaign they commissioned Hoefler & Frere-Jones to create a serif version of Gotham, and they’re hiring.

  5. “Three winners will receive a framed edition of their poster signed by Barack Obama…”

    If no one is getting paid for this, will the banks will accept Obama’s signature in lieu of any mortgage or credit card payments by these artists, since the banks already have his signature on record with their previous bailouts.

  6. All I can say is if you care about business, and are entrepreneurial, then vote this guy out. He has NO idea what it takes to make it in business since he has always worked for the government. He is destroying businesses in this country. How hypocritical that the white house would ask for spec work. I’m not surprised though. The lack of respect that designers get is a very sad commentary. I have seen this behavior for over 25 years. Would the white house ask any other professional to work for free? The only thing designers sell is their ideas. That should have a price tag. We spend years of our lives, training, getting degrees, going to seminars–to be able to provide great ideas for a living. Our ideas should not be downgraded to “contests”. That is for people who dabble in art, not real designers.

  7. I inaugurated my blog with a post about this and crowd-sourcing in general. I designed a poster for it, but wouldn’t dare upload the thing because the contest rules state: “the Sponsor may independently create content and material similar or identical to, the Content you submit.” Not only is it spec work, but it is that especially lousy kind where you are signing over everything to the contest.

    I also added a link back to No!Spec. Designers need to be more aware that their actions have consequences for the industry as a whole. If “creatives” wouldn’t do spec work then no one would ask for it. I can’t imagine a doctor, mechanic, or unskilled laborer doing work without the expectation of payment. It is ridiculous.

  8. Not a desigjner, but still a creative type. So I’ll say I think this is a disturbing trend. It remeinds me, as a writer, of Harlen Ellison’s call to “pay the writer”. He often tells people to stop submitting to magazines that only pay you in recognition and “contributor copies”. If they want professional work, they should be willing to pay professional rates. And yes, there are all the arguments about being new and getting exposure and so on. But ultimately it harms the entire industry because it encourages a climate of getting work for free. Sounds like this is just more of the same, only applied to graphic design work. I wish more creative types would work together so we could all get fair compensation for our work. Yes, any monkey can use a paintbrush. But very, very few people could paint The Last Supper or Starry Night. Just like anybody could bang out a design with the right software, but how many can make one that will stick with you, that will carry the message perfectly? Those people need to be compensated for that work.

  9. Well I can’t stand Obama and for an organization with the budget of a Presidential campaign for the life of me I can’t understand the concept here. I have no problem with the concept of a design contest for the logo. What I have a problem with is not paying for the intellectual property. Of course I would never let designers retain intellectual property rights over any work they do for me but I would damn sure pay them for that work if especially as a driving factor in a multi billion $$$ marketing campaign.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *