GDC continues to speak out against spec on behalf of all Canadian designers.
The economic downturn seems to have instigated even more "design our logo" contests which the GDC has had mixed success in responding to. It's usually simply a case of the organizations not being aware of the proper processes for procuring design services, but sometimes even that is not a detriment to putting out a call for designers to set aside their paying work and work for free on the chance that they might win big. In the case of one contest the big prize was $295 for a logo!!
But we have seen success with some recent incidents, particularly when Grand & Toy announced a call for students to design an upcoming catalogue. After speaking with the GDC, Grand & Toy agreed with our stance and has withdrawn the contest. The letter below from Kevin Edwards, Grand & Toy VP Marketing sums it up very nicely. We are hoping that Grand & Toy will come on board as a National Scholarship Sponsor and truly help support up and coming design students.
Thank you for your email and your time over the phone regarding Grand & Toy’s 2010 Ordering Guide Cover Page Design Contest. We appreciate your feedback and thank you for highlighting your concerns.
As I outlined in my phone call, we were initially surprised by your response and while disappointed in relation to the intent of the contest – to give exposure to talented young Canadian designers – we realize that we seem to have run into an issue your association has dealt with in the past.
As discussed and out of respect for the graphic design community in Canada, we’ve decided to cancel the contest and we have pulled our contest information from our Facebook page. We believed that the contest would provide opportunity for widespread exposure for the winning designer in Canada. However we respect that you association feels it’s important to take a stand to ensure the professional development of budding designers in relation to “spec work” situations they may confront in the future.
I want to reiterate that at no point our intention was to solicit uncompensated spec work. Rather, we were excited to offer Canadian students the opportunity to take the design talent they have refined in schools and colleges and apply it to a real-world experience. The winner was to be compensated with $5,000 towards their school tuition, and as an added bonus, they would also gain hands-on experience working alongside our in-house designers to perfect the winning design for publication.
Thanks again for bringing this to our attention and we look forward to continuing to support the graphic design profession in Canada in the future.
Kevin Edwards | Vice President, Marketing
Grand & Toy
If you come across a contest or a client who is demanding speculative creative as part of their RFP, contact the and we'll respond on everyone's behalf.