Is Adobe Crowdsourcing a New Logo?
The competition is being run by Adobe Creative Juices, a community ‘powered by Adobe’ aimed at the UK and Irish creative community. Graphic designers are being asked to design the new Creative Juices logo with the winning entry receiving an Adobe CS5 product. In return, they promise that the winning logo will be “seen everywhere.”
The competition can be found on the Creative Juices Facebook page as well as in the March issue of the Creative Juices newsletter. This happens to be the same newsletter that includes the article Should You Work For Free, a post by Jessica Hische, the New York-based graphic designer behind the fantastic Should I work For Free flowchart that has been making its way around the web. Follow the chart, and the answer for wheather you should enter the Adobe competition is “NO. This is the most toxic line of bullshit anyone will ever feed you.”
Shame On You
To ask designers to work for free so you can select the one you feel merits some software (at no cost to you) is a slap in the face to the community that buys these professional products. What message does this send to other companies, ones that do not have the intimate relationship that Adobe has with the graphic design community? If Adobe Creative Juices is part of Adobe (see update at the bottom of post), then Adobe thinks it’s okay to take advantage of our time, and the perceived value that graphic designers, photographers, typographers, and illustrators provide will continue to erode, and fast. Do the executives at Adobe ask fifty mechanics to repair their car and pay only the one they feel did the best job? Do they buy one hundred apples from the grocery store, take them home, have a bite of each, and pay only for the one that was the sweetest? Why should design be an excuse for taking advantage of people?
Coloring Contests are for Kids Not Designers
I recall entering Christmas coloring contests as a child, and I recently saw my daughter squeal when she saw her entry into the Valentines coloring contest hanging up at the local library. She was hoping to score some chocolate goodies but was not the winner. That kind of a contest is fine with me. She doesn’t have to make a living at this point. She didn’t invest time in schooling, training, and very likely, Adobe products. If Adobe wants to provide real opportunities for designers to gain exposure, then they should do it in a way that reflects their appreciation and protection of our skills and time.
Let Adobe Know How You Feel
I reached out to Adobe on Saturday, March 12, via email and Twitter. At the time of this posting, I have not heard back from them. If you believe Adobe should reconsider engaging in this sort of crowdsourcing competition, please take a moment, and email their PR department, send them a Tweet at@Adobe,or call them at 1-800-833-6687. I will update this post should I hear back from Adobe at some point and let you know their response.
Update, March 14: Like many of you, I could not believe that Adobe would run a contest like this. Unfortunately, if you go to the Adobe UK Twitter Account, you can see they are promoting the competition. The Twitter account also links to Adobe.com/uk. The Terms and conditions and the Creative Brief for the contest make it clear that it is run by Adobe. Macworld also had a piece about a similar contest in the past that also mentions Adobe launching Creative Juices. In addition, the Creative Juices Newsletter is hosted on a url owned by Tidalwave Ltd, a PR company that lists Adobe as a client.
Update, March 15: Creative Juices have provided a little more information on where the logo would be used, once again saying it is for Adobe:
Update, March 17: Adobe UK replies to the concerns over the contest:
We at Adobe UK have read that there is some concern from a few community members about our current Creative Juices logo competition, with some drawing the conclusion that we are encouraging crowd-sourcing.
It was (and never is) our intention to crowdsource in any way. Our intentions here are to help the ACJ community establish its identity rather than create it via one of our own Adobe agencies. And we look at this friendly competition as an opportunity for designers and artists to showcase their work amongst their peers and potentially get some free Adobe software.
We have always had a long-standing respect and understanding of the design community and we value the time and cost that goes into every single project that is undertaken by you all. The aim of ACJ is to encourage creativity and the sharing of best practices on a global public platform, and we hope that the community values our input and support. If you have further concerns about this contest or would like us to still move forward with it, please let us know in the comments.
Emma at Adobe UK
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