It is a no-go!
A Borough Hall contest asking graphic designers to create a new logo for the borough’s restaurant week is cheating professional illustrators out of a paycheck, say local artists.
“It’s kind of a bulls--- way to get free work,” said Williamsburger Dave Perezcassar, who has been illustrating for media companies for the last four years. “It’s kind of insulting.”
The Beep’s office on Tuesday asked graphic artists to submit logos for Dine in Brooklyn. The winner will get an unspecified prize plus “the opportunity to be associated with the event.”
In return, Borough Hall will claim the exclusive rights to use the winning design in all media, marketing, and advertising materials for the event.
But Perezcassar claims it is really just a way to get free work out of naive, fledgling designers looking to get their foot in the door.
A company would typically pay a designer at least $3,000 to $10,000 to create a new logo, he said — and that could jump up to as much as $40,000 depending on how long the company is using it — because the building a brand’s identity is such a tough gig.
“It’s a very competitive field and it’s some of the hardest work out there because you’re just coming up with this concept that people are associating with the brand,” he said.
A rep for Borough Hall said it didn’t mean to come off as cheap — it just thought the contest would be a fun way to get Brooklynites’ competitive and creative juices flowing.
“The central idea is that it’s entirely voluntary,” said spokesman Patrick Rheaume. “It’s not unprecedented to have a contest where you have people submitting ideas for a prize.”
It is not, artists say, but the industry is increasingly railing against the practice, which is proliferating in the internet age. Industry association the American Institute of Graphic Arts “strongly discourages” it.
Rheaume said Borough Hall hasn’t locked down the rewards for the contest yet, but the bounty will likely include restaurant vouchers and cash.
But Perezcassar said graphic artists would ultimately be better off using the time they would spend on the challenge to make something eye-catching for themselves or a do-gooding organization that really can’t afford their services.
“If you’re going to take the time to build something don’t build it for someone else,” he said. “No one cares about this weird contest you’ve won — they just care about if your work is cool.”