The AOL-owned website earlier this month announced a contest to design its new Politics icon, and many designers responded with a simple message: We don’t work for free. The winning logo would be used “all over the interwebs,” and the designer would be credited, but not paid, the contest stated. Designers came together, saying that a competition or something similar to get work done for free is unethical, AdWeek reported.
“To ask designers to work for nothing suggests that design has no value,” Richard Grefé, executive director of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, told Poynter.
AntiSpec began a formal campaign against the HuffPo, announcing “Shame on them.”
“The Huffington Post was bought by AOL for a reported $315,000,000 back in February 2011. Plenty of cash on the table to hire a designer to create a logo, right?” AntiSpec stated. “A logo is integral to a company’s branding and demands extensive thought and research.”
According to AdWeek, HuffPo spokesman Mario Ruiz responded to the news frenzy, saying that the contest was “a fun way of enabling them to express their passion for politics — and for HuffPost. As readers of our site know, we frequently engage our community with requests for feedback and suggestions. So while AOL Huffington Post Media Group employs an in-house team of more than 30 talented designers, we felt this would be a lighthearted way to encourage HuffPost Politics users to express another side of their talents. The post was in no way an attempt to solicit unpaid design services.”