1. An event like this, which is sponsored by the likes of Lloyds, Birmingham Post, Deloitte and the designer isn’t even being paid?

    Why aren’t they using some of there own member agencies and paying them for the work?

  2. Jurgen

    I heard that the Creative City Awards had competitions for providing legal advice, public liability insurance and the most creative accounting.

  3. This sort of thing really annoys me.How are grass-roots creatives (as opposed to people who work in “creative industries”, often middle managers sucking up all the funding for themselves) ever supposed to make a sustainable living if they are constantly expected to work for nothing? Nobody minds doing favours for some impoverished charitable cause, but this… I read something recently about unpaid internships and how they contravene equal opportunities law, maybe a similar point could be made here?

  4. Well, here we go again. Who posted the original ad?

    Talking of creative people being paid for their work (yes work!) don’t we also have some rather high profile art festivals in the region that don’t pay performers? Oh yes but of course you get the exposure don’t you – so that should be payment enough.. Surely?

    Mmm Who is involved in Birmingham Future from the creative ‘industries’?

    PS. I need an extension building on my house… I can’t (won’t) pay you but I’ll make you a cup of tea.

  5. Free pitching – the number one pet peeve for most designers. (Apart from Comic Sans.)

    While some agencies still take part in free pitching, others make a point of not producing any unpaid creative work; whether for a competition such as this or in order to win bigger jobs.

    Looking at this particular thing from a different angle though – and the bigger ‘value of design’ issues aside – couldn’t this competition be a good opportunity for design students? It could be useful to them as a portfolio piece whether they win or not. Just a thought.

  6. I agree with Katie: it’s a great idea for design students and I have told my students about it.

    I also agree with everything being said about paid pitching which is a big bad thing, and about the need to pay designers and value their work.

    But let’s be sensible about this for a second. They haven’t popped down the custard factory and put a gun to a designer’s head and said “you need to do this – and then I might buy you a meal”.

    Surely this was always just aimed at somebody that fancied giving it a try?

    Their advert says they did it last year and it worked (presumably no one who was offended by it entered).

    The winner gets a slap up meal, they get pissed on someone else’s expense account, and they get to network with some people that might be able to throw some work their way.

    Those who don’t have had a chance to respond to a live brief and may have learned something.

    It’s just aimed at people who fancy having a go and it’s not taking food out of anyone’s mouth.

    In some ways this format is a positive thing, because otherwise you end up with raw young designers so desperate for live briefs to build their profile that they start touting themselves for “proper” projects at ridiculously low rates and that my friends is where real problems lie in terms of devaluing the industry.

  7. So how will the design students ever make a living once they graduate if organisations that can and should pay for design work don’t?

    If unpaid/low paid live briefs are what design students want then there are many strapped for cash individuals/startup businesses/bands etc who would jump at the chance to let them do their thing. My music group employed a photography student to take some promo pics for us and warned him that we couldn’t pay an awful lot (but we DID pay him something). The pics were great and we shout his name from the rooftops, link to his website from ours etc. He uses them in his portfolio too.

    The issue for me here is that with that level of sponsorship,this organisation should have budgeted for a designer. Ok, run a competition if it’s easier than looking at portfolios. Why not pay the winner if they want to give them a break? Why not pay them AND invite them to the do as well?

  8. It reminds me of a ‘do’ put on by the Lighthouse in Wolverhampton and how they did not pay the live band who were providing entertainment.

    This area is full of opportunities for you to give away your hard work and creative energy in return for some ‘exposure’. The last I heard was that these opportunities really suck on providing exposure. If you are going to work for free, then you choose your ground to pitch from and make it right for you.

    It is like the charity gigs I used to do: they were well paid and so they should be. If I want to be charitable, then I can donate my fee to them or another charity. They pay the venue hire fee and the caterers don’t they?

    I wish our local councils and creative industry agencies would stop expecting artists to work for free: these are non-opportunities.

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