Thursday, November 15, 2007
I thought that this was interesting and fun...

"All of the designs submitted to the Jars Of Clay Design Contest were amazing, but these 30 shirts are the cream of the crop. The next part is up to you! Vote on your favorite shirts! The 4 shirts that receive the most votes will advance to the next round of judging, where the members of Jars Of Clay will choose a grand prize winner and 3 runners-up. Voting ends on Friday, November 16 at 11:59pm PST."

Vote here!

I suggest that you look at each individual photo by clicking on it. Or (as clicking on it wouldn't work for me) viewing the photo directly:

I will tell you what I voted for laters!



Katanna said...

OK, fine, I will go ahead and tell you who I voted for:
#013 - I liked the simplicity, and yet it tells a story.
#003 - I liked the design as it caught my eye right away.
#018 - Again, I liked the design and colors.

In that order, of course.


Swing said...

I'm always skeptical about these kinds of "contests," because they almost always fall into the "spec" work category: Meaning - the artist works on and submits a finalized design before knowing whether or not they'll be getting paid for it.

For a mere $400 (or is it $350? Their own rules and regs doc is even unclear about the prize amount) and a few CDs they already have lying around, Jars of Clay just scored 30+ t-shirt designs. According to the Graphic Arts Guild Pricing & Ethical Guidelines, the average fee for a t-shirt design runs around $1375.

Let's forget the hundreds of other designs that didn't even make the "top 30" cut and round it down to $1000 each for easy math. If Jars of Clay paid each of their top 30 designers market value for their submissions, they would have spent $30,000.

"But all these designers submitted t-shirts willingly!" you say. This is true, and they certainly have the freedom to have the wool pulled over their eyes, but here's a new concept: you have the right to work AND get paid for it! A large and profitable organization who can certainly afford to pay a professional designer market value for their work has no right to take advantage of young and naive designers just so they can save $29,550. It's just not ethical.

Sorry to rant - this is just one designer's perspective. But it makes me mad when organizations take advantage of young designer's need for portfolio pieces and ask them to work for free. I blogged on this a few months back if you're interested:, and there's also a really good article specifically about design contests here:

Katanna said...

So I take it you didn't vote?

From their rules: "Two Hundred Fifty ($300.00) U.S. Dollars cash;" Ya, that is pretty funny.

I totally disagree with you on this. Not that you are wrong, I just think that you choose to look at it cynically instead of optimally.

"Here's a new concept: you have the right to work AND get paid for it!"

So you are saying that no one should ever do work and not get paid for it? Have you ever volunteered at your church (or even given them a reduced rate)? You ever babysit for a friend and not get paid? Have you ever done any work for a company off the clock?

I work at Chick-fil-A. When I am walking in for my shift (before I am clocked in) and see a piece of trash in the parking lot, I pick it up. I hold the door open for customers, and I get people re-fills, all before clocking in. Do you consider that Chick-fil-A taking advantage of me, or me devoting myself to a company that I want to serve?

You say that they are taking advantage of "young and naive designers" and that is simply not true. They opened a contest for people who wanted to participate to receive free publicity (for both parties) and have the community participate. If they were trying to take advantage of people, they would not currently have five different shirt designs in their store (which I would assume they paid top dollar for people to design).

Is American Idol taking advantage of "young and naive" singers in a sinister plot to not pay real singers? No! Those singers would not have had the chance to ever make it big, and this TV show provides them a way. Well, OK, maybe that wasn't a great example... lol

"But it makes me mad when organizations take advantage of young designer's need for portfolio pieces and ask them to work for free."

Why not see it as a leading band is asking fans to offer their gifts in a fun and different way? Every year Power FM ("The Christian Rock Station" here in north Dallas) holds a contest. They get a lot of people to design a t-shirt, and the winner gets chosen to appear on the Summer Series t-shirt. Is this taking advantage of people, or is it a fun way to interact with the community?

"Sorry to rant - this is just one designer's perspective."

Oh, you are fine. Nothing wrong with a rant. I just think that you see it pessimistically while I see it optimistically.


Matt said...

Wow!! This is awesome! I think this is the best example I've ever seen of a great debate! Two sides rationally presented in a winsome and productive way! I now have all the reasons that I need to choose which side I agree with.

I think I agree with Kat because there is the very real possibility that none of the people who submitted these are actual designers, and for the very reason that Swing gave. No real designer is going to submit to a contest when they can get paid for their work. These are probably hobbyists who would never get hired to design a t-shirt, so the reality is that they're not losing any money.

The other question is, how far can Christians go before "dubious" becomes "sinful." Is JoC sinning by "pulling the wool over their eyes?"