Obama Campaign Recruits Designers to Work for Free — on Jobs Poster

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Obama for America

The Obama campaign has a unique solution to stimulating job growth: Get a bunch of designers to contribute their work for free.

According to an article by Rolling Stone‘s Tim Dickinson, the president’s campaign has put out a call for artists across the country to donate designs for a campaign poster. The key word in that sentence being “donate,” as the designers would not be paid for their services. This, despite the fact that, as Rolling Stone reports, the Obama campaign has more than $60 million cash on hand. In an unfortunate ironic twist, the poster is meant to promote the president’s jobs program, specifically, “illustrating why we support President Obama’s plan to create jobs now.”

These incongruous means to job creation has put the usually left-leaning Rolling Stone on the warpath, saying, “In an economy this bad, you’d think a presidential campaign that flush would be happy to pay good money for a talented designer to create a campaign poster.”

The design community is not thrilled about the contest’s fine print, either. Ad Age notes that even if you don’t win the contest, Obama for America owns your intellectual property. A practice most professional designers shun.

Regardless of political affiliation, working for free is a hard sell in these trying economic times. Although, according to Rolling Stone, winners of the contest get a framed copy of the poster, signed by the president (“approximate retail value $195”), which you could potentially sell on eBay.

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