The prizes for a competition to redesign paper trade magazine Paper Focus have been slammed as an “insult” to designers.
The job, consisting of designing a new masthead and new formats for both features and news pages, is valued by Pentagram partner David Hillman as being worth between 10 000 and 20 000 for initial work.
Graeme Campbell, of Graeme Campbell Design, blasts the competition as “an insult to professional designers”. He says: “It shows a lack of understanding about the design process.”
Campbell says he has no problem with Paper Focus holding a competition, but adds “rewards to the winners should be commen-surate with the work on preparing their submissions, as stated in the Chartered Society of Designers’ competition guidelines”.
The magazine ran a full-page advertisement in its May issue calling for designers and students to create a new look for its tenth anniversary. Prizes for the winning entry include credits, “recognition for the designer and a two- page feature on the designer”, and the “satisfaction of seeing your work in print every month”. An all-expenses-paid invitation to Paper Focus’ creative awards is also included.
Peter Ingram, director of the magazine’s publisher Paper Publications, says 12 entries have already been received. “The competition is of mutual benefit – it creates a vehicle for designers to publicise themselves and their work, and we get a new look. The value of the publicity is in excess of the value of the work.”
But Hillman says: “There’s absolutely no benefit in doing the work for the publicity – if it was for the Financial Times, it might be different.”