A few weeks ago AIGA’s former executive director, Ric Grefé, sent a letter to the Tokyo Olympics Committee expressing his disapproval on behalf of American graphic designers of the open call to crowdsource a new logo. To quickly recap, the committee’s contest will select a winner whose work will be used as the emblem for the Games, but who will receive no compensation for his or her work.
Submitting finished work to a client for free is called spec work, and it’s a major no-no. (See AIGA’s position on spec work and the #saynotospec video that recently blew up on YouTube.) While Grefé wasn’t hoping to end the contest, he was trying, at the very least, to make the committee aware of its misstep. However, this recent reply suggests they missed the point entirely: