Designers: Would You Let a Huge Company Use Your Work for Free?

Designers: Would You Let a Huge Company Use Your Work for Free?

Last week, outspoken Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban posted a call-to-action on his blog for design ideas for new uniforms for his NBA team. An informal competition of sorts (or as Mark says, “crowd sourcing for the design and color of our uniforms”), Mark made it clear that if he chooses a specific design, that doesn’t mean the designer will be compensated. He was pretty direct about it, too:

“Who will own your design? The minute you post it, the Mavs will. If you think its horrible that the Mavs own your design. Do not post. If you think its cool that the Mavs could possibly use your design and you will have eternal bragging rights, then post away. If we really like your design and you, I may even throw in some tickets. If we don’t use your design, it will still be here on this site for now and ever more for you to glance longingly at. If your design is close, if not identical to other designs and we pick one of the other designs, for whatever reason, then that’s just the way it goes.”

The Mavericks haven’t had new uniforms in more than ten years and Cuban is looking for a change to be debuted during the 2015-16 season. Anyone who wants to participate just has to post their ideas, graphics, and photos in the comments section of Cuban’s blog. Then maybe it will become the new Dallas Mavericks uniform and maybe you’ll get some free tickets. But you’re probably not going to get paid.

We know it’s important to gain exposure for your work, but would you submit your design knowing you probably won’t get paid? Or do you think it’s a cool opportunity to get recognition? Does it make a difference that Mark Cuban is being up front about it from the start? Let us know what you think in the comments below.



4 thoughts on “Designers: Would You Let a Huge Company Use Your Work for Free?

  1. Well, It’s better than them just using a design they like off the internet. They’re letting you know from the start so that it’s no secret later. Personally i don’t think i would, but to some, it’s a chance to show off your work.

  2. Bodunrin Ladele says:

    No I would not. The deal breaker for me is that they would own the work even if they don’t use you design. Having your design used would give you some bragging rights and could help get you a job. If they don’t use your work, the least they could do is let you keep the rights to it. This is just a slap in the face to graphic designers. It stinks of disdain of people that work in design, participating would just promote this sort of behavior.

  3. eduardo gomez says:

    i would say that if your company can help in any way for example educational purpose, you have the choice of helping him. on the other hand if this will be for commercial proposes, no way

  4. Ana Maria Selvaggio says:

    If it was a charity and I received credit for it, yes. Otherwise, no, unless it GUARANTEED me more work from other people who WOULD pay.

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