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Students tell Canadian government #MyTimeHasValue

By Katie Coleman [1]

BELLEVILLE – If you’re good at something, don’t do it for free: that’s what graphic design students all over Canada are saying.

The Canadian government recently asked post-secondary students to design a logo for the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017. The winner receives $5,000, a display in a national institution and a chance to be a part of Canadian history, according to the contest website [2].

But only one submission will be chosen – that’s the point the Association of Registered Graphic Designers [3] is trying to get across in launching a protest of the contest. The association, which represents graphic design students in Ontario, issued a call to action [3] on Jan. 13 to protest the contest and others like it. This prompted a launch of #MyTimeHasValue on Twitter.

It’s not just the contest that’s a concern but the exploitation of design students in general, according to Samuel Campbell, the association’s student committee co-chair, who attends St. Lawrence College in Kingston.

With contests like these the designer and client don’t have a chance to work out what the client needs so it’s like submitting a first draft, said Campbell.

“All concepts that are submitted also become (the) property of the Canadian government and may be used however they see fit. Ideas and concepts are our only resource as designers, so we are scared of that notion entirely,” said Campbell in an email.

BELLEVILLE – Third-year graphic design students show their support for #MyTimeHasValue. [4]

BELLEVILLE – Loyalist College’s third-year graphic design students show their support for #MyTimeHasValue. Photo courtesy of Lindsay Conley

Loyalist College’s graphic design students are getting involved. The third-year class got together to take a photo holding the hashtag #MyTimeHasValue [5].

“It’s quite a struggle sometimes to come up with something that you really, really love, so to just put it out there for free is just not right,” said student Brandon Bridgewater. “I feel that the government of Canada has exploited graphic designers and their talent.”

The creative process can take a lot of time, Bridgewater added.

The protest has a Flickr page [6] where there are currently 132 submissions by students and those who support them.

Twitter has blown up with mostly support for the protest, but some don’t agree:

 How do you feel about the issue? Let us know at @QNetNews. [11]