Earlier this week you may have heard a similar story about the Obama campaign asking designers to create posters on spec to help promote jobs creation of all things (feel free to read my steam-blowing-out-of-my-ears rant about that on my Google+ page), and now you can add MOLESKINE to this camp too.
I admit, long ago as a young illustrator I too fell for this crap and please believe me when I say it’s a mistake. I will never change my mind about how working artists should never bother supporting such “spec-work-disguised-as-contests.”
Contests are one thing, and they can be good. Volunteering your talents is another thing, and it’s good. But creating a logo or any branding collateral for a big company for free, and knowing that the work of the other 99.99% “losers” will essentially be tossed into the trash (and the copyright to their work handed over to those running the contest) is just stupid, and it’s offensive that any company would think it’s OK. It’s a terrible way for you to run your business. And when you freelance you are running a business.