Is it legal to add to a designer portfolio?

Hello everyone
if a designer participated in a logo contest and did not win it, it would be legal to add the logo he created in this contest to his portfolio?
and many thanks in advance.

Technically, there are no “legalities” with respect to portfolio inclusion unless there is a legal agreement forbidding or limiting it. Outside of that there is an ethical obligation to represent only one’s own original work with accuracy.


I did not say the designer would steal the work of other designer.
I asked that the designer will add his own logo which he created in the contest but he just did not win but the logo anyway is of course his own work which just did not win

Tobe, Your English is much, much better than my Arabic, but you misunderstood what HotButton wrote. Nothing was said about anyone stealing anything.

If the logo is your creation, you can place it in your portfolio. Sometimes when you do paid work for clients, they might not want you to put their artwork that they paid for in your portfolio. In those cases you must respect their wishes — especially in an online portfolio.

If you create a logo in a contest and if your logo is not picked and if the contest rules do not forbid it, you may place that logo in your portfolio.


Thanks so much for the detailed reply

If the logo contest is sealed, maybe somewhere is mentioned a legal agreement, but anyway you can use your work to present others, in many freelancing platforms any of my works represent my portfolio !
(bad or good, winner or just last place)

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Thanks so much for explaining. I really appreciate

Most of the contests that are marketing promotions do indeed say all submissions become the “property” of the contest thrower, and that they can use any entry, even non-winning entries for just about whatever they want. Always read the fine print on a contest. You may not be giving up your rights completely, but you may lose control of your artwork without further compensation. I always go into that kind of contest with eyes wide open - and I really have to like what they are offering for a prize to spend my spare time doing it.