Wikileaks crowdsources official t-shirt through 99designs

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Wikileaks today posted a contest on Australian design crowdsourcing website 99designs, asking designers to try their hand at creating the non-profit’s next official t-shirt.

The contest follows Wikileaks’ launch of an online store earlier today, where the t-shirt will be sold to raise funds to keep the site up and running.

While crowdsourcing has been known to generate controversy in some quarters, it seems an appropriate way for a non-profit, particularly one that survives on the volunteer participation of sources from around the world, to give its users a hand in creating part of the Wikileaks brand.

And while many companies tout the benefits of exposure when seeking work through such channels, there’s no doubt that Wikileaks, which dominated the media for months amid the controversy surrounding the site’s release of US government files and sexual assault allegations directed at founder Julian Assange, is going to deliver.

Despite the organization’s trail of controversy and drama, 99designs isn’t concerned that Wikileaks has chosen the service to source designs.

“99designs regularly holds design contests for all sorts of organizations, and not-for-profit groups. We don’t make any judgement calls over our customers, and our designers can decide for themselves whether or not they want to get involved in any particular project. That being said, I’m thrilled that Wikileaks chose to tap into the 99designs community for their design needs and we look forward to delivering a great outcome for them,” said Matt Mickiewicz, a 99designs co-founder.

This isn’t the first time 99designs and Wikileaks have crossed paths. 99designs ran a community competition in January asking users to give Assange a new hairstyle.

“… apparently Julian Assange thought [it] was pretty funny,” said Mickiewicz.

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