Announcing: Parody Photoshop Contest (Win a Free VPN!)

Last week, both The Economist and BusinessWeek had major cover stories about China. And both magazines went straight for the some of the old cliches: red coloring, “asian” fonts, and Mao. In fact, this isn’t the first time for either magazine. Observe:

Of course, there are more examples beyond these two magazines. And we’ve already discussed the ridiculousness that goes on in headlines and book titles about China (“Red Dragon Rising!”). But when last week’s Economist and BusinessWeek came out we were inspired by @davesgonechina to create a photoshop contest.

THE GOAL: To create the funniest/best parody magazine or book cover about China, drawing on whatever cliche images, words, and headlines you choose.

THE PRIZE: The winner will receive free VPN service from Freedur for six months (a $49.99 value!)


  1. The winner will be chosen by a panel of judges, who will judge all entries for humor as well as overall quality. The judging panel will include members of the Western media who cover China, it will not include anyone from the ChinaGeeks staff. To assure fairness, the names of the judges will not be revealed until the winner has been chosen.
  2. You may submit up to three entries, in the form of .jpg files. You are free to create and share more than three if you wish, but you must indicate which three you would like to be your official entries.
  3. To submit an entry, email a .jpg file to custerc @ OR upload an image yourself and post it in the comments section of this post. Be sure the email address you use is the one we can easily contact you by if you are the winner.
  4. You must make your submissions by Friday, November 26th. The winner will be announced via this website on Wednesday, December 1st.
  5. You don’t really need to use photoshop, or be an image editing expert. MS Paint works well, too!
  6. Further questions can be directed to my email, or just ask us on twitter.

SPONSORS: This contest is being sponsored by the good folks at Freedur. Freedur also provides VPN service for the ChinaGeeks staff, and we can assure you that it is fast, convenient, and that their service is excellent. If you’re coming to China, a Freedur subscription is well worth your money (or, alternatively, your time making a parody magazine cover so you can win a Photoshop contest and get the VPN for free!)

0 thoughts on “Announcing: Parody Photoshop Contest (Win a Free VPN!)”

  1. There is an increasing number of people who comment on The Economist’s website that it is becoming more and more like a college amateur magazine written by liberal arts students.

    Magazines rely on their readers to survive, so there must be a reason that The Economist just cannot let the ridiculous cliches and stereotypes go when it comes to covers or headlines. Does it say more about the magazine or about its intended readers? Which one is more stupid, or racist?


  2. you can take out the “becoming” there, the economist has been printing the same sort of stuff since the end of cold war (probably before then too but i’ve never read anything that old) – they just ran a very successful advertising campaign in the late 90s branding the magazine as status item for up-and-coming smart people. fwiw, however, their covers are intentionally ridiculous and usually pretty funny.

    not that there aren’t many other magazines with stupid covers needing to be mocked!


  3. “To assure fairness, the names of the judges will not be revealed until the winner has been chosen.”

    How are the artistically-impaired going to influence the outcome with an envelop then?

    Unfair and culturally insensitive!

    Lets hope the winner is a lot more subtle than the above egs.


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