Employment with No Outside work?

I have just recently taken a job that does NOT allow me to work freelance outside the company- using my own name. This includes exhibitions etc.

Is this common practice for businesses with in-house designers?

Not unusual but its usually limited to the business your company provides.

For example if you work for Motorola they should let you freelance as a toy designer.

Of course if you work for a consultancy then I totally understand the restriction. Everyone is a potential client or competitor to their up and coming clients.

It is a consultancy where I will design everything from furniture to products, but I still feel VERY limited by the contract. Are there any others out there who have had to make this agreement?

Of course.