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  • In the design world Spec Work is short for Speculative Work and that means

  • it's kinda like when you uh...

  • it basically means working for free.

  • It usually comes into forms.

  • One: A client asks several designers or design firms to complete part of a new

  • project.

  • The client picks one winner, gives them the job and the others go home with nothing

  • for their hard work.

  • Two: A client starts a contest and gathers submissions from hundreds if not

  • thousands of designers. They pick one winner, pay a modest fee and the rest go home

  • with nothing for their hard work.

  • So what's wrong with this?

  • If you are a client the best design work should come out of a healthy

  • relationship with a designer, where your needs and wants are understood and

  • ideas are developed with you from the ground up.

  • Just because you get lots of free designs doesn't mean any of them are

  • good and in fact many maybe blatant ripoffs.

  • Spec contests have actually created an underground system whereby some

  • unscrupulous designers will quickly enter as many as possible as they copy

  • work from the web and present it as their own.

  • So that new logo of yours may actually already be someone else's.

  • If you're a designer you just shouldn't work for established companies for free,

  • period.

  • If you need to build up your portfolio there are other ways. Design for a

  • local charity or your friends new business or just spend the time creating

  • your own projects.

  • Spec Work would seem absurd in most other professional industries...

  • Could you ask several chefs to prepare your next meal for free and then only pay

  • for the best one?

  • Could you hold a contest in get hundreds of lawyers to write your will and then

  • only pick and reward one? Didn't think so.

  • Perhaps it's time we started to treat designers... you know,

  • just like everyone else?

  • Think about it.

  • Video by Topic Simple.


In the design world Spec Work is short for Speculative Work and that means

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