Saying Nope to Spec Work
- By: Wes McDowell
- Mar 28th, 2014
Do you like working for free? Neither do we. The creative field has always been plagued by the notion that what we do is somehow not “real” work, and should only be paid for upon approval. It has become increasingly common for potential clients to request designs up front, as a test to see who they deem good enough to hire. What’s worse, is they usually do this with multiple designers/firms at once, and only “award” the project to one. This type of thing doesn’t go on in other industries, so why is it so common in the realm of design?
In this episode, we have special guest host Nick Longo joining Wes and Mikelle to talk about the downside of spec work. And there are many… for us as designers, as well as for the very clients that request it. We talk about how to politely decline such situations, as well as how we can educate these clients about how it could adversely affect their business. We then discuss the fine line between spec work and the art of pitching, and when it actually makes sense to spend time on designing for a pitch.
We also answer a listener question about how much you need to customize a WordPress theme, and if keeping it as-is would be considered a crime against design.
- Why spec work is bad for the designer and client (the article referenced in the episode)
- AIGA sample letter for speculative work (that you can send to potential clients who ask for spec work to be done)
- Longo Designs Website
- Shutterstock: Promo code DEEP314 for 25% off!
- lynda.com – Visit lynda.com/deepend to start your lynda.com free trial
Featured image credit: Glen Quintana Jr