Robert Wurth has added to the crusade with Spec Work and Mail Order Brides.
What it boils down to is a loss of control. By running a contest, the company gives up its power to choose a designer based on talent, skill, personality and all of the other factors that make it possible to conduct business with someone. This is no more a sound business model than playing the lottery in the hopes of making a profit.
The ‘Designers who blog’ NO!SPEC crusade month just wouldn’t be right without a mention of designer Piers Le Seur. Piers designed the fantastic logo you see here on the NO!SPEC site, which eventually fueled the design.
Yes, it’s been a RUSH here and a DASH there which means this blog is running behind.
But with all this happening, I’d like to slow down and take this opportunity to thank the very dear person who designed the NO!SPEC logo (which lead the design for the NO!SPEC site), Piers Le Seuer.
Piers is a New Zealand designer who has been in the industry for a long while. He is dedicated, energetic, and an avid anti spec crusader. The exclamation mark used in the logo is apt as it is a favourite key of his.
Thank-you Piers, the logo is brilliant!
Creative Expertise steps up to bat with The Anatomy of Spec Work.
Speculative work is defined as work that is created and presented to a buyer of design before getting paid, given a deposit or signing a contract and is often associated with contests.
Creative Expertise is the blog of Danita Reynolds, one of the NO!SPEC contributors.
Steve Douglas from the LogoFactory has written an article on LogoPalooza: Why spec projects and logo design contests suck.
Steve writes: If I had a nickel for every time I heard this – “if you show me what you’re proposing for my logo design, and if I like it, I’ll pay for it”, I’d be a rich man. Or at least the proud owner of a lot of nickels. My answer is and has been always the same – “No thanks”.
Firstly, a design studio is like any other business. Overhead. Salaries. Day-to-day expenses. It’s downright impractical and illogical to give our product away for free (that part should be obvious). Running The Logo Factory studio with ‘hope to get paid’ projects, while my designers are of the “definitely getting paid” variety is a formula that any first year business student would see as fundamentally flawed.
Read further into the article for real life samples on how these logo competitions mangle the idea when…
Some of our logos – swiped from our web site or our clients – have shown up as entries in online ‘logo design contests’ – a variation of ‘spec’ design work – submitted by other, ahm, ‘designers’. In this case, the ‘designer’ was outed by fellow contestants shortly after the ‘client’ had selected the ripped-off design as the ‘finalist’. This ‘penny wise, pound foolish’ method of logo selection has some severe risks and serious flaws.
This article is well worth the read for designers, as well as a warning to clients contemplating a logo contest to solve logo needs.
Debbie Millman is an avid crusader of the design industry, as well as a supporter of the NO!SPEC Campaign.
Debbie started the crusade off with…
Speculative work denigrates both the agencies and the designers that participate. If we give away our work for free, if we give away our talent and our expertise, we give away more than the work. We give away our hearts for free, and we give away our souls.
To read the rest of what Debbie has to say about her brushes with spec, please visit Debbie Millman.
For the month of March Designers Who Blog will focus on bloggers involved with the NO!SPEC Campaign.
In April Creative Latitude will feature the most interesting NO!SPEC Campaign blogs at Cat’s Fancy: Designers Who Blog.
If you decide to jump on the NO!SPEC bandwagon too, please contact us.