Deluxe Lab on NO!SPEC

Deluxe Lab quoting Tom Stephan on Deluxe Lab, Webspotting: Go Spec Yourself!

I really wanted a tattoo, but I had no idea what I wanted – I just wanted a tattoo.

So I went to four or five different tattoo studios and said: hi guys, I want a tattoo, and it has to be cool and it has to be something that says “this is me, this is who i am, and after you decide who I am and what I want to tell the world, I will pay you for it and you can tattoo it on my arm. If I don’t like it, I can always have it removed later.”

Robert Wurth on NO!SPEC

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.

Why Spec Projects and Logo Design Contests Suck

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 on NO!SPEC

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.

Thanks Debbie!