Design Meltdown Has it Right

Design Melt Down gets it with Yellow

Yellow is somewhat of a less popular color. It doesn’t show up very much in web design, at least not in very prominent ways. Lets look … to see what kind of meaning was gleaned from the color.

The is the first to stand out. They clearly use yellow to reinforce the purpose of the site, to warn people about the down side to accepting spec work.

The entire site is a great big caution sign, it is only appropriate that they use the color yellow. Caution is one of the most common connotations of the color yellow.

NO!SPEC Interview with RGD by Kevin Broome

From Kevin: I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Carmen von Richthofen, the Executive Director of Association of Registered Graphic Designers and John Furneaux, the President of the Association of Registered Graphic Designers and Managing Director of Karacters Design Group in Toronto about the issue of spec work and the damage that can be wrought by such practices.

The interview: Shooting oneself in the foot and other truths about designing on spec: An interview with Carmen von Richthofen and John Furneaux of the RGD.

Writers Ask Minister to Rein in TVNZ

Writers Ask Minister to Rein in TVNZ
Media Release from the New Zealand Writers Guild
12 May 2006

The New Zealand Writers Guild have asked Minister of Broadcasting Steve Maharey to amend the terms of an in-house competition being run by TVNZ.

The Life’s a Pitch contest invites TVNZ staff to pitch programme ideas to the content department. TVNZ takes the copyright to all entries it chooses to use but provides no payment to the creators. In the real world, when TVNZ commissions a show any creator could potentially expect to receive thousands of dollars.

Said Guild Executive Director Dominic Sheehan “We requested that the Minister require that TVNZ allow all entrants to retain the copyright to their entries. TVNZ will be free to contract for the rights, but at least then any creator will be able to negotiate for fair rates and conditions for their work.”

TVNZ’s own Charter requires them to “support and promote the talents and creative resources of New Zealanders and of the independent New Zealand film industry”. Sheehan points out “How is not paying people for their work supportive? TVNZ are wilfully breaching their own Charter. It is the government’s job to ensure that the terms of this Charter are adhered to which is why we’ve asked the Minister to intervene.”

TVNZ keep calling this contest “a bit of fun” but in fact their actions amount to a rights grab. It’s akin to copyright theft and that’s no fun at all.

For further comment contact: Dominic Sheehan 021 707 344.

FIDIUS: fighting for fair design competitions

FIDIUS: fighting for fair design competitions

The objective of the association FIDIUS – fair design competitions, which is now in the process of being founded, is to ensure that in the future there will be fair conditions and that competitions strictly and consistently adhered to them. To resolve disputes outside the court and to pledge secrecy on the matter is simply not enough. Numerous victims do not even summon up the courage to claim their rights at all; and many do so for fear of a financial disaster.

FIDIUS will start its activities in 2006. Until July 30, 2006, designers are invited to submit to the association examples of an unfair and/or particularly fair design competition and are asked to make sure that they enclose the corresponding invitation documents of the competition. Invitations that feature an award of contract, claiming they are looking for the right designer to carry out a given task, will also be considered. Eligible for nomination for the upcoming first FIDIUS award are design competitions from the period 2000 to 2005.

For further information, please contact Sabine Zentek at: sabine.zentek @.gif

The Stapler on NO!SPEC

Dear Prospective Client

I understand your apprehension. I really do. Hiring an independent writer – or programmer, or graphic designer, or anyone else – can at first seem to be a scary enterprise. There’s a bunch of us out there, and no one wants to make a bad decision. Both time and money are at stake. It’s totally understandable that you want to guard against every contingency of being burned …

For the rest of this informative post, go to The Stapler – Dear Prospective Client

Icograda on NO!SPEC

NO!SPEC would like to take this opportunity to thank Icograda’s Director, Brenda Sanderson for including the NO!SPEC launch in the Icograda Email News that went out to their members spread over the globe.

Icograda, the International Council of Graphic Design Associations is a heavy supporter of the fight against spec in the design industry, and one we are grateful to have on our side.

On a daily basis, we come across spec events. It is now apparent that what we imagined to be a hard task is, in all actuality, more difficult than we first thought. Truly, it is disconcerting to realize the depth of the situation facing us within our own industry. To combat this problem, it is our mission to gather together organisations and supporters from the Communication Design industry to make a difference in the campaign against spec.

Please contact us if you’d like to help in any way.

Jeff Fisher on NO!SPEC

Jeff Fisher, Engineer of Creative Identity for Jeff Fisher LogoMotives, commends the The Caravan Project from his blog, bLog-oMotives.

I want to compliment Frederick Ost for engaging in a positive dialogue with Cat Wentworth, Project Manager of NO!SPEC, in regards to how their original call for participation constituted “spec” work. The Caravan Project members worked with NO!SPEC to revise their request into a much more ethical design project procedure. I applaud their willingness to take another look out how their project was being conducted and make alterations. I urge other designers to support The Caravan Project and their promotion of NO!SPEC. When you visit the TCP web site you will see their support in the form of a graphic.

RGD Working Against Spec Work

Advocacy Update – RGD Working Against Spec Work

RGD Ontario (Association of Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario) has recently acted on an alarming number of spec work competitions. The RGD Rules of Professional Conduct prevent members from doing free work as part of a pitch for new business.

Organizations that removed the spec requirement when contacted by RGD Ontario include:

2010 Legacies Now: Thanks for your reply and concerns. I agree with your points. I have just fired an email off to our Director of Marketing with a few suggestions on how to rectify this.

United Way of Greater Toronto: I will communicate our discussion and the information you have provided to the United Way of Canada and United Ways in the Ontario Area.

Wired Woman: After careful consideration, Wired Woman is cancelling our logo contest immediately. We at no time intended to disrespect the design community. We apologize for allowing our enthusiasm ‘for the cause’ to impair our judgement.

DX/Heritage Canada: Oops! We made a mistake!

Commonwealth Games Canada: I will be amending the RFP and re-circulating it. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

One spec work organizer is studying the information – Fur Free Alliance, and others have not responded – Oakville Fire Department, City of Kingston, Greater Toronto Airport Authority, Durham Region Transit .

We have a new ally in the fight against spec work:
NO!SPEC at – a unifying support network and resource on the harmful effects of spec work and a useful third party authority to impress upon those offering spec work that they are being unethical and unprofessional.

If you are asked to do work on spec, download and send RGD’s pdf info and/or contact us by phone at 1.888.274.3668 x 50 or email us.

NO!SPEC Awarded the Three Thumbs Up Award

NO!SPEC has just received the acclaimed Three Thumbs Up Award.

The Three Thumbs Up Award is a distinguished and honorable achievement only given to those who possess the utmost creative diligence and consistently pursue a level of craft and creativity that rises above the mundane, beyond the norm and inspires the masses.

The Three Thumbs Up Award is the brainchild of Von Glitschka, principle of Glitschka Studiosâ„¢.

I’ve had this concept in the back of my mind for a few years now and finally got motivated enough to get it done. I hope many of you talented folks choose to participate and please share it with others by posting a link on your own web site or blog.

For more information on how you can pursue your artistic excellence visit:

NO!SPEC on digg

Please digg this –>>NO!SPEC Launches

The mission of NO!SPEC is to educate both clients and Visual Communication designers (also known as ‘graphic’ designers) about the nature of speculative, or “spec” work. It also serves as a vehicle to unite designers who support the notion that spec work devalues the potential of design and ultimately does a disservice to the client.