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 www.no-spec.com – 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.

4 responses to “RGD Working Against Spec Work”

  1. Note the irony: just underneath the “no spec” article is a call for entries to a spec design competition whose judges include Milton Glaser, David Carson and Canada’s Karim Rashid; judges for Canada have yet to be announced. (Last year’s Canadian judges were Montreal-based Bob Beck of Dialect Design, George Fok of Amen–Epoxy and Louis Gagnon of Paprika.)

  2. I agree that spec is bad.. it’s a big waste of resources, and they always seem to pay virtually nothing even for the winning design!

    I like what our company does however. We’re a graphics design house but for the second year in a row we will be holding a different kind of contest: non-profits submit their reasons why they need a logo, we choose approx 5-10 winners and design them logos and business cards.

    That being said, there isn’t any harm that designers to some pro-bono stuff for the underpriveledged, but some organizations REALLY DON’T NEED THE HELP. I.E: The World Police and Fire Games:

    Honestly, I find it hard to believe that Calgary’s police force needs to save money. They have problems as it is laundering it away.



  3. Russell,

    Thanks for the heads up on the Calgary Police force. They’ll soon know that Canadian design orgs are the leaders against working spec!

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