Thursday, January 13, 2011

Should I work for free?

(click box for full flow chart to see the only reasons you should be doing any work for free!)

Hells no!
But in all seriousness, working pro bono or on spec is a huge issue in the design community and when I saw this flow chart I thought it was a great way to introduce this discussion.

People often think that we designers can just whip up a design in no time just for them to "see if they like it" before purchasing (or paying for your work). Unfortunately, this theory doesn't really work in any other profession, why in design then? I mean, if you give the milk away for free who wants to buy the cow?

There is a great website I think all designers should check out called No-Spec and in addition I thought this post from Grace Smith was really well written and has quite a few really great links to check out if you are dealing with spec work requests.

What are your thoughts on this topic? On one hand you want experience, on the other you need to eat and pay rent. I know there are definitely a lot of opinions out there- I would love to hear them!

flow chart by Jessica Hische

1 comment:

Gaynor Mann said...

I do absolutely no spec work. I only make OOAK pieces. Part of the price people pay is for my creativity. There are plenty of people in the arts community that do spec work and if that pays, great. I just dont enjoy it and (IMO) there isnt enough money in the world for me to do things I dont enjoy. I respect that I am fortunate enough to be able to work this way; some arent. Sometimes it is a necessary evil.