This is a conversation I had with some douchebag that was “interested” in having me develop a logo and identity for his company.
Douchebag: I like your work. I would like to see what you could do for me and my company.
Me: Sounds good. I’ll send you a questionaire and a contract and we’ll go from there.
Douchebag: Whoa, wait a minute. I don’t think you understand. I am asking for you to submit a logo and then I would choose from a group of submissions from other designers. Feel free to send more then one submission.
Me: Oh I see. So basically what you want me to do is spend my billable hours working on a logo for you, which I may or may not get paid for. Sounds like a great idea! How many other stupid designers did you get to agree to this?
Douchebag: I can sense your sarcasm. Hey, don’t do me any favors. I was simply providing you an opportunity to do some work, get paid, get exposure, expand your portfolio and potentially work with us on future projects, but if you don’t need the money that fine with us.
Me: Wow I never thought of it that way…FUCK OFF!
I am a huge believer in burning bridges, that way assholes like this can’t get back to you. Better yet, burn the bridge with this guy on it.
Spec work is when you do work for a client. That client has other designers doing the same thing. He then chooses from a number of logos and that one person is the lucky one, the only person that will get paid for their work. If this sounds good too you then you will love this post, 5 reasons why you should do spec work.
1) Exposure Exposure Exposure
If your design is choosen think of all that exposure you will get. Everyone (soccer mom to corporate ceo) knows who the designer is. Like that guy who designed the home depot logo or those guys who did the starbucks marketing, they’re practically household names.
2) Get paid for what you like doing
…but only if the design is choosen. Look on the bright side though, if the design isn’t chosen all that time you spent on research and design is like personal development time. You’re sharpening your skills. I have a dentist who is homeless, he is so passionate about his job that he refuses to accept money for his hard work.
3) Expand your portfolio
This is a great way to get more work in your portfolio. Clients love seeing work that was never used and when you tell them that you did it for free, you may just score that new client, but the bad news is they can’t pay you, good news, at least you’ll have a portfolio piece.
4) Future Work
So you do this work for a client, they love it, you’re the only designer out of a group that gets paid for it. Now the client needs something else and guess who they call? That’s right, you get another opportunity to submit a design for their approval, which you may or may not get paid for.
5) You get to work with douchebags with high expectations and tight wallets
This is the best part. You get to work with people that have these extremely high expectations and will occupy most of your time. I don’t know about you, but I love spending time doing stuff that I most likely willl not get paid for.
Spec sucks! Don’t forget to subscribe because I drop knowledge like gravity be dropping apples. PEACE!