What is Spec Work?

Uploaded by TopicSimple on 21.06.2012

In the design world Spec Work is short for Speculative Work and that means
it's kinda like when you uh...
it basically means working for free.
It usually comes into forms.
One: A client asks several designers or design firms to complete part of a new
The client picks one winner, gives them the job and the others go home with nothing
for their hard work.
Two: A client starts a contest and gathers submissions from hundreds if not
thousands of designers. They pick one winner, pay a modest fee and the rest go home
with nothing for their hard work.
So what's wrong with this?
If you are a client the best design work should come out of a healthy
relationship with a designer, where your needs and wants are understood and
ideas are developed with you from the ground up.
Just because you get lots of free designs doesn't mean any of them are
good and in fact many maybe blatant ripoffs.
Spec contests have actually created an underground system whereby some
unscrupulous designers will quickly enter as many as possible as they copy
work from the web and present it as their own.
So that new logo of yours may actually already be someone else's.
If you're a designer you just shouldn't work for established companies for free,
If you need to build up your portfolio there are other ways. Design for a
local charity or your friends new business or just spend the time creating
your own projects.
Spec Work would seem absurd in most other professional industries...
Could you ask several chefs to prepare your next meal for free and then only pay
for the best one?
Could you hold a contest in get hundreds of lawyers to write your will and then
only pick and reward one? Didn't think so.
Perhaps it's time we started to treat designers... you know,
just like everyone else?
Think about it.
Video by Topic Simple.