10 August 2006

[design] Jeff Fisher Clarifies NO!SPEC

A while ago I wrote about NO!SPEC, a movement amongst professional (and those who hope to be pro soon) designers to enhance the profession by making asking for speculative work–getting designers to work for free in the form of a "contests" or by other means, in hopes of getting paid–as outrĂ© as white shoes after Labor Day...

Or is that before...oh, I donno. Point made, though.

Anyway! As part of the ongoing awareness campaign, Jeff Fisher tells us of a company that wanted designers to send in new designs for an upcoming publication. Read Jeff's blog here to get the skinny on that. Long story short: Calling all designers, design us a cover and send it in. We'll choose the best and publish it and give you mad recognition.

A passage in Jeff's entry brings a whole lot into crystal clarity here:
For me, the distinction between "design competition" and such "contests" is very simple. "Competitions" are conducted to evaluate and select graphic work already completed by a designer. Most so-called "contests" are requests for the creation of new work for possible review and selection - and that is "spec," or speculative, work. No designer should be asked to work for free as a condition for the chance of being selected as the "winner" or possibly being hired for future work.
Now, the terms seemed generous–no entry fee, but that doesn't change the basic fact of the matter that this is 'spec work. And 'spec work bad!

There is a happy end to the story as the publisher, sensitive to the well-made argument of Jeff (and apparently many others) who wrote in, closed the contest, and replied to him in a very classy, dignified mea culpa, which enhanced my faith in some of the interests I may, hopefully soon, interface with as a designer.

This is what we call a win-win.

Oh, and for more information on the NO!SPEC campaign, just clicky on the pretty button:

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1 comment:

Jeff Fisher LogoMotives said...

Thanks for your comments! - J.