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120 Innovative Self Promotional Ideas for Graphic Designers & Freelancers - The biggest list of marketing ideas for designers ever.
Should You Do Graphic Design Work on Spec? - It starts off simple enough. A prospective client calls and says, “Show us a few mock up ideas and we’ll pick which one we like.” Unfortunately that is exactly how speculative work or “spec” work originates, which is immensely frowned upon in the graphic design industry.
A Few Words About Working on Spec - There will be times when it seems appropriate to do spec work. This is always a judgement call and no one can second guess your decision. However, there is always the potential, or apparent potential for getting ripped off. When I was a freelancer, my motto quickly became, I would rather starve to death than work for free.
Beware Spec Work - In 1999, I wrote a column for Jerry Vigil’s Radio And Production magazine extolling the values of spec work. I blathered on and on about how we could not only tell clients what we could do, but we could show them, too!
Don't Design on Spec - Our agency receives its share of RFPs, and sometimes these requests stipulate that our proposal include layouts. Even if the project looks promising, we just say no.
In Their Own Words, Why These Graphic Designers Are Against Speculative Design Competitions - Sometimes the best way to present a subject is to let those involved speak for themselves.
Spec Is So Not Special - "Engaging in spec work is eroding the image of designers. It perpetuates the falsehood that what we do is easy or valueless."
Should Spec Be Pitched? - It's the thrill of the hunt that often convinces agencies to submit speculative creative during new business pitches, but it's a habit many shops want to break
Speculative Design - Some of these prototypes have worked their way into production; some have been stopped after lessons were learned; others are still in the “speculative pipeline”. How have they managed to successfully balance this speculative work along with production release work?
Speculative Work - Speculative Work The debate over speculative work and free design services has have waged even longer than the Mac vs. PC war. Yet, which is a feat unto itself!
Spec Sucks for Everyone - If the entire business community understood the value of good design, and saw the effect we can actually have on their bottom line, there wouldn't be nearly enough design firms to handle all of the business. But when any creative firm reiterates to a business client that it's okay to give away what we do on a gamble of a big payoff, it's a huge setback. So I'm raising the horn again and sounding the rallying cry- if we all band together and tell the business community that, like any other professional service, we provide something of great value that is worth paying for, only then can we win the war. Fellow designers, please join me in saying no to spec work.
Spec Work Arithmetic - The AIGA’s propaganda about spec work has generally concentrated on some sort of a Kantian categorical imperative declaring the practice unethical. It’s refreshing to see that the answers in the current discussion on their site tend toward the real argument against spec work—it is a sucker bet. Maybe we should have had this discussion at the conference three years ago in Vegas.
Spec Work vs. Pro Bono - Working for free - In freelance design and publishing there are right and wrong ways to work for free.
The Problem With Spec Work Revisited - I recently received an email from Maya Sunpongco of DesignInsomnia, who was in a quandary over a spec work request from a prospect. The request was pretty typical — create a prototype on spec, competing against three other designers, with the "winner" getting a chance for future assignments. I was a bit surprised the "chance" for future assignments. Usually these folks dangle the whole carrot, promising a boat load of work down the road. I've know a couple of designers who did, in fact, get a lot of work by starting off with a spec project. But, they're far and few between.
This Week's 4 Letter Word SPEC - I know to some that it would seem that the design world has heard all it needs to about the practice of engaging in speculative work. But if the past week has taught me anything, it’s that we don’t talk nearly enough about it. The reality is that engaging in spec work continues to erode the value of what all of us do as designers, and if any of us want our profession to have even a modicum of respect in the world, we’ll answer the call for spec work with an emphatic “No.”
Why No One Wins Creative Pitches - Doing visual designs “on spec” is more likely to end in mutual frustration than in good design. There are no winners - since the design is finalised before you’ve had a chance to really understand the business issues and develop a relationship with your audience.
Why Speculative Work is Unethical - This article includes a letter that was sent by the executive director of The Association of Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario (RGD Ontario) to the editor of Marketing magazine, regarding spec work.
Why We Don't Make Speculative Presentations - The main product of our business is ideas — creative solutions to the communications problems and opportunities facing our many clients. And good ideas — creativity — can be tough to define, or agree upon. One person's passion is often another's poison. So it's no wonder that potential clients often ask us to take a project on speculation. That is, to try out our creative product in much the same way they may try out other types of products before purchasing.
Why Working on Spec Isn't a Good Idea - Times are tough. Work is hard to come by. So when you get the call from the start-up company that just loves your work, but has no money to pay you, you begin to actually consider it.
Working On Spec is a Disturbing -- And Growing -- Trend - The phone rings. A company heard from a friend of a friend that your firm has done some interesting design work. They'd like to set up a meeting to talk next week. You research the company's history, what they do, and how you can help them out.
Working on Spec - Mr. Spector may be just 19, but he knows this season could be a massive one in his career.
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Business Cards: Ideas and Inspiration, Part II
Today we continue looking at business cards that stand out, and here’s hoping you get some inspiration and ideas! After all, you only get one first impression, so your business card should be something that showcases the best of your design abilities. On Wednesday we looked at the use of interesting shapes, 3D business cards, [...]
Business Cards: Ideas and Inspiration, Part I
As a graphic designer, your business card should do more than let people know how to contact you. If you’re interested in truly making a good first impression, the business card has got to stand out. Whether through color, design, die cutting, unique materials, 3D shapes, or actual samples of your work, a stand-out business [...]
Collaborating and Negotiating: Part II
Today, we’re looking at the collaboration side of negotiation and collaboration in graphic design. Because your work is ultimately for the client, at times you as the designer must be willing to compromise to reach a mutually agreeable goal. Here are some tips to help you collaborate with clients. Ways to Collaborate Listen. On page 28 [...]
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