Thursday, April 16, 2009

To Spec or Not To Spec that is the Question or the Debate

The big talk in design town-Is spec work evil? Personally I think that it is a matter of opinion and boy do people have opinions. Here are some the questions being asked and what I think about them.
Does spec work devalue design professionals and community?
-if you answer yes then you probably wouldn't want the clients that you would be getting with spec'd work.
-you probably have your own business or work at an agency and really don't have to deal with this in your work environment.
Does spec work damage the relationship between designer and client?
-the way I look at it is a lot of people work for design agencies because they don't want to deal with the client and I don't think that this is any different.
Do you think spec work takes advantage of inexperienced designers?
-again it is the way you look at it, this may be the way for young designers to get their foot in the door and start building a portfolio and is this really any different then an agency paying an amateur $10/hr and charging the client $75/hr for their work.
-plus spec work teaches a lot of other hard learned lessons that I think are important to a young designers growth.

These are the most popular questions people ask/debated about spec work. Now I have to say that design agencies have a right not to spec and quite frankly I don't think they should since they probably have already gone to the table to pitch their ideas and have come with case studies related to that potential client. I think spec work mostly web based contests are great for freelancers trying to build a customer base, corporate designers who want to break free from the monotony in their day to day design life, people wanting to make some extra cash, and of course you newbie designers who have no idea what it is like to work with real clients.

However, I think that you have to pick the projects that you spec carefully and make sure that whomever has the posting is actually giving feedback on submitted designs. Following the other designers who have been submitting and read the comments regarding these designs are important because there is a plethora of information to be had from these discussions, both good and bad.

I would love to hear you comments regarding this issue whether you agree or disagree or have a completely different point of view.

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