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To educate the public about speculative (spec) work

Last Build Date: Sun, 08 Oct 2017 23:28:37 +0000


A client’s argument against free-pitching

Wed, 26 Feb 2014 16:16:10 +0000

John Scarrott and the Design Business Association thought it would be interesting to get a client’s perspective on free pitching, so asked Tom Foulkes, marketing director of Peter Brett Associates, about how he buys design expertise. “Fundamentally, we believe the creative pitch is commercially toxic and is a tradition the marketing profession can do without. … Continue reading "A client’s argument against free-pitching"

In for a penny, in for a pounding

Thu, 02 Jan 2014 15:23:44 +0000

Joe Rinaldi, VP of business development at Happy Cog, wrote an excellent article aimed at design clients about how spec work doesn’t just threaten the design businesses that take part, it threatens the clients’ companies and their projects, too. “Each time agencies pre-invest in spec work, they mortgage their organizations on winning the work and … Continue reading "In for a penny, in for a pounding"

Refuse to work for nothing

Tue, 23 Jul 2013 18:06:05 +0000

DA&D’s past President Mike Dempsey shared his thoughts on the recent speech given to young design graduates by D&AD chairman Dick Powell. Mike Dempsey said: “This attitude dovetails into the alarming increase in free pitching that now runs throughout our industry, from the smallest to the most prestigious firms. Every company that embraces this and … Continue reading "Refuse to work for nothing"

Donating the unpaid labor of others

Wed, 05 Jun 2013 08:35:49 +0000

Steve Douglas wrote an in-depth piece about “the arrogance of crowdsourcing,” where he talks about the design contest for the Dallas Mavericks. He also reviews “unofficial” contests for Sony Playstation, Daft Punk, and Manchester United, where spec work websites “have nothing to lose — they’re donating the unpaid labor of others.” “It’s a copyright and … Continue reading "Donating the unpaid labor of others"

The dangers of speculative design

Thu, 09 May 2013 17:49:19 +0000

Lisa Barrett of Birmingham-based Sixth Story published the studio’s experience of speculative design, where the “pitches” they ultimately lost ended up looking very similar to the designs that were actually used. “We produced some branding work, name generation and packaging concepts for a start up business in order for them to secure funding and investment … Continue reading "The dangers of speculative design"

Powerhouse Museum tries crowdsourcing for Sydney Design, then pulls contest

Thu, 18 Apr 2013 08:29:53 +0000

“People are free to decide what they do with the efforts of designers of any stripe – that’s entirely ok. But when a publicly funded organisation (whose entire justification for their funding, and thus their existence, turns on promoting and championing design) chooses a crowdsourcing model, it’s incredibly disappointing to say the least.” Quoted from … Continue reading "Powerhouse Museum tries crowdsourcing for Sydney Design, then pulls contest"

Obama crowdsourcing to support American jobs?

Sun, 09 Oct 2011 04:15:00 +0000

A tweet from Niki Bivona (@nikibivona) on Twitter says it all: “RT @nospec Obama is now crowdsourcing a poster, about job creation. Irony.” Obama, if you aim to support American jobs, then perhaps paying designers to create your campaign posters would be a good start.

US Department of Interior is crowdsourcing their logo?

Sun, 05 Jun 2011 13:32:12 +0000

Here’s a petition found via Twitter that you might be interested in. @LogoMotives Petition: Stop the US Department of @Interior from Crowdsourcing a Logo | @nospec #nospec | “The U.S. Department of the Interior currently has posted a design brief on ( asking for graphic designers to work for free in order to … Continue reading "US Department of Interior is crowdsourcing their logo?"

No more spec shooting!

Sat, 29 Jan 2011 02:24:11 +0000

If you plan on being in Las Vegas this Sunday, Ben Chen is scheduled to speak at the SPAA Convention. SPAA: stands for Sports Photographers Association of America. No More Spec Shooting! Sunday, February 20, 2011, 1:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. “After more than 10 years of speculative shooting of several youth sports, Ben Chen … Continue reading "No more spec shooting!"

Spec work and design students

Thu, 09 Dec 2010 19:26:55 +0000

We regularly receive letters from design students and those new to the design industry. In their correspondence the students often explain how they were not educated about spec, and/or were sent to contest sites by their instructors. Earlier this year we discussed the subject with a design student, Thomas. One thing led to another and … Continue reading "Spec work and design students"