Questions tagged [spec-work]

Questions about doing work for free for a party who is still deciding whether to hire you. Spec work and its ethics are highly debated.

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22 votes
10 answers

I'm a beginner: my client won't answer simple questions I've asked to aid design, what to do?

It's my first time designing for any one Email sent:. Hi [Client]! If you wouldn't mind answering a few questions I need to know so I can communicate your brand better and have a better sight as ...
5 votes
2 answers

Is it legal for a company to request the rights (and much more) to the artworks I created in order to apply to a job/internship?

I was shocked when I recently came across a graphic design internship posting that had the following note in small characters at the bottom: "By submitting a design for consideration in this talent ...
  • 51
6 votes
4 answers

Critique: Military Veteran Themed Business Card Design

I am looking for a sort of Review of some work that I did for a contest (I didn't win). Personally I think that the business cards look awesome. I used graphics and such from the client's site. I ...
  • 182
15 votes
7 answers

Is online freelancing a viable source of income?

Fed up with the university life, I thought I would try to be a freelancer. I am familiar with coding. How can I earn money online as a web designer? Is there any reliable way to earn money? I saw ...
  • 161
4 votes
1 answer

Internship or Spec Work?

I've just completed a Bachelor's in Web Design & Development and have been casting a wide net for employment opportunities, including internships, paid and unpaid. I was contacted by one company (...
7 votes
4 answers

Why was my experience with a logo contest so miserable?

I'm starting out as a freelance designer (and no job experience at any company before) and I decided to join "contests" held by's users. I've joined several of them already and I can ...
  • 189
6 votes
2 answers

Spec-work vs pro-bono?

What is the difference between spec work and pro-bono? I have always considered pro-bono work to be a form of spec-work, but I notice that the AIGA position states: Yet not all unpaid design work ...
  • 7,578
9 votes
3 answers

How to handle a client who only wants to purchase stock images from my design mockup, instead of my design?

I am a graphic designer who provided spec work for a client. I worked on a flyer and I gave them 2 options. They went with one, paid for it. Now they have another project and would like to use the ...
5 votes
1 answer

Is unsolicited design a form of spec work?

Mike Monteiro frequently rails against spec work in his show, Let’s Make Mistakes. In a recent episode, he invited venture capitalist Chris Sacca whereupon they agreed that designers aren’t “hustling” ...
  • 185
11 votes
6 answers

Are logo design contests considered "spec" work and what are the pros and cons of participating as a designer?

I know logo design contests and the whole "spec" work issue is a controversial subject. As a designer given the AIGA's position on spec work what are the pros and cons of entering such contests?
  • 1,467
35 votes
7 answers

Should web designers make a free mockup?

I have some potential clients that ask to see something before accept the work. Now, should I make, for example, a free mockup or It's better to find another client?
  • 351
4 votes
6 answers

On which crowdsourced design site have you the best experience?

I'm looking to have a couple logos and website designs done. I've had some great local designers, but each one has moved or gone else where so I keep having to look for new designers. My thought and ...