(Last Updated On: January 8, 2016)
graphic design

A Four Letter Graphic Design Word That You Should Never Use “SPEC” Work

It’s been a long time since I had to do graphic design and show off my talents for free. The last time something like this was done by me was for my college professor 20 years ago during class assignment or when I had to beef up my portfolio to get a new job. Never thought a company would base a business model using spec work another word for contest. Spec work is speculative work created by a creative professional in hopes of getting paid for it or a contest. In todays internet world and graphic design field this is becoming a common practice but most of the work is done aboard or by newbies. Does a dentist fill in your cavity, a mechanic work on your car and does a fast food restaurant give your order in hopes of getting paid. Absolutely not! Then why in the graphic design field this is becoming the normalcy. What I discovered by joining a contest will absolutely blow your mind.

  • 95% of the businesses are small business on these contest sites that work alone
  • They don’t pay very much
  • You have a 1 in 90 chance to win the contest
  • 90% of the graphic designers are from countries that are outside of the USA and are willing to work in hopes of getting paid or for very little money
  • To hard to make money for yourself that is steady income to support yourself or family
  • Business model is lose-lose for graphic designers and win-win for the contest owners
  • Potential clients are unfair, greedy and provide little or no feed back about your design
  • To many entries for clients to decide on whats good or bad
  • Little Johnnie who is 8 years old just submitted a design for entry
  • No formal training by contest graphic designers, anyone can submit a design