Archive for February, 2009

Since the economy has slowed to a crawl, work at my studio has been slow so I’ve been looking for freelance design work on craigslist. I’ve never gotten a job from craigslist but I have hired some people from it. With so many jobseekers out there, I’m sure posts are getting hit hard from job applicants. Well, I’ve been pretty picky about what I apply to and I don’t even send them a resume, I just give them a link to my e-commerce site and online portfolio.  I know my work speaks for itself.

One of the things I do hate about craigslist and this crappy economy is that a majority of people who need design work will low-ball designers and artists. Especially since it’s the “job-makers” market not a “job-seekers” market. And I keep getting asked to do spec work. I DO NOT DO SPEC WORK. Here’s a good answer to why a designer shouldn’t do spec work from the AIGA.

AIGA believes that doing speculative work—that is, work done without compensation, for the client’s speculation—seriously compromises the quality of work that clients are entitled to and also violates a tacit, long-standing ethical standard in the communication design profession worldwide. AIGA strongly discourages the practice of requesting that design work be produced and submitted on a speculative basis in order to be considered for acceptance on a project.

All designers should say no to spec work. I also think “designers” who do layout work for $20 an hour should be shot because you are driving down our market. Don’t sell yourself short and especially don’t sell others short either.

Here’s an email I received when I applied to a freelance designer posting asking for spec work. Those bastards! I have changed the names so their identity is safe — for now.

Dear applicant,
Thanks for responding to our recent posting for freelance graphic design help at Poo-Poo Entertainment. In addition to the portfolio and samples you have submitted, we are requesting that you mock up a potential Poo-Poo cover to ensure that your skill set fits our needs and you have a comfort level with our subject matter.

There is a folder called Freelance_Cover_Test.  In that folder is a Poo-Poo cover template with fonts, art of comic heroes,  for use as silos. Then there is a background folder which contains art of the various covers of the novels that are on the 100 greatest list.

The dominant headline on the cover should be:
TOP 100

We are looking to see how you handle the text treatment and the interaction with the type and images/characters. Feel free to use as many or few as silhoed characters as you’d like. Also, feel free to use the various covers as a background wallpapering if you’d like. Use as little or much of the a rt materials as provided. We’re essentially trying to identify your creativity and initiative within our subject matter.

Thanks for your interest in Poo-Poo Entertainment.
Cheap Bastard
Senior VP/Operations
Poo-Poo Entertainment

Basically, they want to “test” your design ideas so they can either 1) use your idea but pay you pennies because you have already done most of the work for free. 2) Take your idea, change it enough so it ends up looking like their idea, and they pay you nothing. 3) take your idea to a less expensive designer and have them design it for pennies and they pay you nothing.

Believe in yourself and in your work and say no to crap offers like this. You, me and our creative community deserve better.


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