Spec work is when design buyers expect designers to work for free. Think design contests. Video takes a look at what would happen if the same was asked of other professionals.
We get “invited” to design contests so often, I actually wrote a blog post – thanks but no thanks – that I send contest holders to and explains, in great detail, why we have to decline. I think I’ve found something else to send them – namely the video upstairs that shows how ludicrous the proposition actually is, when it’s applied to other professions.
The ongoing debate.
Spec work isn’t a new issue – the debate has been going on forever – and we’ve thrown our hat into the ring on many occasions. The arguments flare up, die down, flare up again. This video, by Toronto ad agency Zulu Alpha Kilo should stir things up for a new round, while managing to depict how ludicrous the issue actually is. To sum it up; some guy approaches actual people (apparently not actors) in other professions – cook, coffee shop, a framer, architect and personal trainer – asking them to provide him with a product or service for free, to see if he likes it before committing to more. Their reactions aren’t at all surprising, but exactly what you’d expect when professionals are asked to do what they do for a living, while not actually making a living at it. This is how designers and creative professionals should react too, which is the thrust behind the production but sadly, and if the comments in the Adweek feature on the vid (see link) are any indication, the debate will continue to rage on.