Just an FYI to inform people why I don’t do spec-work. (and please note these descriptions are referenced at www.no-spec.com which is VERY informative to clients). If you have ever tried to get me to do it, I usually hand you a non-disclosure agreement which basically says I’m entitled to some kind of payment for work done, even if you don’t use it. It would be like having a home re-modeler come into your house and then after they started on the job, you decide you want to go with someone else. They are entitled to some compensation.
What is spec work?
Basically, its any kind of creative work rendered and submitted, either partial or completed, by a designer to a prospective client/employer before taking steps to secure both their work and an equitable fee. Under these conditions, a designer will often be requested to submit work under the guise of either a contest or an entry exam on actual, existing jobs as a “test” of their skill. In addition, the designer normally unwittingly loses all rights to their creative work because they failed to protect themselves by means of a signed binding contract or agreement. The client/employer often uses this freely gained work as they see fit without fear of legal reprocussion.
If I can’t decide whether I like a design before I pay it, how do I know I am going to get a good one?
This is why it pays to use a professional designer. Professional designers are just that – professionals. They are experts in their craft. It is their job to do good work.
I personally am a member of the Greater Dayton Advertising Association, a division of the American Advertising Federation (the oldest national advertising trade association). I have a list of references that would be more than happy to give you their feedback on how well their projects were completed.I do offer discounted rates for non-profits, and designs with link-backs. I sometimes am willing to do a trade of service/product if there is a need for it.