Am I degrading my skills?

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by Limecom.pk, Jan 16, 2018.

  1. Limecom.pk macrumors newbie

    Limecom.pk

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2018
    Location:
    Islamabad
    #1
    Working as a Digital Design Agency in Pakistan, we often pitch clients and suggest them some necessary changes (Sort of free consultation on friendly manners.) Happened once, we asked presented few suggestions to a startup and all of sudden, got reply. Can you do it for us.

    We said Yes and then they said, OK let's do it for us for free if you are willing.

    We do understand that giving free consultation falls into kind of professionalism but offering your services for free is totally against professional ethics.

    What's your stance?
     
  2. eyoungren, Jan 17, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2018

    eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    #2
    That's called spec work.

    My boss has a hard rule that there is no spec work. He wants a signed contract before I do anything.

    I work for a small community weekly newspaper designing the advertisements that run in our papers. We have 10 people including the boss and his brother so having me do design work on an ad that probably won't run in our paper is not going to happen.

    Lastly, at least in my industry, spec work is often used as a means to get a professional ad designed for free that the customer sends out to run in your competitors newspapers and not yours.

    Another reason my boss declines spec work.
     
  3. organicCPU macrumors 6502a

    organicCPU

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2016
    #3
    If you were a student and needed some work for a portfolio, then maybe ok. From time to time you could work for free on a project for culture, art or any other even commercial project that is interesting enough for you and gives you another benefit, like a testimonial that gives you reputation or makes it to some design contest winner, etc.
    But in general, work is work and you can't survive without some permanent income. IMO, even a professional consultation should give you some professional fee for the efforts of your presentation, even if the actual job is never going to be done. Making a contract in advance is something that works more often than you might think, especially if it's a serious customer really interested in your work and thus a real potential long-term client. Better use the time to search for a good client that honours your work, than spending hours or month for someone that will never understand what you do and that your services are something absolute valuable.
    As you're talking about ethics in professionalism, that IMO can't be easily mixed-up with free services or any price tag. E.g. a millionaire or any other person that has his outcome could completely comply to ethics and do a highly professional job at the same time for free. There are thousands of highly professional FOSS projects that are done by experts and shared with a huge community without requesting a fee. In that sense it entirely depends on your personal point of view what is unethical for you and you should just don't do it. Good luck finding the right client(s).
     
  4. eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    #4
    If they won't sign a contract, they aren't a customer you really wish to do business with.
     
  5. 0007776 Suspended

    0007776

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2006
    Location:
    Somewhere
    #5
    Unless they are some sort of nonprofit organization that is asking for a donation, and you make it clear that your desire to help their charitable work is the only reason you are doing it for free I wouldn’t do it. And even if that was the case I would do it at a deeply discounted rate rather than free.
     
  6. lucidmedia macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    #6
    Nope. In today's culture of dribble and behance there is no value for doing work "for exposure" or to build a portfolio. If the work has value for a client, they should be charged.
     
  7. dwig macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2015
    Location:
    Key West FL
    #7
    Not generally.

    "Spec work" is work done on speculation that it will sell. It doesn't mean that you don't plan on getting paid if the work is accepted by the client.

    Doing work on spec is a gamble, but otherwise not improper. Doing free work "for exposure" is a bad thing. Even work done for a charity or other non-profit should have an assigned value and donated.
     
  8. organicCPU macrumors 6502a

    organicCPU

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2016
    #8
    You're right – business is business. When I took part in an interdisciplinary video class more than 20 years ago, we had the requirement by the university to work non-profit and non-commercially. I remember, that we did some real good video stories about theatres, music clubs and other small businesses from the sausage stand to the handcrafting artist. That work always had some kind of value for those folks. In that context we never could charge anything as long as we used the university's equipment. Well, we just learned how to make videos in our spare time, then took those to populate our show reel portfolios and got commercial jobs with that. Concerning (print) design jobs, my first job that got paid was with the age of 12 and I did no jobs only for exposure in that domain. I can see that time is changing fast. Maybe education institutes became more commercially oriented over time and it's clever if a school or students can earn some money while teaching or learning. I didn't know that this concept of making profit while exercising is common nowadays.
     
  9. macuser453787 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 19, 2012
    Location:
    Galatians 3:13-14
    #9
    This seems to fit the description of an internship. I had two paid internships in high school, one in 1991 and the other in 1992-93.

    There's been quite a lot of debate as to whether or not internships should be paid. I think for the most part they should be. :)
     

Share This Page

8 January 16, 2018