[Let's make a] FAQ: Billable Speculative Work And You!

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by wongulous, Nov 4, 2008.

  1. wongulous macrumors 6502a

    Dec 7, 2002
    Regulars to SI: D&G have seen the pattern repeated over the months and years that there are very fine shades of propriety that polarize threads asking for help, and sometimes even when those threads do not cross over into spec/billable work, they can still end in thread disaster (aka one-way ticket to Wasteland)... more importantly, they can make us all look bad, like snarky, bitter, and unhelpful people with no compassion or willingness to help.

    So, I propose that we focus on making a FAQ or sticky about these issues.

    - We have to be able to answer questions for laymen, who may or may not know much about how the graphic design industry works, and who may be asking for this help or work, students interested in graphic design who are trying to learn and grow (and, yes, sometimes need boundaries defined), as well as professionals who add to our hive and can be both amazingly helpful and kind (and understandably can be quite personally invested in these issues).

    - We need to concisely and clearly set up guideline definitions to what is work, and what is help, because work implies "billable," and if agreements are not made for fair and industry-ethical billing before the work is performed, it is therefore speculative.

    - Examples of acceptable and unacceptable threads, and disasters (including the hilarious ones, like the Holy Church Of God!) might be used to illustrate DOs and DON'Ts.

    - Along with providing links to NO!SPEC, and their many helpful resources, we should also show the converse school of thought where designers work, and are then bid on, so that we are at least being fair and showing potential clients, hobbyists, and professional designers that there are choices and pros/cons to each choice.

    - Acceptable practices for asking for billable, non-speculative work (if that is acceptable for this forum/terms of service--I'm not even 100% sure), as well as for offering billable work

    I could try to (slowly) compile this resource myself, but if everyone who is usually active in these types of threads would post FAQs to be answered (and the answers would be nice!), as well as links to good/bad example threads, or other website resources, that would make it a lot faster and a much better community effort.
  2. IgnatiusTheKing macrumors 68040


    Nov 17, 2007
    das Fort
    My two cents:

    Any thread asking for help on how to do something (technically) is fine by me. Any thread asking for us to design something for them (for free) is unacceptable.

    Any thread asking for a critique of a project they've done (or are doing) is fine by me. Any thread wanting us to tell them how to design something without doing any work first is unacceptable.
  3. fluidedge macrumors 65816


    Nov 1, 2007
    all sounds a bit pompous if you ask me - "Guidelines" will only serve to further the elitist view many people have of the GD industry
  4. SwiftLives macrumors 65816


    Dec 7, 2001
    Charleston, SC
    That makes perfect sense to me.

    I'll gladly assist someone's brain for free. I will not be someone's brain for free.

    Personally, I have no problem with aspiring to be elite. And I can only hope that someday, people will view me as an elite designer. I've never seen it, but if people think of the graphic design profession as elitist, then frankly I'd be flattered to be a part of it.

    I think the problem is that the GD field has become too accessible. Having a toothbrush doesn't make me a dentist. Having Photoshop doesn't make me a designer. Judging by some of the posts we get on here, many people don't make that connection - that proficiency in Adobe Creative Suite isn't the only thing people pay for when hiring a designer. I think a sticky clarifying billable work guidelines would save a lot of time and snark.

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