After publishing this article I realized that I only presented the negative side of speculative “spec” work. For some people spec work is actually beneficial. I have updated this article by presenting the positive side of spec work.
Please consider sharing your thoughts on this important topic in the comments below.
Have you ever been robbed in broad daylight?
It’s a horrible feeling. If you have done Spec work then you know what I’m talking about. The countless hours you put into creating something in hopes of being rewarded. You think to yourself, this time I’m going to win. This time they will realize how brilliant my designs are. This time it’s going to be different. But it isn’t different. You’re not recognized for your brilliance. This time you lose again. Your dreams of being awarded that project, or getting that job, or winning that contest, go down the drain. Why did I fall for this?You got absolutely nothing in return. What a fool I was to believe the client was going to award us the project by spending so much time and effort without getting any guarantees.
What is Spec work?
Spec work, short for Speculative work or free work, is any project where the designer is expected to provide finished work before agreeing on a fee or compensation. You can also think of it as free pitching. The designer loses out twice because they put in all the hard work without ever getting paid and their work is taken from them without their permission.