Here are some words and a short video about spec work that I have been trying to organize ever since my NO SPEC rant on a GSG Live Cast last month.
Why NOSPEC isn’t working
Spec work isn’t going away and no amount of complaining will stop it. There are a TON more educated motion designers with inexpensive tools and an internet connection then there ever have been and this opens up markets that wouldn’t be possible otherwise (crowdspring, threadless, online contests). Of course, these things drive prices down. This is happening in almost every creative industry out there. The internet, inexpensive tools, and free training (my fault) are making it a level playing field for everyone. But, it also kills existing and traditional business models. Digital cameras killed the traditional photography biz. Craigslist and blogs killed phone books and newspapers. Boutique animation shops killed the traditional big post house. Thats a bad thing, of course, if you run an “Traditional” business and you should be scared. But, all these same things also give ANYBODY the opportunity to make great shit. Great work trumps everything. This is the revolution. This is awesome!
Let Artists Decide
Artists should have the choice to participate in spec work. If no artists participate, then there is no spec work. Simple as that. But, people DO participate. Most are glad that they do. There are no lies being spun or promises that aren’t kept. The rules are put out there and people choose to participate. Sure, feel free to let designers know your stance on spec work. Even write a letter to the organizer. But, you are usually wasting your breath. Because, It’s not the organizers of contests that make spec work. It’s the designers that choose to participate. Designers CHOOSE to participate in these projects. They aren’t forced.
Who Are They Saving?
So, clients are happy that there are less expensive ways to get great design and many designers seem happy to participate in these contests or give a croudsourcing project a try. So, who is the NO SPEC movement trying to save? They are trying to keep things like they were before the revolution happened. Seems that the only people complaining are either trying to save their old business model, or they have a nostalgic and romantic view about design and the design process. Stop trying to save an out of date business model, and start to embrace the future. A future where practically everybody has a copy of Photoshop. A future where almost everybody has the tools and the knowledge to make great work, stand out, and be noticed. Stop whining about your business model and make great work instead. The rest will take care of itself.
What are your thoughts about the NO SPEC movement and about spec work in general. In what way do they effect what you get paid? Have you lost money to spec work? Is there anything we can do about it? I would love to continue this discussion in the comments. Or, @ reply me on twitter and give me your thoughts. See you there.
More thoughts about Spec Work