Monday, March 1, 2010

Why is a Graphic Designer expected to work for free?

Like most, I hold a lot of passion for what I do as a designer. For that reason, I am more than happy and excited to design everything and anything that is presented to me. I love a good challenge, and I find a lot of pride in making my clients happy. Over the years, I have developed a professional and business mind towards my work. I guess you could say it's in my blood - I come from a long line of business owners, and out of 13 siblings, 6 of us are business owners. It is a driven personality that I wouldn't be able to shake if I tried!

Unfortunately, I have noticed a growing problem in my industry. I'm sure this problem has always existed, but as I see it day after day in my inbox I am taking more offense to it.

Here's the scenario:

1) I respond to an ad from an individual or business seeking a graphic designer. I provide my rates, my skills, a link to my website & my contact information.

2) The individual or business responds back with a mass email to all of the graphic designers who responded to his or her ad. and it goes something like this: Thank you for response. We are looking for a web banner and are willing to pay $100 to the best submission. Here is the link to our website for more details on the project: www..... You are welcome to submit as many designs as you like, and we will pay for the 1 we are the most happy with.

Does this seem offensive to anyone else? If you were a contractor, and you put in a bid to do lets say...a floor tiling job, and your bid was chosen. You go to the residence or business, put in your 8 or 9 hours of labor and time into this job; and you do an exceptional and professional job. Next, you hand the customer his invoice and he says...oh I'm sorry sir, we are having a few other contractors do this job as well, we will pay the one we like the best. Thank you for your time!

Does that feel like a slap in the face?
Why do people feel as though they can take advantage of Graphic Designers? I have put my time and passion into so many projects only to be told hundreds of other graphic designers have also put their time into this project and mine was not chosen.

I don't have time to "submit" my designs in hopes you might pay me.
I am not trying to be tacky, I am just frustrated, and have put countless hours - thousands of dollars worth of my time into these projects. Please understand, I am fully aware of the design contests that are out there - those contests usually require the client to pay a fee to find the best design, and the designers are fully aware that.

Here are a few of my designs that recently did not make the cut in this type of scenario:

No comments: