Stop Doing Design Work For Free

Stop Doing Design Work For Free

Firstly, welcome to my new site, please have a look around and give me a shout via the CONTACTS page if you want to discuss anything.

So my first blog is going to be on something that’s been on my mind for a while and want to bring to your attention too as it’s growing like wildfire throughout the creative industry at the moment. There’s a lot of Graphic Designers out there doing work for absolutely nothing, getting pissed off about it, and only doing it to themselves. It’s not worth it! It’s a waste of your time and you won’t get anywhere doing it. So please – STOP DOING WORK FOR FREE… The thing you need to ask yourself is, “Why am I doing this?”

Answer 1: Because I’m just starting out and I don’t have any clients.

That’s respectable and we’ve all been there. I for one know exactly what its like trying to get your business off the ground. You need to get your name out there right? But not by helping established people get to their dreams! Don’t waste your time. Instead build your portfolio and work on “dummy projects,” at least that way you’re showing off what you can do. When you’re dealing with established businesses that expect you to do work for free – they’re just using you and will ride the train as long as they possibly can. What’s more, they won’t really respect you or refer you to any of their colleagues or friends.

Answer 2: Because it’s for a friend or family member.

You really have to feel this one out, but if a friend that is making money from something your helping with wants you to do it for free, you shouldn’t waste your time. At the end of the day you only have so many hours in the day while you’ve got bills to pay! I know it’s nice to help people out, but you have to be able to tell when people are purely trying to exploit you. Friends and business don’t mix well and it can be a recipe for disaster, if a friend or family member asks you to do some work for them but can’t pay you, make sure you get compensated in another way – the easiest being a trade in services.

Answer 3: Because I wanted to be nice.

Don’t get me wrong, being nice is great and can get you far, but believe me, being too nice will have you biting your wrists off late at night worry about all the crap you’ve committed to without a penny to show for it, let alone the time to do it. Be bold and say no – no gives you value, it says you have standards and people will respect that.

Answer 4: Because it was for a promising contest.

Contests sound like a great idea, but so does a bubble bath with Selma Hayek. 1000 times out of 1001 it’s just not going to happen. You end up spending hours if not days knocking out 10 Logo Designs, sending them off to a generic email address, only to hear nothing back. Now someone else owns the rights to your work and you don’t know where it’s being used. Please for the love of Buddha stay away from contests and stay away from £20 logo design ads – its ruining the industry and not worth your time.

I really hope this blog helps you realise you have value, as your not just another graphic designer – your an artist. As I’ve mentioned, if you do work for free people will use you and they won’t respect your work. Not only that but your not going to go anywhere fast. Would you expect someone to come into your house and fit new windows for free? You’ve invested time and money gaining the knowledge and experience you have; so don’t ever be ashamed in charging for it.




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