Don’t Ask a Designer to Work for Free

Dolla, Dolla Bill Yall


It used to make me extremely mad when people would ask for a logo or an advertisement and then would say, “Just try some things and let’s see if I like it; then I will pay you.”

We designers call this “Spec Work” which is essentially working for free without any guarantee the client will pay for the design you just worked very hard on.

Times have changed and I no longer get upset because I realize if you aren’t a designer, you probably don’t understand why this is an issue. So, let me tell you why you should never ask a designer for free work.

If there is one thing I am sure we can all agree on, our time is valuable.

Let’s put this into perspective . If you are a dog groomer, customers do not walk into your shop and ask you to groom their dog and they will pay for it if they like it.

Or better yet, what would you do if you were a doggie treat baker and someone asked for a couple cookie options and would only pay for the one their dog liked? These sorts of things just don’t happen, why? Because you provide a service people pay for.

It is no different for design. Designers like me dedicate their time to research your company and craft something beautiful and effective for your brand. Now don’t get me wrong, I understand there are situations where you might not like what the designer has provided. In that case, like you would at any store, ask for a discount or for a redo free of charge. Just like you might do with your dog groomer if you didn’t like the haircut provided for your dog.

If you aren’t ready to take your business to the next level and invest in design, then don’t waste a designer’s time asking for free work. This comes from a place of love, as I said it no longer makes me angry.

We at Dox Design want to help you understand the creative process the best we can.

Want to talk more about design etiquette? Reach out say hello!

We can talk design all day long.


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