No Such Thing As A Free Design

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Once again, we turn our attention toward the very gifted design writer, Susan Kirkland, who returns to us with her essay about spec, “SPECulative.” Yeah, once again, we’re back on this spec kick, but really, is there anything in the past couple of years that’s gotten so much design blood boiling? Now that everyone can go out and buy a copy of the Adobe Suite, a $200 computer, and has access to the internet can call themselves designers, it just makes sense that this problem has plagued, and will continue to plague, the industry. It’s happening everywhere, and not just in design. Thus, we’ll talk about it ad nauseum. So there. Anyway, here’s a little bit from Susan’s interesting essay:

Depending on how it’s stated, when an agency has gotten a new $3.2 million account, it means the client has committed to spending that in promotion. Appreciate that they make at least 15% on all media and up to 45% on all outsourced services such as printing. Just fifteen percent of $3.2 million is $480,000, so working on spec in an agency setting makes good sense when you are competing with the big boys. This kind of spec work results in big contracts and committed client relationships, and there are cancellation fees to cover creative if the client pulls the work and switches agencies.