small debate – designing for free

Saw on facebook earlier someone saying “am designing logos who wants one….for free?


I don’t know if it’s just me getting older and grumpier, I like to think wiser, though probably more like grumpier seeing as I felt I should write about it on here. but this annoyed me, I mentioned to him that he’s selling himself short as well as cheapening the design industry, I said  it as advice from designer to designer, but it seemed to spark off small debate, lots of people jumped at chance for a free logo, which is where the problem lies.

I understand starting off in this business is hard as i’ve been there myself, and to be honest probably still am there (though wiser and grumpier). The first flyer job I did in the first year of university I got paid a £5 bag of weed, but when he came back a few weeks later with another job I charged him £30, and he accepted this and I carried on working for him for the next two years and basically established myself as a professional designer. this was cause I realised it was a business, and haven’t done a piece of free work since then.

The fact of the matter is you’re providing a service for someone, a service you should get paid for. If people in the same position as you aren’t charging anything, of course the clients will go for them. I don’t mind other people getting jobs but I do when they’re doing it for free, because soon it’s what these promoters will expect, to find some fresh faced designer whos happy to work for free thinking that these promoters are doing them a favor by giving them work.

I had someone the other day asked me to do some work for them, followed by ‘1st jobs free yeh?’ completely seriously, no hint of irony or sarcasm, cause that’s what people fuckin expect nowadays. now like I said before wiser and grumpier, a lot of people try and fuck you over in this business, and will continue to do so if people happily bend over for them.

right, thas my rant over, felt good. on the lighter side of life got an interview and a print/design shop on thursday. think it’s for front of house rather than design, but it’d be nice to work somewhere relevant to what i do. the reason i’m getting a job is cause it’s too stressful full-time freelance design, for some of the reasons mentioned, but won’t get bogged down in that again.


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