Say no to spec work… even in France.

The Eiffel Tower

I recently got a request to design a logo for someone in Paris, France. They found my site while looking for logo designers in Paris. How did they find me? Guess who’s number one in Google for the keyphrase “Paris logo design“. That’s right. I’m surprised there aren’t any search engine savvy logo designers in Paris to knock me down from number one. Oh well.

After this potential client realized that my name is Paris and that I’m not… a city in France; they decided to contact me anyway because they liked my work.

And then it happened.

They asked me to “bid” on the project by designing several concepts for them. Then only IF one my ideas was selected from a pool of logo designs sent in by other designers would I get paid.

Here’s what I said in response :

Hello ********,

I’m sorry, but I believe there has been a misunderstanding. I only work on a contract basis. That means my clients hire me based on my previous body of work and reputation. They sign a contract that we both agree upon before any work is done. Half of the total is paid up front. The other half is due upon completion of the project. As you can see from my portfolio I’ve worked plenty of clients who are pleased with this process. Its actually a very standard way to do business in the design industry.

I’m aware of some designers who are willing to do work before any agreement or payment has been exchanged. I’m not one of those designers. If you like my work, and would like me to provide you with the same quality of work, you are welcome to hire me. Otherwise, I cannot be of service to you.

Thank you for your interest in my work. I hope that we can work together. If I have misunderstood what you are proposing, please forgive me and send more information. If you have any other questions or comments I welcome them also.

Have a great day,
Paris Vega

Graphic & Web Designer

phone: (205) 409-0764

What do you think? Was I too harsh?  It was one of those moments where I could feel my adrenaline trying to take over the keyboard. Luckily, no expletives made it past brain-to-hands filter.

I’m not going to get any further into the spec work debate other than the links below:

Why Speculative Design Hurts the Client

No Spec

Giving away your work