Tag Archives: designers

Spec Work Kills Industries

As a designer, I hate Spec Work. It’s so frustrating and it irks me that there are so many people still thinking it’s a good way of getting jobs. It’s really not. Spec work kills good design and opens up so many problems. And now I’ll tell you why.

Spec work stands for Speculative Work (Sometimes called Crowd Sourcing), where by a client will ask you to produce a design or a piece of work and if they like it they will buy it.

This is not cool. If I spend hours working on a design, I expect to be paid for those hours, not for the promise that I ‘might’ be paid if they like the work. Plus in the Spec Work environment you are usually “Competing” against potentially hundreds of other designers at any one time for a job in hand. Which essentially wastes my time, if I’m not awarded the contract. I’d much rather do the work for a straight up paying client off the top.

But the thing that irritates me the most is the fact that people think that they can push it with web designers and developers. You wouldn’t walk into a tattoo parlor and ask the Tattooist to make you a design and if you like it you might get it tattoo’ed. I guarantee that if you walk into any tattoo parlor and try that then you will likely be chucked out faster than you can say “Wait I was joking”.

Where as, as a web designer, I will get approached with concept ideas that people want me to do, with the line “But if we don’t like it, at least it’ll look good in your portfolio”. Well much like any Tattoo shop, every item in my portfolio is a piece I have either produced for myself or for a paying customer. You can’t play that card with me.

About the only people whom I would ever recommend do Spec work, are students with little to no portfolio as yes, they can get some designs out in the wild and they might get noticed, but once you start getting real clients that approach you with a budget, drop the spec work. Those clients are the ones you want. Mostly because if you do a good job they will give you repeat business.

This is a pretty hot topic in the design world, and it always will be, but I make my stance, spec work is evil. Don’t do it.

Dave the kill of Spec Work.

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Why Designers HATE Comic Sans.

Talk to any graphic designer and you will get this repeated again and again. We HATE Comic Sans, and when I say HATE what I really mean is MEGA-LOATHE Comic Sans. The Abomination Font. The Pariah of the Design world. At once one of the most popular fonts in the world but also the most hated.

But what a lot of people don’t understand is why designers hate the font so much. (And FYI, the following can also be applied to Papyrus and that cursed font Bleeding Cowboys).

Ok, before I start lambasting the damn font, I may as well argue both sides of the coin and give you all a little bit of information about said font.

Català: Mostra de Comic Sans

Image via Wikipedia

Comic Sans in its original incarnation was a typeface used by the American comics industry (hence the slightly obvious name) and was included in Windows 95 and everything since then. It was designed to imitate the look of comic book lettering for use in, and this is the really important bit, informal documents.

And on that last bit is exactly where it all falls apart. Informal documents.

Designers of any calibre will all tell you that each font or typeface you choose to use in a design such match the tone or type of the design. Serious signs should use serious typefaces, just like serious documents or informative documents.

Designers of any calibre will also tell you that actually they don’t really hate Comic Sans, instead what we as a group loathe about Comic Sans is the fact that people insist on using it everywhere, even when it is not appropriate, for now better reason that “because it looks fun”.

Comic Sans is a font for school children and silly little things. And It’s not even a particularly attractive font at that. Yet everyone seems to have this idea stuck in their heads that Comic Sans is a great font that can be used to spice up an otherwise boring document. WRONG.

 “You think I’m pedestrian and tacky? Guess the fuck what, Picasso. We don’t all have seventy-three weights of stick-up-my-ass Helvetica sitting on our seventeen-inch MacBook Pros. Sorry the entire world can’t all be done in stark Eurotrash Swiss type”

– Mike Lacher writing from Comic Sans Viewpoint

Mike might be right, you aren’t all designers, and you don’t have Fonts like Helvetica sitting around on your PC, but guess what you do have. Calibri, Sans Serif, and even at a push ARIAL.

Start using grown up fonts, and stop using Comic Sans because you think it makes your stuff quirky or cool. Because it doesn’t. It simply makes you an ASSHOLE. (Papyrus makes you a Double Asshole)

Dave, the Forger of Fonts

PS. I’m back early and Fueled up with Coffee like some Caffeinated Hell Machine. Brace Yourselves

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