Member Offer
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Working for Free

Discussion in 'Logo Design & Brand Identity Forum:' started by dedwardp, Mar 29, 2011.

  1. dedwardp

    dedwardp Member

  2. mrp2049

    mrp2049 Senior Member

    Thats good, balances comedy and being sensible!
  3. mattyd81

    mattyd81 Junior Member

    On a serious note though did you guys do any free work at the beginning to build your portfolios up?
  4. berry

    berry Active Member

    I must post this on my blog!!!!
  5. Soprano

    Soprano Member

    I saw this when someone "took" her info from the flow chart to make a site out of. There was a big hoo-har over it on Twitter not long ago.

    Anyway recently one of my pals from uni went to a life drawing class in London, the following day we were walking to uni together she was telling me how it went. She told me about how the guy that was running the class told her he would give her free life drawing classes if she would do him some design work. We ended up in a bit of a debate over it, she didn't see why it wasn't particularly a fair trade seen as she could do life drawing for free at any time if she so wished. I know everyone has different opinions on it but surely even as students we're worth being paid for work we do. :confused:

    Nice little derailment there hah.
  6. Jimlad

    Jimlad Well-Known Member

    Haha, brilliant flowchart.
  7. dedwardp

    dedwardp Member

    But she is being paid in the form of the lessons, surely? If she puts value to the lessons (and I'm sure she put some value to them for her to go in the first place) then I don't see any harm in exchanging services as opposed to always money.
  8. Soprano

    Soprano Member

    Maybe it's just me, but I see it as you can go sit in the park and draw people that are sitting around you, you could go to the train station and draw people waiting along the platform - so to me you can do a spot of life drawing anywhere. I guess, as you say, the value of those type of classes would matter to the individual.
  9. dedwardp

    dedwardp Member

    Yeah that's fair enough - though I'm guessing the lessons are about teaching them how to improve drawing skills as opposed to just giving them a subject matter to draw?
  10. Krey20

    Krey20 Senior Member

    I think the answer for nearly everyone will be yes.

    At the beginning of your career it's easy to get sucked into doing stuff for friends and family just to build up confidence and work samples. This soon turns into free work for friends of friends and eventually strangers.

    The trouble is it's a slippery slope. If you've done free work for someone and they recommend you to someone else, they will be expecting the same sort of terms.

    Every designer has also had the old chesnut: "Do this for free and it'll be great exposure for you." Which is, quite frankly rubbish. It works out for 1 in a million I guess. It's like the design lottery.

    A lot of designers will have entered into a bit of spec work too, until they realise it's a scam.

    I guess what I'm getting at is, every designer has probably done free work at some point. Usually when they are starting out. Once they progress, hopefully, they realise that they are undervaluing their work and their chosen profession.

    I did free work, 'way back when,' I don't regret doing it, but I did learn never to do it again.

    If you feel like doing some pro bono work and padding out your portfolio do it for someone that you will feel good about helping, like a charity or organisation close to your heart. They will be far more appreciative of your time and effort than someone who is just out to get a freebie.
  11. wac

    wac Senior Member

    Great info graphic. At uni we have "live projects" where a client comes in and basically gets to crowd source their project and get 30-odd students to design a full website or something similar and then chose the best one to go live.
  12. Becky

    Becky Member

    Gosh had so many of those, it amounted to slave labour (but some good portfolio pieces). They always chose the 'interesting' choices. Also shows that clients shouldn't be allowed options lol
  13. WEBIAN

    WEBIAN Senior Member

    If I have to be totally honest I’d be happy to do some free design work to start building up a portfolio. That is because I feel that I’ve gained a good theoretic knowledge of graphic design, brand, logo identity and so on, but I don’t seem to get the chance to actually put what I’ve learnt into practice.

    I know people who love crosswords or assembling toy ships and jigsaw puzzles; and they obviously do that for free. So why shouldn’t I regard graphic design as a hobby every now and then, to practice my skills? I feel that everything that could get me started is worth considering.

    On the other hand I wouldn’t ask anyone to work for free for me only because I’d fancy do that myself.

    Just my two cents on the issue.
  14. mrp2049

    mrp2049 Senior Member

    I've worked for free(ish) more for back scratching and or exchange of services.
  15. Jimlad

    Jimlad Well-Known Member

    I do a little bit of free work for the karate club Im in mainly just to help out. Good friends can also get free stuff. Everyone else, money please.
  16. br3n

    br3n Senior Member

    Ive done a lot of work for free, not because I had to inorder to build up my portfolio but because I loved doing it and more often than not, liked the people involved or the style of design it required.
  17. WEBIAN

    WEBIAN Senior Member

    Exchange of services doesn’t mean working for free, but it’s interesting.

    Maybe I could start a thread about it. In Milan they’ve created a service exchange called “ the time bank”, a bank where you put some time ei: 12 hours of work and say what you can offer for 12 hours, ei: plumbing work, website design, reading stories to children, whatever you can think of. When someone asks for something you can do, they’ll call you; by going you automatically became entitled to receiving some services you need. So, I can give some product design consultancy to a company, and next week I can get all the taps in my bathroom fixed by a plumber. I find it quite an exciting work method, lawful and tax free.

    Would you be interested in a discussion about it. Ei: Is that good for society? Why? Etc…
  18. br3n

    br3n Senior Member

    that sounds really interesting, I think the only issue is value. Your basically removing all monetary values and replacing them with a non variable-time. For example reading stories to kids has the same "value" as a plumber in this instance. I think it would only work on a large scale if (using the same example) someone had to read to kids for 12 hours to get 4 hours of a plumbers service.
  19. WEBIAN

    WEBIAN Senior Member

    I thought that myself as the first thing that occurred in my mind, but as I started to figure out how the all business could develop I felt that it would have been unfriendly towards those who can only do simple things. Now I think it’s better kept friendly; each hour for each an hour so that no one will be offended.

    A friend of mine had the zip replaced in three pairs of jeans by an amateur tailor in one hour. He said the job was excellent and made him save jeans worth about 200 pound.

    Just found out the US expression for it is actually “Time-based Currency”.
  20. dedwardp

    dedwardp Member

    I think both arguments stack up - fair enough that you may feel the skills used have greater value than the reading and I can see that/agree with that too.

    Likewise, I think if you forget the skills for a minute, the time levels everyone out. If you offer an hour of your time, you can choose to do whatever you want to do, meaning you must surely enjoy what you end up offering? If this is the case, rather than thinking you're skilled and deserve more you can just enjoy doing it for an hour and have an hour to request of someone else's time, which is fair enough I think.

Share This Page