Written by professionals in the field, these articles are both insightful and educational.
In the section nav to the left are posts written by NO!SPEC committee members. Below, a growing list of articles from around the Internet.
Steve Douglas (The Logo Factory) is a prolific writer on the subject of spec work, crowdsourcing and contests, so linking to his archives makes better sense than sharing individual posts:
aiga.org: Design competitions and speculative work
aiga.org: AIGA position on spec work
aiga.org: Spec Can Be Beaten
aiga.org: To Spec or Not to Spec
britishdesign.co.uk: The Credibility Gap
gdc.net: About Contests and Speculative Work
gdc.net: Dealing With Spec RFPs & Contests
icograda.org: Icograda Policy Review: Competition Guidelines
icograda.org: Where Our Wild Things Are, Part 1
icograda.org: Where Our Wild Things Are, Part 2
rgdontario.com: Best Practices
rgdontario.com: Spec work
creativepro.com: Spec Work and Crowdsourcing: Gambles that Don’t Pay Off
davidberman.com: Ethics FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
desktoppub.about.com: Spec vs Pro Bono
digital-artist-toolbox.com: “Should I do Spec Work?” Six Top Designers Sound Off
graphicdesign.about.com: What is ‘Spec’ Work?
freelanceswitch.com: Getting Paid: 6 Standards to Set for Your Freelance Business
freelanceswitch.com: Working For Free – Is It Ever a Good Idea?
howdesign.com: What About Crowdsourcing?
thinkvitamin.com: To Spec or Not to Spec
underconsideration.com: Spec This! (again*)
underconsideration.com: Spec Work Arithmetic
underconsideration.com: To Spec or not to Spec?
360innovate.co.uk: The impact of designing on spec
ablognotlimited.com: You Get What You Pay For
am-design.com: Why Spec Work Is a Four-Letter Word
andybudd.com: Doing Work on Spec
andrewhy.de: GeniusRocket: Toxic Environments and Startups
andrewhy.de: Spec Work Defined for Andrew Warner
andrewhy.de: Spec Work Is Evil / Why I Hate CrowdSpring
begoodnotbad.com: Finding the Con in Contests
bizcommunity.com: ‘Spec’ is a four-letter word
boagworld.com: No more speculative designs
boagworld.com: Why Speculative Design Is Wrong
boston.bizjournals.com: Working on spec is a disturbing — and growing — trend
brianyerkes.com: Why CrowdSpring Owners Should Be Ashamed of Their Business
buildinternet.com: The Real Problem With Design Contests
chrissagert.com: Spec work, just say no
davidairey.com: A conversation about spec work
davidairey.com: Responding to spec work requests
davidairey.com: Spec work can damage your business
davidairey.com: Spec work in the internet age
davidairey.com: The Win Without Pitching Manifesto
doc4design.com: A Design Trend That Might Cost You Your Job
econsultancy.com: Death to spec work and unpaid internships
erinsowards.com: Spec Work, Just Say No
escapefromillustrationisland.com: How Spec Work Hurts Your Business
escapefromillustrationisland.com: How to Educate Your Clients Part 3 – Spec Work
freelancefolder.com: Building Your Portfolio With Zero Clients & No Spec Work
freelancefolder.com: What’s Your Take On Spec Work?
fightboredom.net: Just say NO! (to Spec Work)
gigaom.com: Dealing With Speculative Work
graphicpush.com: Bullshit 2.0
kevinhughesdesign.net: So you want to be a designer?
librescope.com: Spec Work and Contests Part Two
logodesignlove.com: Logo warehouses, crowdsourcing, and a lack of understanding
logodesignlove.com: The designer and the tech guy
logodesignlove.com: The kiddie designers of 99designs
logodesignlove.com: The reality of logo design contests
markboulton.co.uk: The Personal Cost of Designing on Spec
mathewbrowne.com: Nightmare web design clients
mikewatters.com: When designers should work for free (and when they shouldn’t)
moxiedesignstudios.com: Will you build me a huge site for free?
nikibrown.com: Spec you! Why Designers Should Never* Work For Free
odesk.com:To Spec or Not to Spec? What a Stupid Question.
openparenthesis.org: Crowdsourcing, Incentive, and Value
paperstreet.com: Should a Web Designer Work on Spec and Provide Free Samples?
positivespaceblog.com: 99Designs The Evil That Changed Names
promomagazine.com: Wild Pitches
provider.com: The Geek Guide: A Few Words about Working on Spec
rachelandrew.co.uk: Spec work for web developers
ravenshoegroup.com: Why Crowdsourcing Is A Bad Idea
spyrestudios.com: 6 Reasons Crowdsourcing And Spec Work Sucks
subdued.net: Dear visitor from 99designs
sugarsock.com: The Problem with Spec Work… Again, for Those Who Didn’t Hear
swoo.co.uk: …how to flip the client into giving you the work
thinkcreation.net: Why Your Clients Ask You to Work on Spec
tomrichmond.com: Working on Spec
troy-sobotka.blogspot.com: Specs and Contests: We All Lose
viewcreative.co.uk: Free pitching
webdesignerdepot.com: How NOT To Design A Logo
webdesignerdepot.com: Interview with SpecWatch: The Naked Truth
webmaestro.biz: Spec work or design by contest?
Wildfire Marketing: Why most design firms won’t do spec work
zeldman.com: Don’t Design on Spec
dontdrinkthekoolaidblog.com: Why Ad Agencies Shouldn’t Do Spec Creative
adage.com: Don’t Let Losing Employees and New-Business Pitches Slow You Down
thinkcreation.net: An Interesting Podcast on Spec Work
Is Spec Work Evil? The Online Creative Community – SXSWi 2009
AIGA Portland Roundtable – Contests, Spec work
davidairey.com: AIGA panel on spec work
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