GDF position on spec work & crowdsourcing contests

Like most professional design organizations, the Graphic Design Forum believes that crowdsourcing contests and spec work are detrimental to the design profession and do not provide a fair or effective way to obtain quality design work.

  • Unfair Compensation: Spec work and crowdsourcing contests often require designers to create and submit work without any guarantee of payment. This means that designers may spend significant time and effort creating work without receiving any compensation, which is unfair and unsustainable.

  • Quality Concerns: Because spec work and crowdsourcing contests attract entries from designers with widely varying levels of ability and experience, the quality of the work submitted can be highly variable. This can result in clients receiving subpar work or work copied from other sources, ultimately damaging the design profession’s reputation.

  • Lack of Collaboration: Design is a collaborative process that requires close communication and feedback between designers and clients. Spec work and crowdsourcing contests do not facilitate this type of collaboration, which can result in designs that do not meet the client’s needs.

  • Devaluation of Design: Spec work and crowdsourcing contests can devalue the work of professional designers by creating a perception that design is a commodity that can be easily and cheaply obtained. This can result in lower pay and fewer opportunities for professional designers.

Please read the forum rules that prohibit linking to, advocating, or promoting crowdsourcing contests.