Working on Spec? – sound advice from 1971
I’ve been sorting out the books in the studio again. Just trying to make a bit of space. I came across The Professional Practice of Design by Dorothy Goslett. Designed by Dieter Hall of Design Research Unit and printed by Willmer Brothers in Birkenhead for Batsford in 1971.
I took the book home to re-read it out of curiosity more than anything else. Although the content is clearly out of date it does remain full of practical advice for any young designer, despite the ‘old fashioned’ style.
In the Chapter: Finding Clients I came across a very interesting passage from Clause 6 of the SIAD (Now Chartered Society of Designers) Code of Conduct:
“A member shall not undertake any work at the invitation of a client or employer without payment of an appropriate fee. A member may however undertake work without a fee or at reduced rate for charitable or non-profit-making organizations”.
Goslett herself goes on to add. “… I should like to be able to say that working on spec is something you should never do. But to a beginner searching for jobs there could be circumstances which offered irresistible temptations. If the client offering the temptations were as honest as he should be, he would not do it because he is blatantly taking advantage of your inexperience, lack of reputation and need for work…”
I thought her words offered sound advice and support both for the growing ‘No Spec‘ attitude among design professionals, but also relating in many ways to the internship debate recently discussed in this blog and others.