Work For Free

November 3, 20232 Minutes

Should designers work for free? No, but why do you even ask?

Sometimes I still get asked to do something for free. I wonder why someone would even consider asking something like that. Did they ever get some bread for free? No, of course not.

I have no idea where it came from that creativity is free or anything on the computer is easy and fast. Perhaps the story goes way back when there were few computers and few printers and we were always asking someone to help us, or it is a fact that we are not considered craftsmen; our legacy is only a few decades old, or maybe the computer is not considered a proper tool as the hammer is. Either way, it is disrespectful.

As usual, rules are made to be broken. There are three options where this can be allowed:
When you work on some cultural or good cause projects.
When you work for friends,
When you work for your family,

As you can see, I deliberately used the word work because every project is measured in time, resources, and ideas, and nothing is easy.

Cultural or good cause
The impact of a good design can be immense. Without it, even a really good cause can slip by the public eye, and the damage is done. We are bombarded with thousands of different messages per day, and only the good have a chance to be seen.

Every good friend needs a helping hand; no questions are asked, and no return is expected.

You will learn quickly why this might not be a good idea after all.

If someone else asks you, remember to say, “No, but why did you even ask?”