Rules of Professional Conduct #2

“I will ensure I receive compensation for graphic design services I provide except for pro-bono work.”

This is another important rule to understand, that I have learned about in professional conduct. This rule basically means that as a graphic designer your time is worth money, and you should be paid for everything you do unless you are working for a non-profit organization (pro-bono).

A situation that often violates this rule is spec work. Spec work often takes place as a contest, having many individuals submit work they did for free. Only the designer’s work that got picked will get compensated for their time and effort, while other participants get nothing for submitting their work. An example of this would be if someone posted a contest on twitter for t-shirt designs for a concert. There would be many submissions, but only the person that wins will get paid for their time, exposure of their work, and other compensations while the rest get nothing. This is in violation of RGD conduct because designers should be paid for not just the finished design, but also the time, effort, research, and strategy that also went into it.

This rule is especially important to junior graphic designers, who can be taken advantage of because they may not know better as to what they should be paid for. As a junior designer, I will always be clear about what goes into a project and what exactly I should be paid for. I will make sure to refrain from spec work, and educate others to follow best practices for graphic designers.


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