Where to ask for free work?


I am keeping a close eye on the question about logo design contests, and I hope that my 1st Question here does not get completely slammed.

It never really occurred to me that 'logo design contests' are similar to Spec Work and this could be considered unethical.

I am an amateur web developer and it became clear that my Illustrator efforts looked rookie.

I have two situations where I need help from a graphics designer.

  1. Girlfriend has a TV show on a volunteer based TV Channel. We have had a friend do the logo for free, as for him it was also good publicity (name in credits) and looked good in his portfolio. If we needed more work, where could we ask?
  2. The company I work for, the logo for a product we are developing looks dated. Problem is, the people that hold the purse strings will see this as trivial. Where could I ask for help on re-vamping our logo? It could lead to more work.

So what am I asking?
First off, I completely understand that SE is not the place to be asking for free help (help being, can u do me some graphics).
- Where is the right place to ask for people to do free graphics work?
If you could also squeeze in any thoughts on if you think asking for help for free, for both my 2 situations, is detrimental for other people working in the graphics space.

I work in GIS. Its not such a freelance industry as Graphic Design, so maybe its not comparable.
My thoughts are, if someone was asking for me to put together a map/mapping website, for free, I would not bother.
However, if you had asked me when I was fresh out of Uni, and nothing on my CV, or perhaps between jobs, I think (pending what they wanted done) that I would do it.
- In case of #1 above, I have advised my gf to perhaps put up posters at the local arts uni.

4/13/2017 12:46:00 PM

Simon, here's a bit of radical advice: don't ever ask anyone to do anything "for free." Ask, rather, if they're willing to help a good cause for something other than monetary compensation. There has to be some kind of fair exchange involved, otherwise at least one of the parties involved ends up feeling sleazy, and the other feeling ripped off. There are plenty of examples of this kind of non-financial exchange: beginning photographers will photograph models in exchange for prints for the models' portfolios; a rookie film-maker gets actors and crew to help make a short film in exchange for credits and copies of the completed film for their demo reels; a young intern designs, for almost nothing, what turns out to be a multi-million dollar "swoosh" for a sport-shoe company in exchange for experience in their art department. In the last case, the aforementioned footwear folks invited her back, 40 years later (or whatever the anniversary was), and gave her a whopping check, a big celebratory dinner, and some killer PR.

For commercial work (your company's logo), if they don't see the logo as an asset, and they don't put money into it as an investment, you should not try to get anyone, not even a student, to whip something up for them "for the benefit of the portfolio" (which is not compensation). Free or ultra-cheap work isn't often regarded as having any value by the undeserving beneficiary.

5/18/2011 4:57:00 AM

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