Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Free Pitching, what am I worth.

On the 25.08.06 I read some though provoking material about one of the dilemmas of a designer, the practice of “free pitching”
Free pitching is a term which describes providing free design services with the hopes of follow up work.
Free pitching may be initiated by a customer who infers it may be beneficial to future business, or it may be initiated by a designer who provides free services in the hopes of later payment.
Free pitching is a practice condemned by professional design organisations around the world because it undermines the value of design services and destroys the professionalism of designers.
More about the whys and wherefore3s of free pitching may be found at

On the same site is an item about design competitions, whether they are beneficial or not, hope you enjoy it!
I quote
“What about design competitions?
Design competitions are a good example of the difficult grey area surrounding the issue of pitching. The DIA definition of pitching has attempted to allow room for designers to enter genuine competitions if they really wish to do so.
However great caution should be observed to ensure that the competition is indeed genuine, and that you have not crossed the line into a cleverly disguised pitch.
The grey area surrounding competitions is that the benefit in winning them is usually all about gaining publicity, which, it could be argued, is ultimately about generating a future commercial advantage.
However much ego gratification is involved in the short term, any designer winning a competition would reasonably like to expect that the status of winning a competition might translate somewhere down the track into potential new business enquiries.
This therefore fulfils at least one of the DIA’s definitions of a potential pitch.
How commercial is it?
To determine whether you are entering a genuine competition or a cleverly disguised pitch, a professional designer should apply the various questions of commerciality outlined in the DIA definition of a pitch.
Is the winning design likely to be used in the future as a commercially realised product? Does the competition holder own any commercial rights to the winning design? Is the competition holder a commercially established concern with a record for using or manufacturing competition designs further down the track?
What is the nature of your reward?
What is the exact nature of your ‘prize’ for winning the competition? Do you receive, or expect to receive, any payment in any form for the design work you have embarked upon? Are you competing against other designers with a history of pitching for other design work? Ultimately, it is up to you as a professional designer to decide whether a competition is uncomfortably close to being a pitch or not, and act accordingly.”
This has given me some industry insight, now I’m back off to my corner.


Blogger CLEA said...

A very good issue to raise.... I am very against the whole notion of free pitching and design-by-competition (though I do think some competitions for design students are a good thing...) and believe it is corroding the profession. I have an uneasy feeling this is the direction most 'big business' is moving in..?

2:36 PM  
Blogger sandhead said...

Reading that's me in the corner's blog on free pitching gave me cause to research student competions and educational resources , seems a lot of things just come down to gain or money.

8:40 AM  
Blogger sandhead said...

Same day an hour later thinking about free pitching, not good , don't like it. Do I have double standards. With Clea's mention of these blogs can be seen by anybody here I am putting one of my own designs on every blog. Free pitching or EGO centricity.

9:55 AM  

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