Spec Work and UK Logo Design


If you have been looking into UK logo design, you have probably noticed that there are many websites offering spec work. At first glance, this seems like a good idea simply because of the bottom line. Spec work websites promise a logo at a bargain price, and as a bonus you get to approve the design before you pay. However, some deals aren’t as good as they might initially seem.

What Is Spec Work?

In short, spec work is exactly what it sounds like: work done on a speculative basis. In most modern cases, this is done through websites. Logo designers submit a logo to the business owner’s specifications, and the owner then chooses and pays for the one that they like the best. Many websites use this model but call it by another name, such as ‘crowdsourcing’ or ‘logo design contests’.

Is Spec Work Bad for Designers?

That depends on how you define ‘bad’. Logo designers that produce spec work must complete a large amount of logos in order to get paid for just one. This means that they must adopt cost effective and time effective practices. A designer who does mainly spec work might produce one hundred logos every day. This means that they will not put a lot of attention into any one design. They may use generic clip-art, borrow from other designers to the point of plagiarism, or even shamelessly copy. If you do the math, there is no way to make spec work into a career, no matter how talented you are.

This might be an acceptable deal for someone who has not invested time or money in their logo design career—that is, someone with no education or experience in graphic design. It might be especially attractive to people in the third world where exchange rates can make a small sum in the UK comparatively large. However, there is no way for a UK logo designer to make a living this way. Not only is spec work bad for designers, it is bad for the industry as a whole.

Is Spec Work Bad for Business Owners?

At first, spec work may seem like a good deal for UK business owners. Why pay for a logo until you see for yourself that it is right for you? However, logo design is about creating custom identities that will appeal to your unique community and customer base. The only way to accomplish this is to have a professional graphic designer work on your logo design—and to pay them a fair price for their time.

A professional logo designer won’t just draw a picture and call it a day. You will get a unique logo that will belong to you and no one else. It will include a colour palette and a font that will be an integral part of your brand. Most logo design companies also offer web design and stationery design services that can help you get a professional and well rounded brand rivalling those of the huge corporations you are competing against.

If you are planning for a successful future, it’s important to arm yourself with all of the right tools. A professional logo design and a carefully crafted brand identity are two of the tools that you need for success. When you choose anything less than an experienced UK professional, you are selling yourself and your small business short.