It’s funny how sometimes standing by your ethic guns may cost you money, but integrity I think… is priceless.

Recently, we had a returning client that absolutely loved our work on a very large project that took 4 months to complete last year. We spent weekends and vacation time mind you, to ensure everything was done and ahead of schedule and more importantly within budget.

A few months later the client came back to us for the exact same project for the 2012 campaign, but this time they wanted to have us (along with other design firms they’ve worked with in the past) do spec work to garner their business for 2012 — the best design direction “won” the project. Since all of the design firms came in at or near the same price point, the budget didn’t come into play, the one deciding factor was seeing “our creative vision” on the project theme before we were actually hired. This type of request just doesn’t fly around our design firm.

You certainly don’t ask DaVinci to paint the Sistine Chapel and if you like it you might hire him. (granted we’re no Leonardo but you get the analogy)

The question is — and to me it’s still a mystery — if you loved our work, were enamored with our customer service, thought we were reasonably priced and we hit or exceeded every deadline, then why in the heck are we even having this conversation?

If the work was solid and there were no hiccups and we have I dunno about 200 samples in our portfolio what is there to see that we can’t pull off?

We all know the evils of spec work and why giving your creativity away for free devalues your work as a design firm. In this case, it’s no different. We received an email recently that said they awarded the contract to a firm that provided graphic samples as they had requested — bottom line, that company was either subpar or they do not truly value what they design as a commodity.

It’s very sad that as a solid company you can be punished or excluded from a project for your design integrity. If anything it should be applauded and R-E-S-P-E-C-T-e-d.

Personally, that’s the price we have to pay for being able to sleep at night and knowing the true value of what we do as a company is not compromised by giving away our creativity for free.

We never compromise your value and either should you.

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