Should you design for free?

I heard about a design firm that chooses one and only one pro bono project per year from candidates. They then do their best for them and try and make a difference. I like this idea of setting limitations. All the criteria come into play in the choosing – but they don’t do work for everyone that walks in the door. The candidates go on a waiting list until the start of the next year.

video about spec work

Just watched the 2-minute video (link above) and it sums things up pretty well. Part of the problem is we – as designers – are idealistic and want to make the world a better place and help people. That can lead to being abused if one isn’t careful in their choices. No speculation on that. I’ve lived it!
I’m wiser now.