Monday, May 12, 2008

Self-Promotion Made Easy: Mayhem Studios Interviewed on FreelanceSwitch

Calvin Lee, Principal and Creative Director of Mayhem Studios, a small award-winning design studio located in Los Angeles, was interviewed by the FreelanceSwitch website written by Kristen Fischer, Self-Promotion Made Easy: An Interview With Calvin Lee. The interview discusses self-promotion and spec work with the designer.

The Studio would like to also thank Jeff Fisher, Jeff Fisher LogoMotives for writing about the Studios FreelanceSwitch interview on his blog, Identity Crisis. It's very much appreciated!

About FreelanceSwitch
FreelanceSwitch is a site for freelancers. Whether you’ve been freelancing for years, have just started or are considering making the switch, this is the place to get all the information and support you need.

About Kristen Fischer
Kristen Fischer is a freelance writer living at the Jersey Shore. She began writing Creatively Self-Employed: How Writers and Artists Deal with Career Ups and Downs during 2004, after experiencing many trials and triumphs while forming her copywriting business. She released her second book, Ramen Noodles, Rent and Resumes: An After-College Guide to Life in Spring 2007.

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Friday, March 17, 2006

No! (Re)Spec

There is a bad trend that has plagued the creative community for quite some time now. This trend is unethical and devalue the expertise and skills of Creatives as a whole, also known as Speculative Work. What is Speculative (spec) Work you may ask? It's when one is asked to perform creative services in exchange for prospective projects or employment. Basically, it's when a potential client or employer wants you the give them some free concepts and designs. If they like your work, they will either award you the project, hire you, or pay you. All concepts, artwork and any materials relating to the spec work becomes property of the person asking for the spec work. You will lose all ownership & rights to the works.

Why do you think the general public doesn't perceive design services or designers as valuable, like any other profession? Why do you think clients and companies low ball? Why do you think low salaries exists?

Students and novice designers fall victim to spec work, becasue their lack of experiece, desperaton or just don't know any better. In the end, they have cheated themselves and added to the spec problem. You wouldn't ask a chef to work on spec., would you? OK, I don't like what you cooked up. I am not going to pay you. How about your doctor on spec? I think not. So why would you ask a designer to do the same?

Another form of spec work, design and logo contests. The promise of great exposure, fame and fortune to the winner(s). What they really are doing is getting hundreds, thousands of free concepts and designs. Again you would lose the rights and ownership to your designs.

We need to educate and bring awareness to companies, businesses and designers, that spec work is not good business and wrong. One such organization getting the word out to the masses is the NO!SPEC Blog. NO!SPEC's conception was sparked from discussions on the graphic design forums. Members of the forum grew tired of all the spec work over taking the design industry. They decided to ban together and do something about it. I am proud to be part of the NO!SPEC Committee.

For more information, please visit

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About me

  • Mayhem Studios is a small award-winning design firm located in Los Angeles, California, developing identity and brand recognition for the business sector across the nation. The Studio uses strategic and creative design with effective messages targeted to the client's specific audiences to produce identity and branded collateral pieces, annual reports, brochures, logo design, advertising and interactive web sites. Calvin Lee, Principal & Creative Director of Mayhem Studios is a graduate of Platt College and serves as a member of the Platt College Advisory Board for the Visual Communications Department, NO!SPEC Committee and on the Creative Latitude Management Team.
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