The personal website of Chris Coyier

Spec Work and Contests

The two always seems awkwardly close.

Spec Work:

Please design this menu for us. If we like it, we’ll pay you for it. And maybe more work if you’re lucky!

Contest:

If you’d like, you may submit to our menu design content. The winner gets a prize!


Largely I think contests are fine and spec work is not. But what if the “contest” says:

The winner of this contest gets $50,000 and their work will be used on menus at a prestigious organization all around the world.

Hm. Now it feels more like spec work again. It’s being billed as a contest, but the prize is so enticing that you might as well be asking. And it’s the asking that makes it feel like spec work to me.