Stop Asking Web Designers to Work for Free

I received an inquiry via LinkedIn that started out extremely flattering in regard to the work shown in my portfolio which is why she was contacting me. This was from an actual LinkedIn user and business – I did my research on LinkedIn, Google, and their own website.

Their project request was quite involved:

  • “We need a completely new design of our logo and all branding.”
  • “We need a completely new design and build of our website.”

Sounds good so far, right?

And here’s where I started laughing:

  • “We are looking for a 24-hour turnaround on the new branding.”
  • “We will allocate payment of only 5-7 hours to the web project.”
  • “We will not pay a deposit – we will only pay if we like the new design.”

First off, everything about this timeline is unreasonable. It’s pretty unlikely that a good web designer can start a project now.

Who takes a risk of not being paid for their work? The industry standard is to get a deposit (typically 50%) before they being any work.

And to warn a designer they may not get paid at all… well, gosh, let me jump right on that! Not.

When contacting a web designer:

  1. Plan your project with reasonable deadlines.
  2. Stop expecting designers to work for nothing.