Teach clients that design is not just a commodity

As long as I’ve been reading Design Week, since the 1980s, the subject of free-pitching has raised its ugly head regularly. The stories and the arguments against are always the same, but, let’s face it, we are not going to stop this atrocious abuse of position while there is an oversupply of designers.

Explaining to a potential client the reasons for not free-pitching doesn’t register on the Richter scale with the uneducated. These people are not design buyers, but buyers of commodities, number crunchers who haven’t got a clue what is good or bad design.

We need to stop pussyfooting about and lobby for legislation to stop this – forcing companies to think about the consultancy they are commissioning would improve the design work that appeared in the marketplace.

Design buyers would think twice about the design process and how it works, the follow-on from this would be a more competitive industry, producing quality designs.

The legislation would have to cover all areas of free-pitches, ie, advertising agencies and other industries that also pitch for work.

But is this a bad thing? I think not, it would up the ante and make both sides more professional.

What is the Design Business Association doing about free-pitching? I always equate free-pitching with slavery, after all your working for nothing, and we abolished that hundreds of years ago. Or did we?

Roy Wylam


Kirk Wylam

Surrey GU24

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