When you’re in the process of choosing the best design agency to work with, it’s tempting to ask them to produce some speculative work to demonstrate their style and ability. However, there are a number of reasons why this isn’t the best way to approach an agency, and plenty of better ways to begin a productive working relationship.
What is speculative work?
It’s work you ask an agency to produce before you’ve hired them or fully briefed them on the project. The idea is to get a feel for their skills, style and speed - but it rarely provides an accurate metric by which to measure the suitability of an agency.
Why isn’t it a good idea?
Firstly, you’re asking an agency to produce work for free. While it might seem like a simple request to knock up a quick logo, design work can take a lot of time, focus and effort - most agencies will only give this up for a fee. You don’t want to get your relationship off on the wrong foot, and asking for free work can be taken as an insult. If you really want an agency to produce speculative work, be prepared to pay for it.