After learning about an RFP issued by Ewings Cancer Foundation which requested that submissions include a 'series of design concepts', RGD's Executive Director and members of our Spec Lobby Committee reached out to educate them speculative design. We requested that they instead ask applicants to provide up to 5 examples of their work on similar projects.
We were pleased to receive the following response from Ewings Cancer Foundation: "Thank you for bringing this oversight to our attention. After conducting a review of the RFP in relation to industry best practices and standards we have adjusted our requirements. It is our hope that the RFP now complies with your practices and polices and will allow us to take advantage of your generous offer to help spread the word through your experienced design community. Additionally, we hope this ends some of the harsh (yet respected) criticism we have received from some of your members. Again, thank you for sharing your insight and experience with us. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions or concerns."
In turn, RGD published the Ewing Cancer Foundation's revised RFP on our website at no cost in order to help the organization identify a qualified design firm or designer to take on the project.
RGD's letter read as follows:
Dear Mr. Pernica:
I am writing to you from the Association of Registered Graphic Designers (RGD). RGD was created by the Ontario Legislature to govern its members and award the professional designation RGD to designers who meet our qualification criteria.
We have been made aware of The Ewing's Cancer Foundation of Canada RFP for the design of a new web presence. We are impressed by the RFP’s thoroughness. Unfortunately there is an issue with your requirement that submissions include “a series of design concepts”.
The Association’s Rules of Professional Conduct prohibit our 3,000 members from doing speculative free design as part of an RFP. This means that none of the qualified professional members of our Association can submit to the RFP and meet your requirements.
Design is a process involving research, creativity, strategy and client participation. Without going through this process, and without selecting a designer based on their ability and experience with this process, the designs that are developed will not adequately meet your needs. Just as you wouldn't let a lawyer develop your defense without he or she understanding the fundamentals of your case, designers must also be well acquainted with an organization if they are to develop designs that will embody it, foster recognition from among your community, generate excitement about your activities and raise money to support your cause.
We encourage you to remove this request, and instead include the following: Portfolio: provide up to five examples of your work on similar projects.
If you did make this change, we would be pleased to publish the RFP to our members at no cost and/or help you identify a qualified design firm or designer to take on the project.