Canadian company reconsiders spec selection criteria for new employees after letter from RGD
A graphic design student from OCAD University recently contacted RGD about a spec contest in which he was asked to partake, as part of a job application process. RGD's contact with the company's director resulted in a positive outcome.


Upon applying for a Graphic Design position at a Canadian pharmaceutical manufacturing company, a request to create creative work was sent to all applicants being considered. From this pool of spec work, a designer would be awarded $500 and an interview for the job.


This student, a non-RGD member, admits, "I am familiar with RGD's ruling on speculative work and responded to the request appropriately. I also informed them that I would be contacting you in response." With RGD's ongoing combat against requests for spec work, it is reassuring to see that the public, beyond RGD Members, is taking notice to these issues and reporting them to the association.


After being notified of the contest, RGD quickly contacted the company's director, asking him to consider removing the request for unpaid design work. The result was a quick response, ensuring that the company will avoid similar job application processes in the future, and instead will choose designers based on their portfolios.


If you come across a request for spec work, please help us spread the word by writing to the offending organization and sending along RGD's Spec Policy document and let RGD’s Executive Director, Hilary Ashworth, know about the situation via email at And get in touch at any time if you'd like to help by joining the Committee, sharing your own no spec letters or articles and offering ideas on how RGD and our industry can combat this exploitative practice.