Are you interested in hiring an IDEA student to work on a design or illustration project?
We get many requests for our talented students to work on lots of different kinds of projects, both paid and pro-bono (design for a good cause, sometimes with no compensation). Here’s how to go about finding one.
Firstly, we don’t participate in “contests.” All IDEA students are members of the GDC (Society of Graphic Designers of Canada), whose code of ethics forbids what is termed “spec” work from its members. This is when a client will ask one or more designers (or illustrators) to provide a creative solution, but will only pay for the one he/she likes. Another word for this is “crowdsourcing.” We believe that all creative work has value, even creative from our first year students.
Secondly, we rarely incorporate external projects into our curriculum. Instead, these are taken on as freelance projects. Students do this to earn a little extra cash, or in some cases to gain experience if there is no budget and the subject-matter is meaningful to them (usually for a non-profit organization).
Here’s the process we suggest:
1. Write a “creative brief” describing your project. Be as specific as you can in describing your need or problem. Are you looking for design, illustration or both? Do you need photography? What is the end product – a poster, a cover illustration, a logo? Who is your audience? What is your timeline? Do you have a budget or are you a non-profit with no budget? Do you have colour restrictions? Do you have mandatory content, and if so, what is it? Write as much as you can into the brief so that the student can see exactly what you are looking for. Include your contact information (specify how you would like students to contact you) and include a closing date for expressions of interest.
2. If you have questions about what to include in the brief, or what budgets might be appropriate, please e-mail or call us (see Contact page).
3. E-mail the brief with “Freelance Brief” in the subject line. The brief can be written in an e-mail or it can be attached as a Word file or PDF.
4. We will post your brief internally where all students can view it.
5. Interested students will contact you directly. Sometimes only one student will contact you, sometimes several will. If none do, please feel free to e-mail us and we can talk to students directly. (There could be several reasons why students do not respond – it could be a very busy time in the term, the remuneration may be too low, etc.) At this point you can ask the student(s) to send you a PDF showing examples of their design or illustration work. Some students (especially in 3rd year, and sometimes in 2nd year) will have portfolio websites to look through. If you like the work of a particular student, you can go ahead and engage them. Please note that we suggest to students that they ask for a 50% deposit before beginning work. If you like the work of several students and can’t choose, please feel free to contact us with a list of students, and we will be happy to give an opinion of their particular strengths.
6. If you’d like to see creative submissions from several students before deciding who to work with, please agree to pay each student who participates a realistic sum of money for their time. This can vary according to your budget, but should be stated in the brief.
If you have any questions, please e-mail or call. Thank you for considering our students for your project.