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The Case Against Spec Work

The official position of the graphic design industry in general, including AIGA of the USA, GDC of Canada, and ICOGRADA (international), is that performing speculative design work is unethical and hurts both the client and the designer. In a nutshell, any type of graphic design work which is done with possibility of no payment (not counting pro bono) is spec work.

Want to know more? Here's some good resources:
ICOGRADA's guidelines for soliciting work from professional communications designers (pdf)
Graphic Designers of Canada - About Contests and Speculative Work
AIGA - Position on spec work
The No!SPEC Campaign - an online resource and petition
Articles by:
Jeffrey Zeldman
David Airey
Habib Bajrami

An Ode to Pacifism

The other day I had the pleasure of giving a reference for a friend of mine who was applying to be a missionary with MCC. The charity provided a form for me to fill out and I had to rate him on a number of characteristics. For the most part, it covered general qualities such as "Christian Faith and Commitment", “Creativity”, and “Leadership Skills”. Although I attend a Mennonite Brethren church I was a bit surprised at the priority they put on “commitment to peacemaking and non-violence”. There were no other doctrine-related topics they were concerned about, and that concerned me. It also got me thinking about my own commitment to peace, and the next morning the verse below came to me.

When “Peace!”, like a mantra, attendeth my lips,
Where death camps and genocide go,
When evil runs rampant and I fight it not,
It's not well in the depths of my soul.

I am normally against making parodies of worship hymns. I'm also normally against violence. However, I believe in certain circumstances there is a greater end that must be achieved, and it might mean that you need to endure the ugliness of war, or write lines of doggerel to make a point.

I believe MCC does a lot of good godly work. I just think they need to rethink their priorities. There are doctrines that should be deal-breakers when hiring Christian workers, and I don't think pacifism is one of them.

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Today's Headlines
Headlines courtesy of
  • Coptic Christians Flee Eygpt for US
    At PBS NewsHour:

    When Mary, a 29-year-old Coptic Christian from Minya, Egypt, landed seven months ago at Dulles Airport in Northern Virginia, many thoughts were swirling in her head.

    How would she fare in the United States knowing so little English? Would her brother and other relatives she left behind in Egypt be OK?

    Her motivation for leaving an increasingly dangerous Egypt was embodied in her two lively little boys, ages 4 and 7.

  • God behind retirement of former pope

    At The Guardian:

    The former pope Benedict has claimed that his resignation in February was prompted by God, who told him to do it during a "mystical experience".

    Breaking his silence for the first time since he became the first pope to step down in 600 years, the 86-year-old reportedly said: "God told me to" when asked what had pushed him to retire to a secluded residence in the Vatican gardens.

  • Coptic Christian churches torched n Egypt

    At Fox News

    Attacks on Coptic Christian churches in Egypt continued for a second day Thursday, the country?s state-run news agency said, as Muslim Brotherhood supporters torched a church in a province outside of Cairo.

    Egypt's MENA agency said supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi set fire to the Prince Tadros church in the province of Fayoum, where three similar attacks occurred on other churches the day before.

  • Will evangelicals rescue immigration reform?

    At The Atlantic:

    At a time when many believe the influence of faith is waning in American life, the White House's top second-term legislative priorities -- immigration reform, gun control, climate-change legislation, nuclear non-proliferation -- all depend on an active religious lobby. On immigration progressives and Democratic strategists embrace, to a striking degree, the central role evangelicals will have to play in any successful attempt at reform.

  • Follow pope online, get to heaven sooner
    At The LA Times:

    In an effort to lure the shrinking flock of young Roman Catholics to a more wired religious world, a Vatican court has ruled that following Pope Francis online and on Twitter can earn believers time off from their sentence to purgatory for confessed and forgiven sins.