The idea of free pitching in the world of design draws a fine line between what is right and wrong by both the design and the client or commercial company.
When it comes to providing a ‘free service,’ which effectively is what most companies are asking for when they advertise a competition, most would think twice about sharing or giving away their ideas, time and final outcomes relevant to the design brief given.
However, in my opinion, I believe pitching displays an act of healthy competition. Apart from the minimal cons of the issue, I concern such competitions as a display of some of the talent that is out there, particularly for younger designers and those who are new to the industry and make not have the necessary experience to be noticed to the public. Winning a competition such as this would most definitely boost their confidence and largely benefit them as a start in their future career, possible leading to follow up jobs and soon after building up a client base.
The DIA defines pitching as ‘to fall or stumble, especially headfirst.’ I think that this statement does not take into consideration the full perspective of free pitching. For a designer, especially that of less qualification but just as much talent, free pitching allows for designers to publicly present their creative abilities with minimal stress and risk between the clients needs. It allows such people to showcase their flexibility and style in an environment larger than their usual client base or peer group they present their work to.
At the same time, the whole process of free pitching acts as a personal evaluation for a designer competing. Designers are able to come to realisations of their own strengths and weaknesses in relation to their work produced after they either win or loose the competition.
A gain in experience is also an essential part of design and pitching provides exactly this experience with real clients for the designers involved. Comparing their work up against others and their peers addresses them with evaluations on their designs. With this, they are then able to measure themselves, add to their strengths and improve their weaknesses.
In addition to this, the winner of a competition receives major benefits and the time spent on the work, I believe is worthwhile even though in most cases they are not getting paid. Winners gain a name and respect publicly, are able to add a recognized piece to their portfolio, often win a prize and may possibly receive other jobs as they become recognized and their client base develops.
All up, I do believe that pitching sets standards to designs creatively, although not so as much economically. I think with encouragement free pitching and such competitions can be held as benefits with the right control and attitude, particularly from clients towards the participating designers.