No More Free Pitching


Once again I have been asked to free pitch, a process that is both frustrating and very unlikely to deliver solid results. We end up presenting ideas that we hope will win over the client, but won’t necessarily solve the actual problem that needs answering. The pitching process rarely gives you the kind of client consultation required to gain the insight necessary to carry out a robust design process. It is less about rationale, research and creativity and more about blind intuition and the art of ‘guessing’ what will impress the client. It becomes a very superficial exercise that produces very shallow results. And we are being asked to come up with great creative ideas for free, so clients can effectively taste a few samples, despite our previous track record. The moment you free pitch you are compromising your integrity and you are failing the client. As designers, we strive to raise the bar for our industry, not only through the quality of our work, but through our practices and professionalism at all levels of the client-supplier relationship. If we show we are prepared to give away our ideas for free, what else do we have? It has been said ‘if you lose your integrity, you lose yourself’.