I don’t work for free. That isn’t a big surprise to you is it?
Speculation is any situation where you might ask a designer to do work for you with no guarantee of payment, preferably in writing. It’s kind of like a try-before-you-buy situation that may seem like a lot of sense at first….until you realize that this kind of situation may likely result in a bad experience both for you and the designer.
The designer has spent very little time invested in knowing about your business, and the result is usually that you get something that looks good to you (if you’re lucky) but doesn’t achieve the goal you set out to do.
I think this practice not only hurts the designers, but you’re hurting yourself in the process too. Think about it like this – you want a logo for your business, something that will remain your business identity for a good many years. Does it make sense to just randomly toss out a competition to let random people design it with very little understanding about your business, your personal goals, or your specific target audience?
Relationships with your designer is what often comes out with the best results.