For a brief period I was working for this web development company for small to medium sizes business. This is a conversation I had with one of their car upholstery clients after I just received a package containing over 100 leather and fabric samples.
Me: …and was hoping you could elaborate what it is you wish me to do with these. Scan each and add them to your site?
Client: When I touch my screen, how come I can’t feel the difference between each? I want visitors of my site to be able to feel the difference between each sample…
Nowadays, employers seem to think that all graphic design work is done by software and that the employees are just doing data-entry. I’ve even seem job offers that refer to graphic artists as “computer operators,” rather than the trained and (hopefully) experienced professionals they are.
However, a few years ago, art directors and account managers had more respect for the skills of their artists. Well, sometimes…
It was a friday afternoon, ten minutes before quitting time, when the account team raced into the studio of a major ad agency—they ran right to my desk and dropped a handful of paintings and photos in front of me. “We need your help—but we promise it’ll only take an hour.” I understand about advertising deadlines and I was the “go to” guy when jobs were on the line. “Sure,” I said, “whatcha got?”
They showed me a completed illustration: a painting of a man in a rowboat on a lake, with the wake of the boat spelling out the name of their product. The also showed me some photos torn from magazines which were probably reference pix for the painting. Lakes, man in boats, that sort of thing.
"We commissioned this illustration," they explained, "and we decided we want to give the client another choice, but we have to ship the ad to the printer and we have no more time. We want you to reconstruct the illustration from these magazine pictures, but it has to be ready to release, so you have to make it really polished—and make it sharper and hi-rez."
"You realize, if I can do this, it’ll take about 12 hours, and no guarrantee I can make it look like a real photo," I advised them.
"Yes, you can. You have Photoshop!" The art director screamed. Meanwhile, one of the account guys brought my boss over,who corroborated everything I said.
"Listen," I said, "you have a finished illo, but if you really want me to do this I will, but I can’t have it done before tomorrow, and that’s if I stay all night. your illustration will still look better."
The art director blew his stack “LOOK—THIS WON’T TAKE MORE THAN TWO HOURS!!” And then he added “I’D DO IT MYSELF IF I KNEW HOW TO USE PHOTOSHOP!!”
“I’ve decided that the amount you invoiced us for is far too much. Here’s my thinking: We are paying you to come up with an idea — we’re not paying you for the time you take to think about it. The actual idea must only take about 30 seconds to think about as you come up with it. All these visuals, that’s just typing. I can do that in Word. It would take me 5 minutes. So I only want to pay you for 5 and a half minutes work.”—
After creating and delivering a website as requested I received an email from the owner of the business asking to translate the website.The email was originally from his partner.
"Hey [Owner’s Name] can you ask [my Name] to translate the website to at least 5 or 6 languages?, my son sent me a link to Babelfish and I think it would be a wasted opportunity if we only have the website in English. Seems that this could be done in a couple of hours"
I am looking for a web designer/ business partner to share in a wealth of profit with a potential for millions. With out letting the cat out of the bag I need someone to set up a website, paid membership, with a forum for posting. It must be able to handle hundreds of thousand of hits per day.
All compensation will be based on a percentage earned.
“Tell your designer he can’t leave until tomorrow morning, I may want to change some of the wording on the website. I dont want him doing it from home, as someone might hack him and see what I’m planning…”—
I went to your website and sent the email below, eight days ago, concerning an older theme you developed for tumblr. Here’s a lesson in business and networking for you. You don’t know who I am or who my contacts are. From my tumblr page and my email you wouldn’t guess that I ALSO have a masters degree in business, another masters in marketing, and a PhD in business, that my job is branding and marketing of top entertainment clients, that I have developed (or paid to have developed) dozens of sites for my clients, nor that my clients include Henry Gibson (deceased now), his son Charlie Gibson (the last Terminator film) or Zynga.
Now I know NOT to consider using you in the future for custom sites, no matter how beautiful the design may be according to your site’s testimonials. Design is great but it’s business, communication, CUSTOMER SERVICE and results that matter. Not replying to email doesn’t work well in any of those categories.
Client: “We will no longer be needing your services, you took too long.”
Me: “[after several timely rounds of revisions] I’m sorry, perhaps I don’t understand, but isn’t the timeline not complete for another two months?”
Client: “All we have received so far are proofs and concepts. We hired you to design us a logo.”
Me: “Yes, but that’s generally the end result of the proofs and concepts. If you are to move on, the invoice stands currently at $550.”
Client: “Since all we have received are concepts, we will only be paying you $50, since you seem to be a nice kid. After all, I’ve got a pirated version of Illustrator and could copy exactly what you did in about 30 minutes.”
Client: “We’d like to illustrate the power of our new product in the PowerPoint presentation. So we’d like to have a man in a business suit flying through the air with a cape, but we want the cape to be a screenshot of our website”
Client: “I’ve got this website, but could you put it on a CD so my customers can view it easier?”
Me: “They’ll be viewing it on a computer, right? Do they not have internet?”
Client: “They have internet, but this way if they want to view my material, they can quickly pull the CD out of their desk drawer and put it in the computer. This way if they want to show other customers my material, they can pass the CD to them.”
My current client just asked me to put pictures of .45 hollowpoint bullets next to every item on a list, and when the user clicks the link, it makes a gun shot sound. He’s not selling ammunition, he’s selling clothes and jewelry.
“I need a website. The information on the website is top secret, so I need it to only be up during business hours, as to avoid hackers and competition from getting hold of the information. I’d also prefer we hosted it on a Mac.”—
Me: “Ok, the bid is $2,500 what payment schedule works best for you? I can take a deposit of 10% up front and you can pay the balance on delivery OR I can discount the entire project by 10% if you pay the entire bid in advance.”
Client: “Oh, I’ll take the discount and pay it all in advance.”
Me: “Ok, well then I’ll get started just as soon as I receive the payment.”
Client: “Oh, I’ll pay you when it’s done. Don’t you trust me?”
Me: “Oh, I thought you wanted to pay in advance so that you could get the discount.”
Client: “I do! I’ll pay in advance once the job is completed!”
After designing a new brochure and preparing a draft copy, I went through it with my line manager. He highlighted (with yellow and orange flouresant markers) words and text that he wanted to bring to the attention of the MD for his final approval. We then presented it to the MD and asked for his thoughts, which were “I like it, and I like these bright yellow and orange parts. You should do that for every other word.”