Clients from Hell

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August 06, 2014
"I’m quite arty so I’m going to be really helpful… I want a Quentin Blake/Downtown Abbey blend with a touch of William Morris"
August 05, 2014

A client was dragging his feet on getting me the content necessary to launch his website. He told me he wanted to cancel our contract because he wasn’t getting the results he wanted from his website.

I emailed him back to explain that the website won’t start producing “results” until it is — you know — LAUNCHED.

I further explained that it isn’t launched until it is complete with his content that I still don’t have.

It will be interesting to receive his reply.

Client: I keep getting errors when I try to submit an email to the address you made me.

Me: Did you send it to

Client: Yes, but when I type that into my browser, it tells me it can’t find the page.

Me: It’s an email address, not a website URL - you need to use your email program.

August 04, 2014

As Chairman of the Art Department at a non-denominational Christian university, I sometimes get calls from people who want our students to do design work for them for “the experience” (meaning “for free”). They are always amazed that I do not allow my students to be taken advantage of that way. This is my all-time favorite request.

Client: I need you to recommend some of your design students to help me build a Naked News style website with an emphasis on financial markets.

Me: Sir, we are a Christian university. I would never have one of our students work on a pornographic website.

Client: Why not? Adam and Eve were naked, weren’t they?

Client: How could you write this script without a storyboard? 

Me: The storyboard comes after you write the script. It’s where you develop a rough guide for the visuals that are going to accompany the narration. It shows how the visuals will flow in the video. 

Client: No, the storyboard is the document where you describe the approach you’re going to take and outline the topics to cover.  

Me: That’s the specifications document.  

Client: Well, I call that the storyboard, and you didn’t write one.  

August 03, 2014


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It’s all 10%-off for the next 48 hours (Use the coupon “BADCLIENT”) here. Enjoy!

A client couldn’t understand why I could not take their low resolution and full color jpeg logo couldn’t be enlarged, converted to black and white, and made into a 9” x 9” screen print.

I explained that I would need a vector file - or the time to recreate their logo in vector format - as the current logo would print out pixelated. Her reply:

Client: Can’t you just take a black crayon and color it in?

Client: We gave you everything you needed, everything you asked for you, and you did nothing with it. We’re just wasting money on you. 

Me: Look, you can fire us if you want. But you didn’t give us everything we needed despite repeated requests for those resources. 

Client: Oh yeah? Name one thing you needed that we didn’t deliver. ONE THING!

Me: In an email we sent on the 16th of last month, titled, Things We Need From You for the Campaign Launch, we listed seven items that were absolutely necessary. You gave us half of number two and none of the rest. 

Client: You can’t even take responsibility for your failings. 

August 02, 2014

I was doing headshots of physicians for a local hospital.

Client: Yeah, this is no good. You need to Photoshop this one. He looks too mysterious.

Me: Mysterious? 

Client: Yes. We don’t want our doctors looking mysterious. 

I still haven’t figured out what they meant by “mysterious”. I ended up removing a few crow’s feet and that seemed to suffice in removing any “mystery”.

"I’d like to see more shapes."