I am a (female) fashion designer. I create unique dresses, mostly for cocktail parties and weddings.
Me: So here is my quote for the cocktail gown that we discussed last week.
Client: Thanks… I understand the lines for fabric and other material, but what is the last line about?
Me: That’s for my design work and the time necessary to stitch and build the gown.
Client: I don’t understand. How does that account for that sum of money?
Me: Based on our initial conversation and preliminary design, I estimated X hours of work.
Client: You charge money for drawing designs?
Client: I don’t get it. Doesn’t your husband make enough money?
I was contracted by a local business to create a logo and a website; my client said that a mutual friend referred me. We discussed his project over the phone and he agreed to meet me at a local coffee shop to start work after the contract had been signed.
After receiving the signed contract and deposit, I tried to set up a meeting at our agreed upon location. He refused to meet at the coffee shop because he said it was too loud. He insisted that I meet him at his home at noon that day. I offered a variety of other public places – I didn’t know him, have never met him, and as a small female, I definitely did not feel comfortable meeting him by myself in his home (especially since his office was apparently in the basement). When we couldn’t agree on a location, he asked me to go ahead and get started on the logo. We would try again another day.
I sent the logo for review and, after a couple weeks, I received a response from him. He demanded that I meet him in his basement at noon that next day (by myself) to discuss the logo and the website. He (again) refused a variety of public options. I offered to meet him at his home when his wife was home from work and my husband could join us. I offered a Skype call with screen sharing. He refused both.
It had to be at noon. At his home. In his basement. By myself.
After we couldn’t agree on a location, he sent a series of angry emails cancelling the contract and demanding the non-refundable deposit back. Including this:
Client: And yes, my business is too important to me to discuss it in some, nasty, noisy, public, coffee shop…
And that mutual friend? I called him the next day and found out that he wasn’t friends with my now ex-client and that he had never actually referred me to him!
"I’m not sure what to think of this designer. His portfolio seems okay, but I’m like 90% sure he’s gay and I honestly don’t have the patience to deal with that in the long-term."
— A client who accidentally CC’d me in an email to his colleague after inquiring about a project.
"For the ad, use a stock photo of a woman or a person."
"Hey, that’s pretty good for a girl!"
"Does this rainbow look gay to you?"
feedback from a children’s daycare website
"Can you make the Washington Monument look less phallic?"
"As payment, I was thinking dinner at my place."
I was designing a female mascot.
Client: I want a mascot that appeals to both male AND female viewers!
I make a motherly figure.
Client: …. Obviously, she’s too fat. Can you make her look like a blonde Wonder Woman?
Against my better judgement, I do.
Client: Make her breasts bigger too! And let’s make those daisy dukes, and we’ll have her holding a shotgun!
"Nothing personal, but I don’t think you should be involved with the budgeting/financial part of it at all. Because you’re a designer. And a female. But that’s okay! There’s nothing wrong with being a female or a graphic designer."