Many years ago now I was doing some casual graphic design on the side for friends, mainly local businesses and bands. I didn’t mind helping out because none of it was very challenging.
An old friend recently got in touch via email and asked for a logo for the new website he was making for his video production business.
Client: I’d like it to be animated!
Me: Ok. Spinning, bouncing or something like that?
Client: No, I’ve this idea that’s really different, all the letters of the company name walk in through a door one by one, then the door opens and they’re all sitting around a table as the camera zooms in through the door into the room. Then it does a pan around all the letters talking about the shoot, then they all jump onto the table and reorder themselves into the site name and dance about and smile at the camera!
Me: Erm, you’re describing a pretty complex cartoon animation, nearly a short film. That would require using Flash or something like that, it’s a pretty major ask and also, that’s not really just a logo.
Client: No it will be a logo, just a really animated moving logo, and I want it exactly like that on T-Shirts and Mugs and stuff too!
Me: OK… Well, let’s start with something a bit simpler – see how that goes first, eh? That way we can iron out any technical issues that may occur before we commit to the whole “mini animated movie” idea.
I make a fairly simple animation in GIF form that has all the letters of his company name (not really a logo) bouncing in one by one and back again, and I send him the GIF via email to try it out on his website. A little later I get this call:
Client: I’ve tried it but it’s not animating, and it looks all weird and blocky and stuff too.
Me: Ok, well, how are you getting it onto your site?
Client: Same as always, I convert it to JPEG and then resize it to fit.
Me: Ah. Well, it won’t animate as a JPEG I’m afraid. It needs to be a GIF, and it’s probably blocky because of the resizing. Just post it the size that it came as and it will look fine.
Client: But I’ve always done it this way!
Me: Yes, but your site didn’t animate before, only a GIF will animate. A JPEG definitely won’t. Sorry but it has to be done like that or it just won’t work.
Client: But I’ve never needed to do it like that before! I want to stick with what I know, none of this GIF stuff, why can’t it work how I want it to work?
For some reason he just will not accept that this will not work, we go over and over it, he insists a JPEG is required to “work on the internet.” By this point, I’ve kinda stopped caring anymore so I just keep replying “It has to be a GIF” over and over. Eventually, his patience runs out:
Client: What programs did you use to make this stupid GIF thing anyway?
Me: Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, why?
Client: (defiantly like he’s tricked me) AHA! Fine! I’ll go make it myself now, and I’ll do it like I originally wanted it to be, too!
Me: That’s absolutely great, I look forward to seeing your fully animated cartoon with camera zooms and individually designed walking and talking letter-characters all dancing about in a tiny resized JPEG on your site, and I’d be delighted to see one of your animated T-Shirts or mugs!
I thought that was it over with, but then about a week later I get this email:
Client: Hi, I looked into it and those programs are really expensive, I only want them for one logo, can’t you just send me copies of yours and show me what button to press?