Client: Can I get 1000 copies of a book shipped to a convention this weekend? I haven't quite finished layout yet.
Me: So, you are new to the whole print on demand concept I take it?
Client: The layout will be done Monday or Tuesday.
Me: After the convention you want to sell 1000 copies at is over?
Client: Yes, we'd like to make a big splash at the show. It'll be awesome.
Me: Yes, being able to time travel to the future to get the final version of the book would be awesome.
Client: What are your rates?
Me: They're clearly stated on my website.
Client: Yeah, but what are your REAL rates?
Me: The ones on my website.
Client: Really? I thought everyone marked up prices online to make it seem like a deal when you give a discount.
Me: Maybe that's a sales tactic, but I'm not really in sales.
Client: Oh. Would you consider giving me a discount anyway?
I’m a freelance designer, working on a local businessman’s website. The client wanted 4 or 5 pages on the site, but never specified what he wanted on each page other than a title.
Me: In terms of design, I think I’ve finished everything you’ve asked me to do. Go ahead and take a look at what I’ve uploaded and let me know if you need any final tweaks before we wrap things up.
Client: Well I looked at it, but there’s no text on any of the pages!
Me: That’s right - you didn’t give me any content to put on the site. You wanted to do that yourself, remember?
Client: Well it needs something on there! Just write some stuff about my business!
Me: I’d be happy to add text for you, but you need to tell me what you’d like me to write. I don’t know anything about your business other than that you repair HVAC units.
Client: I don’t know, just like… stuff about my business.
Me: Okay… how long have you been in business? Are you insured, licensed, bonded, or registered with the Better Business Bureau? Do you have a business address or a PO Box number or anything you can tell me about to add to the site? What kinds of units do you have experience repairing? Are you trying to reach a residential crowd, or a commercial one, or both?
Client: I don’t want to give out any of that information. I accept credit card payments though!
I'd designed packaging for a client, and after final approval had sent the design to the printer with a greenlight to start printing.
Client: I had a second thought - could we change the wording on this tagline?
Me: No. No! It's being printed as we speak!
Client: Are you sure? It's a really small change.
I work at a Land Development/Management firm in Corporate Planning, but since I am the only one there who can also do graphic design (because I’m a professional freelance graphic designer in my free time too), I was tasked to do the annual report. I was their de facto Photoshop person cum writer. I started writing for the 2014 Annual report and doing the layout for it in December of 2013. I then submitted the entire thing in January 2014 to my then boss because I knew it needed to be printed and released during the stockholder’s meeting in April 2014. I waited two months, but got no reply, so I submitted it again, March 18th, 2014. Still no reply.
I waited for months, still no reply. I had assumed that they moved on with their lives and didn’t need it anymore.
Come September, my boss calls me into her office. She was holding another company’s Annual Report. She asked the other offices to get that for her so just she could provide some “inputs” to my design.
Then she asked me to redesign the whole thing, and sort of “copy” the look of the other company’s Annual Report and finish it in 3 days. As you can imagine, I wanted to kill her. It took me a month to do the previous incarnation and then it took her nine months to comment, then she asks me to redo the whole thing.
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Client: Your generation is so entitled and doesn't know the value of hard work.
This after I'd sent them a reminder to pay my invoice - literally what I was entitled to for my hard work.
And how his "deciding you don't have to pay on time" not entitled?
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?
Me: Okay, I worked all weekend but I think it was worth it. I completed the entire project to schedule, and personally, I'm really happy with the results.
Client: Hey, sorry, I meant to message you a week ago but I got sidetracked. We're going in another direction.
If that direction was "straight to hell," I would have applauded their foresight.