Client: Why is this font a different size?
Me: It's the title.
Client: Why is this a different size, then?
Me: That's a footnote.
Client: Shouldn't they be the same size?
Client: Make them the same size.
Me: So do you have any ideas or colors you want to use in the background of your site?
Client: Yes, I’d like a bulldog incorporated.
Me: Okay… Maybe we could do a silhouette? Or -
Client: I’d really just like a bulldog photo tiled over and over again in the background of the site. You know - to make it look sophisticated.
A skewed notion of sophistication from the Clients From Hell archives!
Client: I don’t like the T-shirt design. I’m going to want my money back.
Client: The logo turned out black.
Me: Well, yeah - that’s what you asked for.
Client: It doesn’t show up on a black T-shirt.
Me: You said it was going to be printed on a white or coloured T-shirt.
Client: But the black T-shirts were cheaper…
Me: I’m sorry, but I was pretty clear you needed to print on a coloured or white shirt.
Client: Yeah, I remember now. But to afford ordering more T-shirts, we have to cancel your payment nonetheless.
A head-scratcher from the Clients From Hell archives!
Client: Can you make it so when people land on our website, it’s, like, all black with stars coming out of the screen all whoosh whoosh (does the action) like in that screensaver?
Client: With the music from Star Wars.
Client: And it does that for, like, a minute, then stops and they have to click on one of the stars.
Me: Any star?
Client: No. No. A specific star that they’ll have to find–make it different every time.
Client: Then when they find the right star, there’s like a massive explosion that the site spins out of (does the action), like in the old Batman series.
Me: For your company site?
Me: The company that cleans up addicts’ used needles from parks and playgrounds?
Client: …Well, you’re not much fun.
Client was an art museum, for whom I'd done freelance marketing and design work. The museum hired a new director who is a micromanager. He took a look at concepts for an historic fashion exhibit that had been in development for months before he arrived... and figured his wife could do better.
He came back with her fresh, brilliant, innovative idea: KEEP CALM AND FASHION ON.
He couldn't fathom why I had never came up with anything so exciting.
Client: The address in this advertisement doesn’t stand out enough. Make it bold.
Against my better judgment, I comply.
Client: Now the hours of operation don’t stand out. Make them bold.
Me: If I make everything bold, nothing will stand out.
Client: I disagree, bold gets noticed.
To make my point, I bold everything.
Client: Nothing stands out here. Italicize the address.
A client was pushing me to, of course, "make it pop." Eventually I wound up in "teal and orange" land, a la Michael Bay - literally one of the most "popping" colour schemes around. It was hideous, but the client was relentless for the next level of pop.
Client: Hmm. Can we make it pop more?
I work as an editor at a production company catering to charities. A client had demanded a film be delivered in 4 days, from a standing start. It was rough, but with a lot of late nights and some work over the weekend, I pulled it off - and the result was worth it. The video was warm, full of heart and human stories, and it really showed the excellent relationship this client had with their service users overseas.
But good things don't last...
Client: We love the film! It really shows our strategic relationship-based approach...hey, that should be the title! A Relationship-Based Approach.
Client 2: No, that won't do.
Me: (inwardly) Thank god.
Client 2: We should call it A Relational Rather Than Transactional Approach!
I tried talking them out of it, but they were adamant. With those 6 words, they sucked all the joy and warmth out of the video.