I had a restaurateur client who was opening a high-end restaurant in a converted historic home. As such, he wanted all of the branding to fit with the Victorian nature of the property.
I selected a color palette based on the paint and artwork they had selected for the space and scoped out some appropriate fonts. One of the fonts came with flourishes and other line art that I thought would be useful for them, and also came with a very elaborate editable AI comp file that demonstrated their use.
I modified the file to reflect their name and color palette to show how the various brand elements would look together, got it approved, and proceeded to design the logo elements.
After a few unsuccessful logo design rounds:
Client: I really just want that one image you showed us.
Me: Unfortunately, that’s not a logo. That was just an example file that came with the font. I shared it with you to give a general sense of the design. I can’t just use that.
Client: Well, it’s what I want. I don’t even want to see anything else.
I pushed back again and explained to the account manager who hired me that we couldn’t ethically use it, let alone point to it as any kind of work example, but she finally said “look, just give him what he’s asking for so we can get paid” and so I did.
Later, I found out that even though he DEMANDED this version, he was out there telling people that I had passed off someone else’s work as my own.
Sometimes you’re better off sticking to your guns, even if it means losing the work.