I had a referral client for a new local sushi company.
When I met with them, they showed me a crude mockup of a fish with rivers and mountains. They wanted to use the river and mountains to tie back to a specific geographic region in Asia.
Me: I would caution you away from the mountain/river combo. We have mountains and rivers here and I think people will naturally associate those images with our local mountain and river rather than the one you’re referencing. Also, most businesses around here use a blue and green palette – I think you want to stand out more.
Client: Well, what would you do?
I quickly sketched something that incorporated a river but was more closely tied to the sushi concept (you know, what they actually sell). The owner loved it and gave me a deposit right there, and told me to get to work. He kept picking up the sketch, looking at it, and say, “Yes, yes. Exactly this. This is great.”
I worked on the logo, making sure to incorporate colors they’d chosen for their existing website. After sending them a couple revisions of the sushi/river concept that the client had loved, and making requested changes, there was radio silence for about 2 weeks.
Apparently, the client’s wife was not on the same page, because, suddenly the emails were coming from her:
Client’s wife: We’re scrapping the whole project and going back to the original concept. Mountains and rivers, blue and green. Here’s some clipart I want you to copy.
I did my best to convince her, but then sighed and emulated the clipart without copying it outright (she wanted me to copy it, but I wouldn’t).
Client’s wife: By the way, we also own an umbrella company, and we want to brand them together – so we need you to tweak this logo so we can also use it for umbrellas, and then another tweak for both businesses together.
Me: So you want one logo… to be three logos?
Client’s wife: Right.
Also, despite having designed multiple logos for them, they didn’t want to pay for any revisions, and wanted it all included in the original quote….for one logo….that they agreed on, and then discarded.
The kicker? Months later, they still have not used the logo on their website.