Actual feedback from on a design job:
Client: The patterns are too pattern-y.
The scary thing is that I've worked with him for so long that I know exactly what he means.
I work in a publishing company. We make, edit and print magazines and different products for medical marketing.
A client (a big, multinational pharma monster) send us they design guideline. We design a fertility magazine, based on that guideline to the letter.
Client: Please, redo the cover. It doesn't have to look like we did it.
Me: We followed exactly what you told us to do in the design guidelines.
Client: Well, you should have deviated from those guidelines to deliver something more "us."
When I started out in my graphic design career, I accepted a project with a team focusing on marketing a rather abstract concept. They hadn’t done much graphic design or marketing work before for their organization. My first assignment for this client was to design a banner for an event - under some shaky circumstances.
Client: Sorry this is last minute, but can you design a large banner that we’ll print for an event that’s happening 5 hours away? We’ll have it printed near the event center so we can pick it up on the way there.
Me: Uh - well. I guess we could make it work. If you want to be in charge of the print logistics to make sure it prints how you want it, within your timeline. I can’t guarantee how it will turn out, but we can try.
Client: Sure, sure. I’ll go ahead and start talking with the printer about what they need and when.
Me: So, how would you like this banner to look? Besides the basic info that you sent?
Client: Just make it look on brand.
I had the Client’s font and a couple of main color options, but other than that, they didn’t give me any information about the overall vision or message for the banner.
I suppose they were hoping for the best, since most things just “happen on their own.”
Client: You see, what I find about you is, you’re very black and white, very to the point. You’re not creative enough.
Me: Right, OK.
Client: Meanwhile me, I’m like spaghetti, I’m all over the place and very creative.
Me: Oh ok. What was the problem with the videos?
Client: They say too many facts about the event. I want to SHOW the event.
Me: But the event hasn’t happened yet.
Client: You know what I mean. I want EXCITEMENT.
Me: The video is full of footage from previous events, though.
Client: True, but that wasn’t this year’s event. I want to SHOW what THIS year’s event will be.
Client: Do whatever you want. You're the artist. You know what's cool.
Me: Here you go! I think this is a really cool design.
Client: No, not this.
Me: Okay... this is an even cooler design.
Client: Still not it. Let me be more specific: if there was a song that encapsulates how I envision the look and feel of the design I want, it would be Beyond by Daft Punk. Especially like the first 45 seconds of the track, like it's an orchestral arrangement of the kind of music that plays when Mario defeats Koopa.
We were migrating a massive official correspondence database from a completely outdated system to one that was just really clunky but cheap. The database included protected personal details in millions of pieces of correspondence and our primary worry was ensuring that the new system was as secure as we could make it. We'd also decided on grounds of cost to stop storing the information on our own servers and use a commercial provider. As an end-user, I went along to the meeting where this was outlined:
Me: Thanks for explaining the new system, can you tell me where the servers will be located?
Client: There are no servers, it's on the cloud.
Me: No, there'll be servers, just not ours, but where will they be, and will they be backed up?
Client: It's on the cloud!
Me: The servers have to be somewhere. If we don't know, can we find out?
Client: It's on the cloud!
Me: The cloud's just a concept. I'd like to be sure we're not using servers based, say, in Russia?
Client: IT'S ON THE CLOUD!! STOP ASKING THESE QUESTIONS!
So I stopped. The Boss from Hell was the Director of Information Technology.
A client asked me to review his logo and make a complete new one.
A client was looking for a new logo. I gave him multiple versions in both rectangular and square layouts, each with 5 different type sets. They were designed in black and white, but I explained to the client that we could talk about the color once he was happy with the basic design.
Client: I don't like them too much.
Me: There are over 30 versions here. Are there any you like more than the others? What don't you like?
Client: I don't know. I'm just not feeling these.
I do freelance illustration and animation. This is a client I recently had, for your own sanity I’ve kept it short as I can.
Client: Hi, do you illustrate children’s books?
Me: Yes I do! If you’d kindly send a brief, sample paragraphs of what you’d like referenced, and sample art in terms of color or style I can get a quote to you by 5:00.
She then sent 34 images that shared no similarities and no further information.
Me: Okay, thanks for those but I need more information. Please refer to my last message.
In response, she sent about 30 Christmas themed GIFs.
Me: Hi again. Could you please send me a brief stating how many images you want, their size, sample paragraphs from your book and images you think best represent the style you want? If you get these to me soon, I can send you a quote at 8:00 am tomorrow.
Shortly after I received an email with butterfly photos.
Client: I like butterflies.
After that, a picture of a unicorn and more butterflies.
Client: I like the sparkles, but I don’t want this.
Then an email with a photo of a Shinto temple on top of a mountain.
Client: I like this too but not the Chinese building.
Client: Can you draw my characters into this tree with a rainbow?
Me: It’s after midnight. Can we pick this up tomorrow after I begin my working hours?
Client: (sending another photo)I like these sparkles.
Attached was a photo of a waterfall, no tree in sight. For the record she was a very sweet old lady who was willing to pay, just extremely difficult to extract information from.
The following is an exact conversation I had with a client.
Client: The measurements for the sticker are 35mm x 35mm and 85mm x 85mm.
There are 2 sizes you need to do for the sticker.
The shape is circle.
We can do whatever shape we want as long based on this measurement given.
Me: But you specified that it should be a circle, so we can’t do “whatever shape we want,” right?
Client: Any shape as long as is the measurement given.
Me: So does it need to be a circle?
Client: Don’t need.
Me: Just to double-check, you said that it should be a circle, but now you’re telling me that it doesn’t have to be, right?
Client: Don’t need to be circle.