Client: Okay! I'm about to check out for the weekend. Will this be ready by Monday?
Me: I'm also taking the weekend off, so no.
Client: I thought freelancers all worked seven days a week.
I both love and hate working with musicians.
Me: I'm pretty busy right now, this might take me 2, even 3 weeks at this point. Is that okay?
Client: Yeah man, I totally get it, what with the pandemic and all. That's all cool, we're not really in a rush.
About 10 days later on a Sunday...
Client: Bro WE ARE ON DEFCON-4 WITH THIS, we need it SOON!
I crank it out. Radio silence for more than a week.
Client: Sorry dude, mental physical and spiritual health week. No phone max chill total escape.. sent the stuff to the guys get back to you soon always nice to have options. Thanks again man!
Wouldn't want DEFCON-4 to interfere with Spiritual Health Week.
I have a client who won't use email (my preferred platform for communication), insisting on using Facebook messenger.
The most infuriating thing is he will never just write a text message to me in Facebook, it is always a voice message. They're always a full minute long, and sometimes he sends several at once.
He sent me a bunch on Sunday. It's bad enough reading emails on Sunday - 10+ Facebook voice messages are not okay. I will ignore this message to teach him that I have other clients, not just him.
I haven't worked full-time as a graphic designer for years, but still do CD covers, website graphics, posters, and print and web ads for friends in the local folk music community on a very low-key word-of-mouth basis.
I got a call last week asking for a simple update to a CD cover I'd done a year or so ago, as the client was releasing a single from the album.
Client: I don't need the design changed at all. I love the poppies we had, but I just want to change the photo we used because there's a field of different kind of flowers in the new music video I just made.
Me: No problem. All I have to do is replace one layer in the Photoshop file. What kind of flowers do you need?
Client sent a Word file with a dozen photos of flower fields and the links to the photos online.
Client: I can't decide between these and I don't remember which ones are free.
I copy and pasted all the links to see the photos, and chose three likely candidates. Client chose one and happily didn't balk at paying for the pic. I swapped out the new photo into the appropriate layer and presto! I should have been done.
Client: I don't know if I like the tall cosmos flower being on the right. What would it look like if you turned it around?
I mirrored the layer and sent it back.
Client: But now I can't see enough of the sunflowers in the foreground.
I Photoshopped another bloom into the foreground.
Client: I don't know. Now I can't see the tall flower because the song title is on top of it.
Which is why I chose the particular photo in the first place... it went very nicely around the typography of the song title. I undid the mirror and put it back the way it was.
Client: Where'd that other sunflower go?
I put that extra bloom one more time on the other side.
Client: You know what? The sky in this picture isn't as blue as the sky was the day we were shooting the video. Can you make the sky bluer?
I got a photo of a gorgeous bright sky with puffy clouds and drop it in behind the flower field.
Client: Oh, that's perfect! But you know what? I need to have the publishing info for the songwriter added to the picture. Can you fit that in?
I resized the ornamental text frame, erased some background to accommodate the larger size, and added the publishing info.
Client: I don't know if that's big enough. It looks awful small. The website where I want to run the ad has small ads.
Me: Oh, you hadn't mentioned that. What size are the ads?
Client: I don't know. I guess I'll have to call them and ask.
Me: I'll go to the website and download their ad specs.
I did so. The ads ARE small. I changed the publishing line. Everything fit and was legible.
Client: This is great. I just need to have the running time of the song in there for the ads to the DJs.
I resized the ornamental text frame again, erased more of the background to fit the new size, and added the song time. I should totally be done now.
Client: I need one without the time for the ads on the industry website.
Fortunately I never used the original for my working copy, so I still had the one without the time. I figured now I'm done.
Client: Maybe I should have the record company website in there too.
I went back to the one without the song's runtime, shoved some text around, and added the record company's URL. Am I done yet?
Client: Can I have the one without the record company website too? I might need that.
Like I said... I never mess up the original file. This is why. I wonder if I'm done?
Client: These are wonderful! Please send me copies of all of them in the right sizes for Facebook and Instagram and Twitter too. Oh, and you're going to bill me, right?
Why, yes, now that you ask. Yes, I am.
Client: Oh and one more thing, we need it done by this Friday now, okay?
This project was supposed to have a 3-week deadline, they sent the files a week late and now expect it done in 4.5 days?
Everything seemed perfect. A client I’d worked with before recommended me to her, she gave detailed descriptions of what she wanted the illustrations to portray, she suggested payment in advance because it was December and that would be better for her taxes and bookkeeping. I was more than happy to agree, expecting further details after the holidays.
January came and I’d gotten no information or any contact from her at all. She hadn’t even given me a deadline. I got worried and contacted her and we scheduled a meeting for the very next day.
Client: Did you bring anything with you to show your progress so far?
Me: I have nothing with me, no. I need you to give me further details to start.
Client: I’m not used to working with graphic artists. I don’t know these things.
Me: What sizes should I make the illustrations? Are they being printed? Who is printing it and what files do they need?
She really had no clue about anything. I got her to agree to print the illustrations through a printing company on A3 size paper.
Client: Great! I have to show these next week on Friday. Could you get them to me by Wednesday?
It was Thursday the week before. I was forced to work all weekend, and on the Monday I found out the printing company needed the finished files no later than Tuesday morning. I stayed up until 3 AM working to get everything finished.
On Sunday I received a single sentence email from the client thanking me for my “fantastic work”. I sent her a reply advising her to communicate more with the people she works with in the future to avoid misunderstandings and stress.
She never responded.
One client called my personal phone at 11:50 PM. He had searched for the number from an online phonebook, because I wasn't answering my work phone.
Client: We decided that we want our web page to live at 9 AM tomorrow.
Me: …Our first design meeting is scheduled for next Tuesday. You haven’t given me any direction or content yet. That’s impossible.
Client: Just put some pictures about our facilities and tell people how the process works.
Me: You own a car wash center. I’ve never been in your place, I don’t even know the address. And the other thing, I’ve never washed a car. I can’t do that.
Client: We’re losing customers if we don’t have web pages, so you have to so something.
Me: (frustrated): How about I send you temporary pages with some text, some photos and we replace them later with the actual page?
Client: Sounds good, let’s do that!
I put up a basic HTML site with a single text block: “I don’t work with people who call my personal phone at night.”
I was illustrating a picture book for a client.
Me: So when you say “nail” here, do you mean nail as in "hammer and nail" orr nails as in "fingernails"?
Client: Either or but let’s try the nail.
I was confused, but I drew hardware nails.
Client: Great work, but actually I want fingernails.
Frustrated, I redid it with fingernails.
Client: Actually, I preferred the other nails.
You know I actually have to draw these every time you can't make up your mind, right?