I want you to remove the watermark from the picture attached and include it in the banner.A criminal.I want you to remove the watermark from the…
A friend tagged me in a Facebook post so that I could see an “amazing design opportunity.”
A local burger joint here in Alaska was running a contest to design their logo. If that’s not shady enough, their company name was a slightly altered copy of a national chain, and their current logo ripped off that company’s logo as well.
They didn’t even want to replace the stolen logo — they just wanted designer to place it on a background of “an American Eagle.” The prize? One $1000 dollar gift card — which I’m sure wouldn’t be worth much after they’re sued into oblivion.
Bonus: here’s some of their pitch, verbatim.
Client: We want to help create jobs in Alaska when Alaskans need job tge most. We hoe that our business venture will be sucessful, and we will bexome a publicly owned company. Our head quarter will remain in Alaska when that happens, and we hope to be able to support hundrds of jobs right here in Alaska.
Client: I want to use Helvetica or Gibson font in my logo.
Me: Great! We need to buy a license for chosen font.
Client: What!? So I have to buy fonts just to have a logo created?
Me: Yes, that’s right.
Client: OK, I’ll find another designer. I don’t want to buy fonts.
I haven’t done freelance design since I was a teenager.
The majority of the work I produced in my youth were embroidery designs, logos,
and websites. These works were for paid clients who were a joy to work
with. However, I was under constant pressure from my parents to edit photos and
do work for their own business at no cost. Later, I was even guilted into
designing a bespoke website, logo, and brand image for my sister’s cake
business for a paltry $60.
After years of this I had the good sense to get a degree in engineering, and adamantly informed my parents that I no longer do design work. I thought it would end there. Now, years later, my mother wanted a redesign for her website:
Me: Okay so how much are you going to pay me?
Client: I’m not gonna pay you for it!
Me: Then I can’t do it.
Client: You did it for free last time.
Me: I have my own house now. I don’t rely on doing work I don’t want to do for no pay.
Client: Okay then can you show me how to just take the code and use it? Isn’t there a way I can just copy their code and put my own pictures in?
She shows me her competitor’s website.
Me: Mom… No.
I explained to her that it was illegal to do so but she was insistent on stealing the competitor’s web design. The competitor is a stone’s throw from their own shop and they share the same customer base. She thinks no one would notice, “as long as we change the colors.”
When I first started out as a freelance artist, I came into contact with a small startup game development group, looking to publish a console game as their first endeavor. I was intrigued at first by their confidence and solid game concept, so I accepted when they offered to have me work on some of their assets.
Despite a few speedbumps, I tried my best to cooperate with the project lead and wound up creating a few assets that I was rather proud of, given the little amount of direction that I had. Naive that I was, of course, I created these assets before signing any kind of contract, though thankfully I hadn’t yet willed it away by any other kind of word. So when it came time to actually review said contract, I was displeased to find that there were no clauses therein that protected any of my rights as the originator of my work–rather, the contract pretty much explicitly stated that all rights of ownership and all claims to creation of these assets belonged to my client.
Willing to try to figure things out, I emailed my client regarding my concerns.
Me: Hey! I’ve looked over the contract, and while it mostly looks good there are a few stipulations I would first like to amend to the contract to ensure some of my rights.
I then included my stipulations in the email. Within about two hours, I had his response:
Client: Sure thing, here’s the amended contract.
Attached to his email was a version of the same contract with one of my stipulations added, though the other two were nowhere to be found. So I emailed him again:
Me: Excellent, thank you so much! But before I can sign, I’m afraid I need to be sure that all of my stipulations are included, again, just to be sure I’m protected under this contract as well.
Client: Nobody else on the project asked for this when they signed that same contract.
Me: I understand that, and I apologize for the confusion, but I must insist on these stipulations. A one-size-fits-all contract for employees of the company doesn’t work for me, as I’m a self-employed freelance artist doing work for you.
Client: Well, I’m afraid I can’t make any guarantees for you in the contract, but it won’t matter anyway–you’re already credited in the game.
Me: Thank you for the reassurance, but I need to have my rights specified in the contract in order to have any kind of legal protection in the event of a mistake or otherwise worst-case scenario.
Client: You’re being difficult. Nobody else had a problem with this. You’ll never find a company that’s willing to budge on this.
Me: I am sorry to hear that, but if you are unwilling to amend the contract, I cannot sign it nor can I allow you to use any of the work that I’ve produced for the project.
He proceeded to call me on the phone to try and persuade me through compliments to my work, and when that didn’t work, went right back to “informing me” that I would never find a company willing to assure me the rights I was asking for. After this phone call, I received the following in email:
Client: How about if I pay you?
When I declined the bribe to sign away the rights to my work without any guarantees of my own rights, he proceeded to curse me out and plead with me to continue working with him in the same email. I refused again, and I’ve never heard from him again since.
I picked up a call for a colleague working from home. The
caller did not introduce himself.
Client: Hi, can I talk to [name], please?
Me: She’s working from home today, you can reach her via email.
Client: Oh. Do you have her phone number, then?
Me: Sorry, I would rather not give out her personal number.
Client: Oh, sure… It’s about an estimate request, I really need to talk to her.
Me: Yes, she can be reached via email.
Client: Does she have a mobile number?
Me: Again, I really don’t want to give out her personal number to just anyone.
Client: Listen, I have three pretty big jobs running with you at the moment. I need to talk to [name].
Me: I understand that, so if you could please just contact her via email. If she’s willing to give you her number, great, but that’s not a call I’m willing to make.
Client: You know
what, it’s okay. I’ll drop her an email.
And with that he hung up. He did not then drop my colleague an email.
The website brief from the client used two sites as her main inspiration.
Client: I love these websites. I want a lot of the same functions and style in my website… but not a clone.
So I build the initial concept based on them: sleek lines, monochrome color palette and large amount of whitespace.
Client: Looking good so far, but can you make these three changes to the hero slideshow?
The three changes make it exactly like one of the sample websites. Two days later, she then sends me about a dozen changes that make the website look like the lovechild of the other two sites, everything from the image sizes, fonts, mouseover actions, button textures, and the format of the footer widgets.
Client: I need Grammar editing / proofreading of 250 pages. What’s the prise ? [original mispelling]
Me: I would need more information to prepare a quote – for example, an idea of the total number of words, the genre of writing, and a sample chapter or two. However I am fully booked with editing work until the end of July, so if you need the work done before then you would need to find someone else.
Meanwhile, I Google the guy and discover he’s a well-known plagiarist.
Client: Okay, what about a Fiction Action/Adventure book - 90,000 approx. word count? I need to be sure if you could help me for real, so I need you to edit a test section before I hire you. If I’m going to pay you 1,500 Euros for editing 200 pages, I need a sample correction first.
Me: As I said yesterday, I am too busy to take on any more editing clients in the next few months. You will need to find a different editor.
I didn’t hear back, but my freelancer’s senses were still tingling so I asked around. He contacted nearly everyone in the local editors’ professional association. My guess is that he asked each person to do a different “sample edit”, in an attempt to get his book edited free of charge.
The artists I’m friends with aren’t snobby controlling assholes. If you punish the person stealing your art you’re the biggest douche.via @forexposure_txtThe artists I’m friends with aren’t snobby controlling assholes. If…
We need to get photographs for our menu, but I really don’t want to use the photos we paid you to take - those are for internal use. Go onto Google and get some good pictures of food similar food to ours.The Director of Marketing for a major hotel/restaurant chainWe need to get photographs for our menu, but…