Me: This brief is awesome, but there are a couple typos that I think may be misconstrued. Do I have permission to make a couple tweaks to it?
Client: No. Think of my brief as a strip club. Look but don’t touch. Thanks!
Wife’s affair and illegitimate child.
On an intake form, under “topics client wants to avoid”
Good clients can be hard to come by, and I’ve found one that not only pays her bills but also makes our working relationship entertaining. I’ve been working with her on a residential design project in another city, so we’ve been relying on e-mail for much of the coordination. At one point, this involved me sending photos taken at a local showroom for her to approve drapery fabrics. Roger, the showroom manager, helped by laying out large samples for us and preparing quotes.
Later, when deciding on drapery styles, she sent me this:
Client: I really like the patterns of the fabrics you have chosen and I would like to actually see them. I appreciate that they can’t be stretched taut like Roger’s showroom, but I also don’t want to feel like I am looking at Roger’s scrotum.
Another email came shortly after.
Client: Or, best case, his accordion.
A client requested I touch up their logo, but all they could provide was a business card with the logo on it. As such, I had it open in Photoshop when the client asked for status update. I took a screenshot of the logo on a transparent background (which appears as a gray and white checkered pattern) before I sent it the client’s way.
Client: This is great! I love the background.
Me: That background’s transparent.
Client: Checkered, transparent, whatever - I like it!
The client liked my creative flair so much that they ended up requesting a checkered transparent background for an advertisement they needed.
Editor’s Note: The client isn’t an awful person, I know. We have a section of the site (sparsely populated!) for stories just like this. I’ll make sure the next story comes from Hitler 2 though.
The following was sent from my client’s Digital Media Specialist on Friday afternoon. The subject line was URGENT: FOLLOW UP BEFORE WEEKEND.
Client: While I love, love, LOVE the new InDesign plug-in, I noticed that the icon that populates my deck doesn’t reflect our branding. The colors should be updated. Also, we want a more updated icon than a scroll – I attached our brand icons for you. Oh, and the name should reflect the brand as well — rather than ExtendScript Toolkit.
Me: I appreciate the thorough response, but ExtendScript Toolkit is the name of Adobe’s script debugger. It only shows in your dock when there’s an error to report. But happy to talk more Monday.
A salesman for a publishing company that specializes in pharmacy research journals came into the print shop where I work as a designer. He gave me his business card, saying he needed more but with some changes. He had several molecular formulas he wanted to add “because they looked cool.” However, the images of the formulas weren’t of the highest quality.
Client: Can’t you just scan it and make the changes?
Me: The background won’t scan very well, and there’s some text on top of it. Can you tell me what these formulas represent? I should be able to find some suitable images in order to recreate them?
Client: I don’t know what they are. It’s really not that important what they are. I just need cards by Wednesday so I look like I know what I’m doing.
It was a rush job, and I would have preferred better images, but he gave his approval and we met the deadline in time for him to attend a bunch of conferences and hand out most of his cards.
Curious, I took to finding out what the formulas were for. Turns out the client handed out cards with the formulas for cocaine and a variety of other hard drugs to a bunch of chemists.
This client isn’t from hell, but this situation certainly is.
I was working on advertising for a domestic abuse campaign. It involved a series of advertisements that showed a prepubescent boy who appeared heavily beaten. While creating the campaign, the client and I couldn’t agree on just how “beaten” the boy should appear, so I gave him a few (photoshopped) options.
While waiting to hear back, I ran into the client’s assistant as we were passing each other on the street. After exchanging pleasantries, we both went in separate directions – just as the client’s assistant realized they were supposed to get in touch with me.
Client: Oh! I have something to email you.
Client: We’re going to go a bit farther – we want more options.
Me: I’m sorry, I don’t understand.
Client: We want the child to be beaten more!
I froze on the opposite side of the street, which he took to mean that I still didn’t understand. So he began to mime punching someone.
Client: (shouting) Beat the kid more!
I nodded numbly. In response, he flashed a thumbs up before heading on his way.
Client: So when you were away, the girl I talked to said it would be much easier for your people to do the typesetting if it was all typed out in Word first.
She hands me a printed document.
Me: That’s great, but it would be much better if you could just email us the Word file, so you won’t have to pay for us typing it all out again.
Client: Oh, you’re brilliant! I knew you would come up with great ideas! That’s why you’re in this business!