The woman in this ad looks a little too close to possibly being Hispanic. Can you find someone more generic looking?The woman in this ad looks a little too…
I worked with a client that we all suspected was a bit racist, so when she needed some stock Halloween photography for a promotion I decided to test her limits and see how racist she really was.
Client: I need a picture of kids, or just one, but really cute and with a nice costume. I want fun and classy, ok? No tacky costumes or anything.
I showed her the first option, an eight year old Asian girl with a beautiful purple/blue monster costume.
Client: Um, no. She’s ugly.
I was already shocked, but then I showed her the second option, a five year old black boy dressed up as a superhero in a really a cool white and blue suit.
Client: Oh, no. Next.
The third option were two Hispanic children, ages five and three, dressed as a fairy and an elf.
Client: Ugh, these kids are disgusting. You know what? Just find me a picture of a pumpkin.
She really, truly believed that non-white children were “disgusting.”
She was fired not long after for unrelated (?) issues and I kept working with the company. She should count her blessings - I’m Hispanic, and she won’t have to work with someone as disgusting as me anymore.
Client: We’re in a really good place. We like what you’re doing with the articles. The board thinks things are going well, we’re pleased with our progress. But we have one point of feedback. In this article, the title refers “people of color” but the photo is of an Asian man. Are Asians people of color?
Me: Well, do you think they’re white?
Client: No. But are they people of color?
Me: By definition, any “person of color” is not white.
Client: Well, who decides that?
Me: It’s general usage, and typically it’s up to people in racialized groups to decide what they’re called.
Client: I see… but are they really people of color?
The couple in this ad looks ethnic. Not that that’s a problem! But could you do another version?Not a racistThe couple in this ad looks ethnic. Not that…
I was doing a photoshoot for a client who wanted a library of photos for promoting to their African-American and Hispanic customer. The first comment I got on the first round of photos?
Client: This feels too diverse.
The owner of a startup company contacted me to design his logo, app, and website.
Client: After looking at some of your other work, I think you’d be a great fit for my company. I’ve never worked with a designer before, but I do a lot of research.
He then shared his whole business plan PowerPoint with red text in all caps on a gray background. The plan seemed solid, so I overlooked the colors.
Me: So what is the timeline like?
Client: Well, I want it done in a couple of months so we can present to investors, and I want to add more projects on as we go along.
Me: Do you have any more details? I’ll need an idea of the scope and will have to outline the timeline in my contract before we move forward.
Client: Oh, I don’t sign other people’s contracts. But speaking of, I need you to sign this NDA since I told you my business plan. How about we just treat this like an internship? And what race are you? I want a diverse team to appeal to investors.
I declined. I later found out that I was the third designer he’d worked with that month after he fired a national firm and another freelancer walked out.
I was designing a logo for a client who ran a gourmet pork sausage stall at farmers markets in the local area.
Client: Can you please ensure that the logo doesn’t actually show any sausages?
Me: I’m sure I can manage that. May I ask why?
Client: I don’t want to exclude Muslim markets.
I designed the logo and he was very happy with it. I’m not sure that Muslim clients will start buying his pork sausages, but at least the logo was inclusive!
Oh, by the way! Can you design me an invitation for my Cinco De Mayo party? I’ll send you all the info. Just don’t make it look too Mexican.my mom’s friend
A client hired me to design a logo for their social networking project featuring a ring of people holding hands. They didn’t ask me to, but in my design comp I gave all the people different skintones because it just seemed, you know, normal.
Client: I don’t like this logo, it’s racist. Just make all the people white.
Me: In what way is it “racist”? We’re just being inclusive. I don’t understand the problem.
Client: It’s racist to draw attention to people’s differences. Just make them white.
Me: …and how exactly is excluding people of color and pretending that everyone is white any better?
Client: It’s just better, if all the icons are white then nobody will think about it.
Then he fired me on the spot. (Bullet dodged though, honestly…)