Client: I want the color of the site background to be the same as the picture I just sent you.
Me: That’s the picture with the distressed brick wall with peeling paint and graffiti on it?
Client: Yes that one. I want that color as the background.
Me: Do you mean you want me to make that brick wall the background graphic of the site?
Client: No, no, no. I mean just sample the color of the brick wall and use that as the background color
Client: It’s simple: just use the color sampling whatchama thing in Photoshop and then use that color.
Me: That’s not how it works. There are millions of pixels in that photo, each with a different color. The reason you like it is because of all those colors together create a pleasing effect, but even if I average a small area all you are going to get a some sort of brown or orange/yellow. It will never look like the actual brick wall.
Client: Just do the sampling and send me some of the colors, I’ll pick the best.
A day passes and I send him a few samples.
Client: Those colors look nothing like the brick wall photo.
Me: That’s what I was trying to tell you. You cannot sample a color out of something as complex as a brick wall and get the same effect.
Client: You just don’t know how to do it properly. I’ll do it for you and send you the color.
Another day passes and then another. I know this client has Photoshop, but has never learned it so very likely he is using Illustrator to do the job.
Client: I couldn’t get a good color out of that picture. But I found another picture of a brick wall on iStockPhoto. Use that. Maybe it’ll work better
Eventually, he had to admit that I was right after all. We have been working together for over eight years; you’d think he’d trust my judgment and experience by now.