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Isn’t That Stealing?

, , , | Right | May 22, 2022

Me: “This logo is very small and low-resolution. Do you have another copy?”

Client: “Here. I got someone to resize it bigger.”

Me: “If I print this, it will be very blurry. Can you contact the person who originally designed this logo for you and have them send you a better version?”

Client: “Actually, that logo we just got off the Internet. Maybe if you take a quick look on the Internet you can find a better version of it. It’s pretty simple. Or maybe just type our name without the logo. In italics, to make it look more modern.”

Smart Enough To Steal, Too Dumb To Stay Quiet About It

, , , , , | Right | May 20, 2022

Client: “I am quite disappointed in that print of your photo. I need a refund!”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear about your disappointment, but I don’t usually do refunds on prints unless the print was damaged during shipping. Can you tell me what is wrong with yours?”

Client: “Well, when looking closer, it’s all blurry and this big watermark is ugly.”

Me: “Watermark? My prints are signed on a corner, but there are no watermarks.”

Client: “Yes, there is one! It says, ‘[My Name], photographer,’ exactly like the ones on your website!”

It turned out that this “client” downloaded a photo from my website (about 1000 by 670px, with a watermark) and had it printed somewhere online at a far too big scale… and then wanted a refund on it.

A Bad Client In So Many Ways You Could Write A Book

, , , , , , , | Right | May 16, 2022

I am contacted by a potential new client looking to rebrand their book series. It sounds like a great project, plus the client is actually a small publisher rather than the indie author and that’s always nice to add to a resumé, so I take the job.

The actual design process goes well. I get the proofs done quickly, get them approved easily, and start polishing up the final design.

This is where the trouble starts. First, the breaks between responses get longer and longer. I can’t get answers to questions or approval for drafts for up to two weeks at a time.

Then, I suddenly get a response from a new person who says they’re taking over for my original contact. Okay, cool. I don’t need to know the inner workings of their company.

The new person is even worse about responding in time but puts it off on the author, saying that they’re waiting to hear back from the author about some details about color and image choices. At this point, I’ve filed this client away as “not the best, but I’m loving the project, so whatever.”

At one point, I don’t hear from them for eight weeks. My follow-up email goes unanswered. My second follow-up email also goes unanswered.

Finally, they reply with a one-sentence approval. I finish the project and send the final proof and an invoice. This is at the end of September. October passes. November passes. December arrives. I send a final follow-up and then decide to heck with it. They have my information, and they don’t have the files, so I’m going to enjoy my holidays in peace.

Come January, I decide to do a little investigating (just making sure they haven’t tried to use one of the watermarked proofs as an actual cover) and find that the domain for the company is no longer active. Their email addresses are linked to that domain, so now I’m concerned that no one has even been receiving my emails.

The company is an imprint of a larger publishing house, which lists my first contact as one of their staff members, so I reach out to her through an alternate email.

Two days later, I get an email from the marketing department coordinator of the imprint, very condescendingly informing me that she’s the person I should be speaking with and sending my invoices to.

Cool. Fine. I’ve never heard of you before in my life and you are neither of the people I’ve interacted with but… fine. Here’s your invoice and the final proof again. Approve it, pay me, and I’ll send you your files.

I finally get paid and I send the files.

Two weeks later, I get another email from my original contact… asking for the files. Insert banging head on wall here. Apparently, no one at this company talks to anyone else.

They need an e-book and paperback. We’ve discussed this, and I sent a JPG of the front cover for the e-book and a PDF of the full cover for the paperback. But there are different print-on-demand (POD) services, and I now learn that they need files for two different ones. This was not previously agreed on, but it’s a pretty simple matter of just inserting the design into a different print template, so I just do it and don’t argue.

Then, they tell me, “Oh, sorry, when we said we wanted [POD company #2], we actually meant its subsidiary company, [POD company #3].”

They use exactly the same templates because they use the same physical machines but okay, here is the same file; it just now has [POD company #3]’s logo on it, instead.

The client complains that they don’t want a version that has all the “extra” bleed room and markings that the template uses, and I explain that this is how [POD #2 and #3] require their files to be submitted. At this point, they have four different files, three of which are full paperback covers; one of them should work.

I hear nothing for almost two months.

At 2:00 am one night, I get an email that says, “I don’t want to be a pain, but you’ve given us PDF versions in the past. Can we please get that for this project? This is how we’ve always submitted our files and we want to keep doing it this way.”

…the files you have are PDFs! The original file without the large template I sent was a PDF!

This is the first time I’ve ever worked with your company. I don’t think anyone cares how you’ve “always” done it. If you don’t submit the files correctly, they won’t accept them. Period. But you have all the potentially workable files you might need. This is no longer my problem.

I send an email saying, “Dear Client: On [date], I sent you a PDF of the cover without any excess bleed or margins. If [POD #3] is going to accept the files that way, they should accept that one, as it’s the exact same thing as what’s on the proper templates, just without the appropriate layout.”

That was three weeks ago. I have not heard back from them. They wanted me to do this author’s entire series, but after this escapade, I am firing them as a client and will not be working with them again. Even if I charged twice my rates, it’s not worth it.

User Abuser

, , , | Right | May 13, 2022

I am hired to do the UX for a client.

Me: “Can I talk to some of the users?”

Client: *Angrily.* “I DON’T CARE ABOUT THE USERS!”

His users were gamblers and adult-website consumers. I kinda understood him, but the moment you’re hired to work as a USER experience designer, you kind of expect to talk to a user.

“Black”… “Bright”… Riiiiiight…

, , , , | Right | May 12, 2022

A client asked me to build a website with very specific colors (grey and white) and even gave me a website to base the design on. Then:

Client: “There isn’t enough color on the site.”

Me: “But you specifically asked for only grey and white.”

Client: “I know, but it doesn’t have enough color.”

Me: “Okay, we’ll tweak the original idea. Did you have any colours in mind?”

Client: “Let’s go with something bright and matching.”

Me: “Luckily, almost any color will go with white and grey as the base palette.”

Client: “How about black?”

Me: “…especially black.”