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A collection of client horror stories from designers and freelancers on CFH.

We’ll Just Pretend This Makes Any Sense

, , , , , | Right | February 4, 2023

A potential client from a huge corporate meat plant called me.

Client: “I need you to design tickets for an event.”

Me: “Great! What’s the event?”

Client: “I want to sell tickets to a football game, but this game is only in our minds; it’s pretend. You know how Mickey Mouse is only pretend?”

Me: “Yeah, I underst—”

Client: *Cutting me off* “It’s like that; it won’t actually happen. It’s a game between the ‘University Of [Meat Plant]’ and the [Actual NFL team].”

Me: “Do you have permission to use that—”

Client: *Cutting me off* “The event will be on August 32nd, and everyone will buy tickets to the game, buy T-shirts, the works! Since it’s an impossible date, the other team won’t show up, which means they will forfeit AND WE’LL WIN!”

Me: “No.”

Client: “Why not?”

Me: “It’s literally a scam, you don’t have permission for all of this, and you cut me off every time I sp—”

Client: *Cutting me off* “Please?”

Are You Advertising For A Kindergarten?

, , , | Right | February 3, 2023

Client: “This is the last ad we had made. The copy’s fine, but just look at how unprofessional it looks! We’re looking for something more professional.”

I make a slick new ad, and it looks great. I send the proof to the customer.

Client: “This is great and all, but… can you change the font to Comic Sans?”

Why Even Hire A Designer?

, , , , | Right | February 1, 2023

I had a client who wanted a menu designed for their restaurant. They asked me to take inspiration from some menus that Jamie Oliver used while giving it an identity all its own. I did some work I was pretty happy with, but then…  

Client: “I need this designed in Word so I can edit it whenever I want.”

This Job May Require Telepathy, Part 9

, , , | Right | January 31, 2023

I was working on character designs for a client and I was given vague descriptions to work with. Since I wasn’t given a lot of detail, I decided to get creative. When I showed it to the client, he got mad.

Client: “No, no, no! He has to look like THIS!”

At that point, he pulled out and showed me a previously commissioned piece of the character.

I’d asked for references several times before this point. I guess he hoped I’d guess right.

Related:
This Job May Require Telepathy, Part 8
This Job May Require Telepathy, Part 7
This Job May Require Telepathy, Part 6
This Job May Require Telepathy, Part 5
This Job May Require Telepathy, Part 4

This Is Your Client’s Brain On Drugs… And Then When They Wear Off

, , , , | Right | January 30, 2023

I have a client who makes requests at all hours of the day and expects immediate results. She calls me one night at 10:30 pm.

Client: “The slideshow on my homepage is going too fast. Slow it down.”

Me: “Okay. I’m just finishing up some other work, but I’ll fix it right away.”

After only fifteen minutes, the client phones again.

Client: “It’s too slow now. Could you speed it up?”

The funny thing is, I never even got to make a single change to the slider. I left the slideshow as it was and it was never mentioned again.