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

Not Exactly A Blossoming Business Relationship

, , , | Right | July 6, 2022

This conversation happened over a period of about a month, as it took them so long to reply each time. 

Client: “I need you to draw a picture for me.”

Me: “Okay. What will this be a picture of?”

One and a half weeks later…

Client: “Do you know the Chinese Cherry Blossom flower?”

Me: “Yes! What about it?”

Another week later…

Client: “I want you to draw it for me.”

Me: “Can you be more specific? As a logo? A header? A specific design?”

Another week later…

Client: “I want you to draw a Chinese Cherry Blossom flower for me.”

Something, Something, Forgiveness, Permission, Something, Something

, , , , | Right | July 5, 2022

I was designing an event poster for a client. He sent me a couple of pictures of the city the event was going to be held in for use on the poster. Some of them had watermarks, so I did a quick Google search, and (of course) they were the first five results of the Google image search for that city.

Me: “Do you have the permission of the photographer whose name and website are watermarked on this picture? If you just use a random Google image without permission, you can get sued, you know? If you really want to use them, I suggest contacting the photographer and asking to purchase them legally.”

Client: “I don’t know. I mean, is the photographer really going to find them? Can’t we just crop and resave them under a different name?”

I’d like to note that the client is a musician who frequently tells his fans to “respect the artist and not illegally download and share his songs.”

That Ms. Paint Sure Is A Rascal

, , , | Right | July 4, 2022

Me: “I’ll be making your 8′ by 8′ banner. Do you have any original files for the logos you sent over? JPEG images will look blurry when scaled larger.”

Client: “I sent over the logos!”

Me: “Yes, those are JPEG images; when they’re scaled, they become pixilated. What I need is the original vector format. The original designer might be able to help.”

Client: “I’m the original designer and I made those in JPEG!”

Me: “JPEG is the image format. I need the original format, like the Illustrator file.”

Client: “I did my research. You can just take a JPEG image and put it into Illustrator, and it becomes the original file.”

Me: “It’s… not the original vector format. What did you make these logos in?”

Client: “I made them in JPEG!”

Me: “No, I mean what tool did you use to create these images?”

Client: “Oh, MS Paint!”

Being A Different Kind Of Competitive

, , , , , | Right | July 4, 2022

My client is a residential and commercial painter with years of experience but no marketing history. In order to create a website for him, I give him a “homework” list of details to compile so that I can compose his bio, also include pictures of his previous works, areas of service and expertise, etc.

Two weeks go by and I email asking about his progress. Another week passes and he finally replies simply stating:

Client: “Here’s a link to my competitor. Just use what he has.”

This Idea Hit Like “Biff!” “Wham!” “Pow!”

, , , | Right | July 3, 2022

Client: “We definitely like the design, but we were wondering if you could provide us with a second version.”

Me: “Sure. What were you thinking?”

Client: “Take the same design you have now, but put the call to action in a speech bubble, as if it was coming from the talent. But! Make sure that the speech bubble looks real.”

Me: “You want to call to action in a speech bubble, but you want the speech bubble to look real?”

Client: “Yeah, a real-looking speech bubble. Not like the ones you see in a comic book or anything like that — a realistic speech bubble.”

Me: “A realistic-looking speech bubble? I’m not sure what that would look like.”

Client: “Like a real speech bubble!”

Me: “Like this one floating over my head?”

Client: “What? There’s nothing there…”

Me: “Because speech bubbles aren’t real.”