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

Probably Thinks You Can Get Minerals From Minecraft, Too

, , , , , | Right | January 27, 2022

I am talking to an older client who is unhappy with how a design has turned out, despite following his exacting specifications.

Client: “No, no, no! I want a gold trim! And in Art Deco style! Did you learn nothing in design school?!”

Me: “[Client], I know what Art Deco is. I went through several Art Deco examples with you and you decided on the version that is currently in the design.”

Client: “This is ridiculous. I’ll just go down to the photo shop myself and have it done!”

Me: “[Client], you’re welcome to take your requests to a photography store, but they can usually only do basic touch-ups to existing photos, not graphic design.”

Client: “You’re just trying to keep me as a client! Tell me where the photo shop is that sends you all the designs!”

Me: “I do all the designs myself; I don’t outsource to a—”

Client: “No, no, you always talk about the photo shop! Where is it?! I want to talk to them directly!”

The penny drops.

Me: “[Client], are you talking about the software I use for my designs, Photoshop?”

Client: “I don’t care what software they use. Just give me their address!”

Me: “[Client], there is no physical shop or store that does the designs. I do them, on a piece of computer software that is called Photoshop. That’s all there is.”

Client: *Pauses* “Well, then give me the name of the person that runs Photoshop! I need the head honcho for this!”

Yes, this client wanted to talk to Adobe directly to create his flyers for his flash sale on cocktail sticks and napkins.

We Weep For Our Students

, , , , | Right | January 26, 2022

I am helping a client design a sign.

Client: “I don’t like all those apostrophes. Take them all out.”

Me: “So, you want an intentionally misspelled sign?”

Client: “Punctuation isn’t important if the words are spelled right.”

Me: “I don’t think—”

Client: “I used to be a teacher; just trust me on this.”

This Is How You Make A Web Designer Scream

, , , | Right | January 25, 2022

I’m creating a new design for a client’s website. After the third round of changes, the client is happy and approves our new design. We code it and send the URL over for approval before launching.

Client: “Hmm. Looks all right. But could you try the logo a bit smaller and in the center?”

Me: “Sure, like this?”

Client: “Yeah, no, that didn’t look as good as I thought. Change it back. And could you try the sidebar in darker purple?”

Me: “Sure, like this?”

Client: “Yeah, like that! But now the content boxes look a bit bleak. Could you make them stand out more?”

And so on. This goes on for about seven rounds of editing (and about seven times I manage to talk them out of something). We get closer and closer to the original, until:

Me: “Look, you approved the design. Any changes are heaps easier to do in Photoshop than on the actual site with code. What are we doing here?”

Client: “Oh, sorry. I’m used to working this way. By the way, I talked to our AD and he had some good points. I’ll send them over.”

I receive a PowerPoint that’s similar to our first design but requires fresh coding and work. The back and forth occurs five more times.

Me: “All right. Like that?”

Client: “Yeah, that’s good enough, I guess. But we decided to postpone the launch until after summer, so just save it somewhere and we’ll pick this up in August or something. I trust you won’t invoice us since you haven’t delivered anything yet.”

You’re Not Dissuading People Of Their Native Opinions Here

, , , | Right | January 24, 2022

I’m meeting with a client for the first time to discuss a project.

Client: “So, are you—” *whispers* “—Native American?”

Me: “Yes.”

Client: “Wow, what percentage?”

Me: “100%.”

Client: “Wow. So, does that mean both of your parents were—” *whispers* “—Natives? Wow. What tribe?”

Me: “Navajo.”

Client: “Hmm, I’ve never heard of them. Is that like Cherokee or Muckleshoot?”

Me: “Navajo, as in the code-talkers of World War II. Ever heard of them?”

Client: “No. Weird. I’m really interested in this because I do Native American things, too. Everyone just thinks I’m stoned.”

The client then stood up and walked away. We never even got to discuss the project.

Maybe You Should’ve Just Hired A Model

, , | Right | January 23, 2022

Client: “Hey, can you retouch photos? I’ve got my album cover photo, but it needs some minor touch-ups. Zits and stuff.”

Me: “Sure, let me take a look.”

Client: “So, just remove that blemish on my nose and the zit on my forehead.”

Me: “No problem.”

Client: “Also, I forgot to shave, so take care of my stubble.”

Me: “Stubble’s not the easiest thing to remove—”

Client: “Ah, well, my sideburns and hairstyle could use some help, too.”

Me: “Well—”

Client: “And how do you think I’d look with sunglasses and different clothes? You know, this is getting ridiculous. Just let me see some options.”