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User Submitted Post

Clients from Hell - 7 hours 37 min ago

I work as a Graphic Designer at a print shop, and we do a lot of vehicle decals.

Client: I want our logo on both sides of the vehicle]

A day later I sent over a proof, he calls me and says can you flip the text on the driver’s side so it starts at the back instead of the front?

Me: Uh… 
Client: I like how the passenger side looks much better, can I have the text go from back to front?

Me: Sure, if you want to read the text in reverse.

Client: No, I don’t mean that, just make the driver side look like the passenger side, have the text read from right to left instead.

It took me a while to explain why that wouldn’t work

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The colour purple

Clients from Hell - 8 hours 36 min ago

Client: I would like the website background to be purple

Me: Ok, no problem. Are you able to send me the HEX code, a style guide or perhaps point me to a website with the same color purple you’d like to use?

Client: No that’s fine, just make it the same purple of a Jacaranda tree flowering in the summer.

Me: (contemplating life choices) …

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User Submitted Post

Clients from Hell - 16 October 2019 - 3:00pm

I’m a freelance editor. This project started off well and quickly went downhill.

Client: I want you to edit my memoir. There are thirty chapters.

They gave me a laundry list of things they wanted me to do, but seemed to have missed an important detail.

When I sent back the first few chapters with edits:

Client: I wanted this in third-person, why isn’t this in third? You should have made this change already.


First of all, it’s creepy to talk about yourself in the third person. Second of all, they hadn’t mentioned this change yet. Third, I literally stared at my monitor for five minutes before everything started to click together. I was horrified. This memoir — all of it — was written in first-person. All thirty chapters. You can’t just “ctrl-f” that change – it required revising nearly every sentence. I glanced ahead to the last few chapters, which were walls of text written in first-person. 

I probably should have noped out then and there, but the client had been friendly to that point and I needed the work.

Me: Uh… this is a major change. It’s going to take a lot of time.

Client: That’s okay, I understand. 

They didn’t understand. I tried my best but every day the client would contact me and flip out, accusing me of abusing their good nature, not doing my job, etc. Eventually, I got fed up and fired the client, luckily before I got to those final chapters (shudder). 

I’m still left scratching my head. Why would you write a personal memoir in first-person and think it would be obviously changed to third, much less expecting the editor to automatically do that without explicitly asking for it. 

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Email invite

Clients from Hell - 16 October 2019 - 2:00pm

Client: So we’ve got a big launch to promote to CEOs and MDs who we want to invite via email so they spend more money with us. It needs to be high-end as we’re targeting CEO’s but our budget is a bit low.

Me: Okay, let me put a proposal together and see what we can do with that. Which email agency are we working with on this one?

Client: Oh just send it to me, we’ll ping it out as a JPEG from our account managers outlook accounts.

Me: *facepalm*

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User Submitted Post

Clients from Hell - 15 October 2019 - 3:00pm

Client: I need you to design some cards.

Me: What size?

The client then held up their phone and traced the outline with their finger.

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Who cares if website is visible? It’s not in muh special folderz!

Clients from Hell - 15 October 2019 - 2:30pm

I sometimes flip websites on Flippa, a marketplace where sellers can offer domains and websites.

I sold a plain vanilla WordPress site and included free cPanel to cPanel migration for under 300 bucks last week.

After successfully transferring the website to him, confirming that nameservers were updated and updating WordPress user login info (to give him) , this is how things have unfolded.

Me: Okay, everything is completed now. I see that you accepted domain transfer few days ago and now I have confirmed that the website migration is completed. Here is your WordPress login information.

username: xxxx

password: xxxxxxxxx

Client: I can see the website but your installer placed it in the wrong folder so it cant work.

Me: Thanks for confirming that the website is up and working. Not sure what you mean by the wrong folder. The mySQL database and website files were all placed in the correct order/places, etc.

A day later: 

Client: I couldn’t reach you on Sunday after the files were put in wrong folder. So I tried to reset passwords to move them. You did not reply to me on Sunday so I had to hire a developer. He says he has to change the password so you can’t log in and screw up the website. He says it’s good you left a zip file there or the whole website would be gone! Anyway, my developer is reinstalling everything for me, the files, the database and the MySQL stuff was old as well. No need to talk to him, he’s overseas anyway, I found him through Upwork. No he’s not creating issues but just for some strange reason couldn’t change the WP admin login credentials.  

Me: As I stated the website was working fine yesterday. It’s alarming that the developer you hired changed the passwords. I can’t give you advice if I can’t log in now. 

Client: When you clicked on the domain in Cpanel under the domain, there was no long list of files that showed that are supposed to. Just 6 files, a backup of the website, two favicon files, the cgibin file, and one other file that had nothing in it. There’s supposed to be like 95 files showing when you click on it, then wp-content, wp-admin, etc. There was none of this, so this goes to show the migration was done very wrong. 

Me: As I have already stated, the website and MySQL were moved and everything was up and visible online. If I can’t login to view the Cpanel or WordPress, there’s not much more I can write here…

Client: You need to put websites in the right folder and wait until the migration is finished before starting to the other folder. Also like I said, what they installed was a sip file of the website, two favicon files, the cgbin file and one other and that was it. I have never seen anything like it before. So in all actuality, this would have been totally reinstalled anyway  Far as not getting into the panel, the developer didn’t want me messing with things while he worked on it so I had the Cpanel password changed.  That’s why me or anyone else can’t current login to Cpanel. I just wish you would have sent me the login credentials at the very start before you moved anything. But it still would have been the same since the site was installed in the root directory and not in the folder.

As for my access, I still haven’t been able to log in, as the developer is still processing the new migration, database and MySQL

Don’t know why you put it in the root and also didn’t use the correct http format as well.


This is over span of 3 days. Apparently his overseas developer is doing a migration even though he doesn’t have the source login info for my web hosting.

Current count of messages between the buyer and myself: 97. Of those, 27 are me replying to him. 70 are him lecturing me with incorrect information about how to do my job. 


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User Submitted Post

Clients from Hell - 14 October 2019 - 3:00pm

I work as a video editor and producer for a music festival, creating the video backgrounds to performances. It’s an unpaid internship I’m doing for college credit. The company does not provide me with any funding or access to equipment, or any libraries for stock footage.

I was asked to create the video that would play alongside a Star Wars performance by a symphony orchestra. I thought it would be a cool idea to show footage from the films to go along with the different movements.

Me: So did you guys contact who you needed to get permission to show the footage during the concert?

Client: No, we thought it would just be easier for us if you just create something without going through all that legal hassle.

Me: You want me to create a random video using stock footage for a Star Wars-themed concert?

Client: Is that going to be a problem?

Me: These people are paying to see a Star Wars concert, and you’ve already advertised it as a “multimedia experience with accompanying video.” They’re going to expect to see footage from the films.

Client: Well, can’t you just make it LOOK like Star Wars without the actual footage?

Me: I have no access to good stock footage libraries, but I can try.

I made a video as best I could using free video footage, and showed them the video. I couldn’t use X-Wings, TIE Fighters or lightsabers, so I tried to make it as space-themed as I could.

Client: Why is there so much space-themed video? Can we tone that down? We’re gonna overload the audience on space imagery if we keep it like this.

In the end, the audience payed to see a Star Wars-themed concert as the festival played a video that showed flowers, cityscapes, oceans, and landscapes. The audience was not pleased.

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It’s my banking details…

Clients from Hell - 14 October 2019 - 2:00pm

A new client required me to submit an event on a ticketing platform but could not remember the password. He changed the password and gave me the new details.

Client: Please note that this is also my banking credentials, so please don’t use it for that.

Me: Uhm…I would not have known that if you did not tell me.

Client: Oh…okay but just don’t use it.


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Add over 80 fonts to your toolkit for only $9!

Clients from Hell - 13 October 2019 - 3:00pm
Add over 80 fonts to your toolkit for only $9!

This week’s deal is on 80+ fonts in 32 font families.

> There are a lot of options here for one low price.


It’s easy to get stuck in a rut, design-wise. Some days it feels we’re all just working away in a Helvetica hellscape. Spice up your toolkit and get inspired with these fonts. Try Art Nouveau cool with Josephine, or inspirational with Amanda Santiago. Aim for rugged retro with Echomotors, or the dusty, forgotten upscale hotel lobby look of Lancaste. There’s plenty to explore here; break out of your rut and try something new!

To buy all these fonts individually would run you $459, but this week you can save $450 when you buy all 80+ at only $9. If you use one font in this bundle, it’s paid for itself. If you use two or three you’re laughing all the way to the bank. 

> Check out the deal here.

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User Submitted Post

Clients from Hell - 13 October 2019 - 2:00pm

I freelance as a kind of corporate communications troubleshooter, taking on projects for corporates who need specialist help.  I’ve been working on a program which is six months late, part of which entails a new logo design and associated collateral. After just a few weeks I can see why the project is so late, as the logo design alone goes back and forth with no clear direction and continued last-minute changes from the client. 

Me: Here are the final-final logo designs as discussed. 

Client: Great! By the way, I want them to be editable so I can make changes in future. 

Me: That’s…  not very usual. The logo should be consistent so that we build up recognition and people value it and the program. 

Client: But it may not work in all contexts. 

Me: Well if it needs updating later, we can ask the agency to do a refresh. 

Client: They charge too much. I just want to be able to do it myself. 

Me: They’re the specialists. Design work should be handled properly so the results are fully-realized and high-quality.  And they have the specialist software to edit the files. 

Client: Don’t worry… I’m getting Photoshop installed on my laptop.  Just be sure to get the original files from the designers.  

Me: Errmmmm…

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Classy & timeless

Clients from Hell - 12 October 2019 - 3:00pm

A start-up lingerie line came to us needing a brand re-work. Their logo looked silly and amateurish (it basically featured clipart of a bra), so we were tasked with classing it up. Their exact requests:

  • Young/fresh, yet ageless
  • Iconic years to come
  • Quality
  • Lightness
  • Elegance/refinement

After about 6 rounds they stopped responding to emails and never paid the final invoice. 

Some months later a few of us who were on their mailing list received an email that they relaunched with a new look. 

Their new logo is their name in lower case Times New Roman with a space between each letter.

You know. Young, fresh, elegant, and iconic.

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User Submitted Post

Clients from Hell - 12 October 2019 - 2:00pm

I’m working on an A3 sized poster for print.

Client: We like the layout, but can you use this picture?

The image was 250×250 pixels. 

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User Submitted Post

Clients from Hell - 11 October 2019 - 3:00pm

I work as an in-house designer for a media company. It’s not great. I’m underpaid and overworked and my job is to basically guess what my boss wants because I’m never given any briefs, but whatever.

Over the past few weeks, our internet has had a habit of dropping out randomly. It never lasts too long, and it’s not too big a hurdle. But on this particular day, it dropped out completely. 

We contacted the ISP to find out that we’ll be completely without internet for the day.

Me: So… do we go home?

Boss: No, keep working. You have a phone. Use your data.

Me: …Will you reimburse me for my data?

Boss: Just get to work. 

Great. It was costing me money to work here. 

I get that bosses cut corners, but when your entire business model revolves around sending files back and forth, invest in good internet service.

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User Submitted Post

Clients from Hell - 11 October 2019 - 2:00pm

Client: Please add a Column X to the spreadsheet and I will put in the data in there.

Me: Here is the spreadsheet with a Column X for you to add the data.

Months pass. 

Me: Do you have the data yet?

Client: Here it is.

Me: There’s no data in Column X.

Client: Was I supposed to fill in that column? I didn’t know what it was for.

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Followed my own advice… and it worked!

Clients from Hell - 10 October 2019 - 3:00pm

I have a media consultancy and have worked on many small and medium-sized projects. Clients give me their objectives, budget, etc., and I create an entire go-to-market strategy including media strategy, budgets, etc. 

I was contacted by this guy who had spent a dozen years in private aviation, then decided to “build an airline” to compete regionally. He complained that he had approached several big shops in NY but that they wanted too much money upfront just to talk. We agreed to meet for an hour in my office to see if there was a future there.

My first red flag went up when the guy shows up in shorts and told me he had walked from his hotel (a good 20 blocks away). So, OK, I decided, maybe a bit unusual, but OK.

We spoke for about 90 minutes, and everything he said sounded normal. So I relaxed my red-flag radar a bit. After all, Florida is full of unusual people with money.

He asked for a second meeting, but we could not communicate via email.

Client: My friends at the NSA told me that all my emails were being read by American and Delta.

Second red flag. Still, despite myself, we arranged the second meeting. When we did meet he started questioning me more aggressively.

Client: What’s going on the website? What influencer platform will you use? Who do I hire to create an in-house agency? 

Me: Great questions, but everything you’re asking is exactly what you’d pay me to deliver. I don’t have answers yet because that will take a bit of research, and even if I did have them I would need a contract before I give you those answers.

When I said this he looked at me for a second, stood up, turned around and left without saying a word.

My only contribution to this site: if your red flag radar turns on, listen to it. Don’t do anything out of desperation.

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drip emailer

Clients from Hell - 10 October 2019 - 2:00pm

I built a Drip emailer for a client. I delivered it and he demanded a bunch of changes – which was weird because they were actually all in the version I delivered. I tried telling him this but he insisted on version 2.

Me: Here’s the second version.

Client: Not bad, but it’s missing this feature.

Me: That feature was on the first version, and I confirmed with you that you wanted it removed.

Client: I didn’t agree to that!


Seeing the writing on the wall, I asked for full payment before making final changes. 

Client: What? Are you some kind of scammer? I will call the cops if you try to rip me off. 

After a whole lot of arguing, he wound up paying me half of my fee and I delivered the second version with minor revisions. The frustrating thing is that the first version was actually what he wanted. Basically I did twice as much work to make half as much because he couldn’t be bothered to test. 

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Business tips from a pro caricature artist: Julia Kelly

Clients from Hell - 9 October 2019 - 7:45pm
Business tips from a pro caricature artist: Julia Kelly

Balancing a passion for art and a talent for business isn’t always the easiest, but it can be done. Just look at Julia Kelly, who turned a part-time job doing caricature art into a full-time business that paid her more than accounting work! 

In today’s episode, she talks with Kyle about the lessons she learned in client management from doing caricature art (hint: understanding your client means paying attention to more than just what they’re saying), describes her path forward in a new business. 

Today’s links: 

Want to support the show?

Order a custom infographic from Easel.ly! Use this link (https://www.easel.ly/infographicdesign/) for a great price! 

Think you’d be a great fit for the show? Let me know at twitter.com/KCarCFH

Leave us a review on Apple Podcasts or recommend us to a friend. It helps immensely.

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Clients from Hell - 9 October 2019 - 3:00pm

Reading all these posts I realize that I am now not going mad when I dealt with a previous client.

Bit of background…I worked on the branding for a new boutique bistro making flyers, menus, restaurant logos, etc.

As an example, the menu designs were very simple, white background, company logo at the top and lettering done in a specific font and layout…easy right?

Most of the meetings with the “marketing and branding expert” went like this…

Client: We need some menus doing to fit in with the rest of the items you have done.

Me: No problem, send me the content I’ll set it out for you ready for print.

The client sent me the content, I put together the menu layout. 

Client: Looks ok, but…. can we make the logo a bit bigger?

I realize now this is a classic line for shitty clients. 

Me: How’s this?

Client: Bigger again, it needs to be the biggest thing on the menu, all my years in marketing has taught me that the logo needs to be huge!

Me: But then it will take away all proportion to the text and look hideous,

Client: Do it anyway then go to print.

I complied and got a batch printed.

Client: Hmm, is there any way of moving the text up a bit and making it bigger? The logo seems to be taking over.

Thanks Clients From Hell community for making me realize I’m not alone. 

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Clients from Hell - 9 October 2019 - 2:00pm

I do translations, editing, and proofreading for academic researchers.

A client approached me asking for a translation and editing job for a friend of hers. Turns out the “editing” referred to taking a full 300+ pages research report and producing a 25-page paper out of it.

Me: No.

Client: Okay, that’s fine. But we still need the final paper translated and edited. Can you do that?

I said yes, and sent a quotation and a timeline. They approved. 

It took three months before they sent me the documents. 

Client: Can you speed things up and lower the price?

Me: I can hurry things along, but I’m not changing the price.  

I delivered every stage a few days ahead of schedule, and yet she kept asking to speed up the job. When I finally delivered the final product:

Client: This was overpriced. I’m going to pay what I think is fair. 

A “Pay What You Want” client from hell.

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Clients from Hell - 8 October 2019 - 3:00pm

Client: The camouflage item is lost in the background. Please make it “pop” more.

The background was grass and mud.

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