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Pantone’s Doing it Wrong

Clients from Hell - 3 December 2020 - 4:00pm
After a lot of back-and-forth regarding the “purple” a client wanted their logo to be I invited them to the office to look at a Pantone swatch. They quickly selected a color.  

Me: OK, so you’re going with “Reflex Blue.”

Client: (stabbing at the swatch) No! I’ve told you I want that purple there!

Me: That’s the name of the color — Reflex Blue.

Client: Well that’s a dumb name for purple!

Look up Reflex Blue – it’s not purple in the least. But we were looking at the same swatch.

   

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The ol’ “think about it”

Clients from Hell - 3 December 2020 - 3:00pm

Client: I really want an example before I pay. Can you maybe do it so I can think about it and decide if I want to go for it or not? 

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Faded

Clients from Hell - 3 December 2020 - 2:00pm

At the client’s request, I added a fade to every transition of a credits sequence.

Client: Can we not have any fade on any of them?

Me: Done.

Client: Let’s make the bottom line fade in

Me: Done.

Client: Why isn’t there a fade on the section above?

Me: Added.

Client: Can we fade in the whole frame but make the bottom line pop on with no fade?

Me: Done.

Client: Why are we still doing this? I thought we said to make everything fade in.

Me: 

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<p>Client:  We’d like you to take a

Clients from Hell - 2 December 2020 - 4:00pm

Client:  We’d like you to take a look at this new computer model and write a review.

Me: I can do that.

Client: We’d need about 2,000 words.  We want a really thorough look at this machine.  Can you spend a week putting it through its paces?

Me: Sure.

Client: Also we’d like you to measure its actual speed and capacity versus the stated specs. You have the gear and know-how to measure all that right?

Me: I do. And what would this pay?

Client: Fifty dollars. And you’d need to send back the computer when you’re done.

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Working for peanuts/a pin and a shirt

Clients from Hell - 2 December 2020 - 3:00pm

I recently started doing some design work on the side. A friend of mine is in a band and asked me to design a logo. I was just starting, they didn’t have a budget, and it seemed like fun so I did it for free.

It’s been a few months since then, and they’ve actually had some success since then.

Client: Can you design us some merch based on the logo you made? We can pay you this time.

Their Idea of payment? A pin and a t-shirt with my design on them.

What’s the worst “payment” you’ve ever been offered?

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Figure it out

Clients from Hell - 2 December 2020 - 2:07pm

Client: I need this turned around by tomorrow.

Me: Yikes, that’s tight. I asked for feedback two weeks ago and haven’t heard back. Do you have that for me now?

Client: I don’t have time. Figure it out.

 

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At least he’s honest.

Clients from Hell - 1 December 2020 - 4:00pm

Client: When do I have to pay you?

Me: I’ve sent my invoice, so now.

Client: Yeah, but when do I have to start paying late fees? Until that point, not paying you is like a free loan. 

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Carrot cake, everyone!

Clients from Hell - 1 December 2020 - 3:00pm

I run a small bakery that I run out of my house. I posted an ad:

Me: I’m selling carrot cakes, 5 bucks each. Pick up at [address] between 9 am and 5 pm. My cell phone number is xxx-xxxx.

Every single comment:

  • Hi, what kind of cake do you sell?
  • How much does it cost?
  • Can you deliver?
  • How can I reach you?
  • What time can I get it?

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outDesign

Clients from Hell - 1 December 2020 - 2:08pm

Client: The formatting isn’t right.

Me: Oh, don’t pay attention to the formatting in the Word doc. The formatting will be in inDesign and just pull from this file, so it’s not going to look like this at all.

Client: Can you change the margins maybe?

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Happiness isn’t realistic

Clients from Hell - 30 November 2020 - 4:00pm

Client: Can you make the logo for my homecare business?

Me: Sure. What do you want?

Client: I want it to be sunflower themed. Other than that, I don’t really care. Just do your stuff.

Me:

I sent samples.

Client: Hmmm. This is too abstract. Make it more realistic. But also make the flowers look happy is the suggestion that comes to mind.

Realistic, but happy. Got it. 

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We like diversity!

Clients from Hell - 30 November 2020 - 3:00pm

I was developing a storyboard with several named characters, representing diverse ages and ethnicities.

Client: We like diversity, but the old people are ugly. Can you replace them with younger people?

Me: OK, here you go.

Client: We like diversity, so no gender-specific pronouns in the descriptions of the characters.

Me: OK, here you go.

Client: We like diversity, but can you change the character’s names so that they are all NORMAL? For example, the Asian guy should be named, say, Tom Smith.

Me:

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Feeling kind of blue/yellow

Clients from Hell - 30 November 2020 - 2:00pm

Client: Can you make this blue more yellow? 

Me: So, green?

Client: No, a yellow blue. What’s so hard about that? 

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Inspire yourself with 53 new gorgeous fonts for only $14! 97% off!

Clients from Hell - 29 November 2020 - 4:00pm

This week’s deal is on 53 premium fonts to cover all your design needs, and some of your design desires. 

Treat yourself with quick inspiration for all your designs!

There’s nothing quite like a new font to help get you out of the same old design rut. This bundle features 53 great fonts in 31 font families, covering a wide range of styles! Conquer coffee shop cool with Central Point, hop in the VW minibus style of Beach Paradise, and harness the staid dignity of American Favorite… and that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

Even better, if you buy today (Sunday), you’ll get an additional 25% off the already great savings of 97%

Check out the deal here! 

 

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Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Socially Awkward

Clients from Hell - 29 November 2020 - 3:00pm

Years ago, a client found my profile on a freelancing website and invited me to apply for his job, telling me how much he loved my profile and how I really sounded like I “got it.”

His job post was incredibly thorough, upbeat and positive and he made numerous mentions of how much he wanted anyone who worked for him to feel like family, love the work they did and feel like a valued member of the team. I accepted the invitation and we agreed to do a call to discuss project details. 

Client: Thanks for getting back to me! Pick the time slot that works best for you on Monday (London, UK time): 5 pm, 6 pm, 7:30 pm.

Me: 7:30 pm would work best for me.

Client: (On day of scheduled call) My voice is gone and I can’t make the call today. It wouldn’t be fun for either of us. I’ll write some questions and further information up later today so we can move this forward.

Me: That’s okay, I hope you feel better and will look for your message later on in the day.

The client sent your average five paragraphs of instructions and requests for the upcoming project and then asked to set up another meeting:

Client: We could get on a call on Wednesday at 4:30 pm or 11 pm my time.

Me: 11 pm your time might be best since I have an appointment in the morning. Are you sure that’s not too late for you?

Client: I’m not sure how my life is any of your business. How old are you again?

Me: I’m sorry, it wasn’t my intention to offend you. I was just trying to be considerate of your time.

The next day, after no response from client:

Me: I’ve thought about this project some more and I think it would be best if you found another contractor. Good luck, though.

Client: Honey, I removed your invitation for the project right after your immature message yesterday.

Me:

The title of his job? “Exciting Job Helping People Who Are Shy And Socially Isolated.” Because he was obviously very qualified to teach anyone social skills.

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Learn How to Do Your Job!

Clients from Hell - 28 November 2020 - 4:00pm

I’ve been a video editor for 15 years. I have a full-time editing position, but I also freelance on the side. I’d already edited a few videos for a new client who wanted to develop a long-term relationship and basically use me for all of his editing work. My contract states that half of payment is due after I send the first draft, with the rest due when they approve the final product. 

One week I was working on a video for him, and after I sent him the first edit, he put that project on hold and asked me to produce five logo intros ASAP.

He sent me 5 complex After Effects templates, and I turned around the first 3 intros within two hours. Basically, I had to resize their 200×200 logo in Illustrator, drop it into the templates, change some colors, and speed up some of the animations. No big deal. The export/render took the longest time because of the sheer number of effects in each project.

However, the other two templates wouldn’t load correctly. They required a third-party plugin that I had to install, and after installation, neither project would save or export and my computer ended up crashing several times. I’ve never had this problem before, and although I stayed up all night troubleshooting, I couldn’t figure out what the issue was.

Meanwhile, the client had approved the first three videos, and I explained exactly what was going on with the other two videos and how I was trying to resolve it. He finally (less than 24 hours after dumping the project on me) contacted me with the following:

Client: We don’t have time for this. I need this project turned around in two hours. I suggest you learn how to do this type of editing.

Me: I DO know how to do this type of editing, but as I’ve said, there are technical issues with these last two templates, which I’m attempting to resolve.

Client: Do you know how to make this animation? If so, just replicate it yourself.

Me: This is an incredibly complex animation. I CAN build it, but not in two hours.

Client: Then we no longer require your services. The quality and level of expertise are not what we expected. Here’s some feedback for you: Do your own research and learn more about how to edit. You do have potential, but we will not be continuing a relationship with you until you improve your skills. Also, we’re not paying you for this project OR the project you abandoned halfway through.

Me: OK, but you ARE paying me for the three intros I completed, per our contract. I obviously won’t charge you for the other two, but there were technical issues with those templates, which have nothing to do with my expertise or editing skills. You’ll also pay for the other project’s first draft, per THAT contract, as you were the one who canceled the project after I’d already given you a useable product.

Client: We’re not paying for anything.

Me: You WILL pay me because it’s in the contract, or I’ll open a case against you.

Client: I don’t care! In fact, I’M opening a case against YOU.

Me: Sounds good. I’ll go ahead an open my case now.

Client: Fine, fine, never mind, we’ll pay you! But we do logo intros all the time and have never had any problems before.

We agreed to a price, and I washed my hands of them. A few months later, they contacted me again.

Client: Hey, remember that first project you did for us? We’d like some changes, and think you’re the best person to make them!

Me: Sorry, I’m not interested.

Client: But we LOVE your work! And you have the files already. It’ll take like 15 minutes.

Me: Sorry, I’m still not interested.

Client: We will pay you DOUBLE! We loved working with you!

Me: I’ll be more clear: After the way you treated me during the last project, I have no interest in working with you again.

Client: Fine. We WERE going to give you another chance. But we’ll find someone else.

Client:  BTW, YOU were the one who couldn’t fulfill the job requirements.

Client: I can’t believe you’re still taking this personally.

I have zero regrets.

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Tricky tricky

Clients from Hell - 28 November 2020 - 3:00pm

A client hadn’t paid me in months. Luckily I had a contract:

Me: If you don’t pay immediately you’re going to start incurring late fees.

Client: All right! All right! Jeez. I’m putting it in the mail right now.

It didn’t dawn on me until later that all our transactions had been online to that point. Three days later I received a check – postdated three months later. 

Jokes on him, though – I deposited it in an ATM and the bank accepted it that day.

 

Ever gotten the best of a sneaky client? We want to know about it!

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GROSS

Clients from Hell - 28 November 2020 - 2:00pm

Client: Make it pop.

Me: Really? I’m using contrasting colors and sharp lines. I’d say it already “pops.”

Client: I want it to pop like a balloon. This pops like a zit.

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Birthday message from dumped client

Clients from Hell - 27 November 2020 - 4:00pm

I have this client who asked me to do him a website exactly like someone else’s, even suggesting that I copy their text verbatim “to be changed at a later date.” I fought back, but he would eventually insist.

This has been going on for months. I sent him an email: 

Me: Look, I don’t think I can continue with this anymore. I suggest you find another web designer whose professional ethics don’t prevent them from plagiarizing a site, because I won’t do it. I still think you shouldn’t, but if that’s what you demand than at least it won’t be with me. 

Several weeks later was my birthday. The client sent me a voice message:

Client: Happy birthday! Hey, thanks for being so patient with me. I haven’t been able to read the last few emails you sent me but I’ll get to that later.

I think he’s in for a surprise. I don’t feel bad, though. Who communicates via voice message and not email? 

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Badge of No Honour

Clients from Hell - 27 November 2020 - 3:00pm

Back when I started at my current job in construction, I never expected to use any of my graphic or design training, However, when our company started doing more charity type work eventually it got out that I was semi-competent with some design software and I became the guy who designed the posters/flyers/etc for client companies without assets. 

It was, and still is really enjoyable to use my skills to help, but one thing really sticks in my mind as a perfectly legal revenge story.

One of the first things I worked on was a mock-up poster for a local council. They were running an event for our charity partners. They sent over any resources they could find and it was a typical mash of some really low-res pictures with nonsensical text but I soldiered on.

After trashing my original artsy draft they settled on the mockup with pretty solid color choices and a nice clean layout (Which looking back I now much prefer). That was a good first step, but what you need to understand is that this was only a mockup to be finished later – the assets were unfinished, text was not aligned correctly, the works. 

As you can probably guess, they steamrolled ahead with the mockup anyway saying it would do, and it went to print. To this day, and with bitter glee, I still enjoy seeing they are using one of the assets I created for that mockup, the “high res” logo. See, it was actually a scan taken of an old newspaper, from back when they did a cover piece on the council.

I shrunk down a high res scan and used that as my placeholder for their logo (the original sent during the project was a 200kb jpg). But it still has the dots from the printing press visible, they rushed ahead before letting me vectorize it. 

And now, every letter they send out, any time they bill another company or provide a “high-res” logo copy, they send my 10-year-old newspaper scan. And, everytime I see those tiny dots I smile a little.

I could tell them. I could send the vectored one and tell people, I made that when I see it. But instead, I leave them using the crappy one and remind myself to use a watermark on any mockups. 

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How do we access the event we’re already in?

Clients from Hell - 27 November 2020 - 2:00pm

I contract as a project manager for overflow clients with an online event provider. The platform facilitates virtual events for corporations, universities, etc.

I don’t want to say this one university had low-performing staff, but on the event day, numerous professors messaged me in the event’s Tech Support channel asking how to access the University Open House they were literally logged into and attending already. 

I’ve added the school to the list of places I’d never send my kids. 

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