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Clients from Hell

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April 01, 2013

Via email: Can you call me so we can discuss how this advertisement should be animated?

Via phone: Can you put a typewriter effect on it?

That was the whole conversation.

A client of the company I work for got tired of paying for our design services, so they hired their own designers. According to their company’s rep, these two designers were “amazingly talented” and had “years of experience” that would help them do the job faster - and better - than I had ever been capable of. They were still going to print with us, they just wanted to use these “real professionals” to design all of their products.

The next day I got a call from the designers asking if we were able to work with Microsoft Paint. When I informed them that any print material should really be done in InDesign, the response I got was “Oh yeah, I’ve used that a couple times.”

March 31, 2013
"i know you know what time it is, bro! i lost my log in info to the web page again"

No joke, he spilled Red Bull on his Macbook containing the information.

Client: I want to do this thing on my Facebook page.

Me: Unfortunately, we can’t do that anymore. Facebook has removed some of the features we’d need to make that happen.

Client: But the article says I can.

Me: The article was published in 2011, and Facebook has made changes since then.

Client: Okay, so build me a new Facebook that can do that.

Me: None of the (300) people that like your page would sign up for a new service for just your store’s page.

Client: I’ll make them sign up. What’s the cost?

I quoted an exorbitant amount of money.

Client: Would you accept a share of the profits?

Me: No.

Client: But it would be very popular.

Me: No.

Client: Oh. Well, can you just put a new picture on my page instead then?

March 30, 2013

A client of ours was sharing one of our latest productions with their team leaders. The video was a huge success, and everyone had great things to say— except for one team leader who had an issue with a line in the piece.

In the video, an interviewee says, “We are giving kids a shot at the American Dream!”

Client: I just don’t like that like. It’s so violent— a shot at the American Dream? I am against guns, and when I heard that line, it just made me recoil due to the poor word choice.

Me: Don’t guns recoil?

I was building a website for a funeral home, and one of the sample screenshots was on an unclosed tab on my computer. 

My next client was a spiritualist, who happened to see the picture. She grabbed her materials and ran out the door. She said there was “bad energy” on my PC from the funeral home website.

March 29, 2013

Client: I need to get some postcards designed promoting a new luxury brand we a representing, but it will be a tight turnaround.

Me: Sure thing, send me the assets, I’ll get started today.

Client: We don’t have anything yet. It’s not been finalized - but just use this image attached.

Me: That’s a thumbnail image, it’s only 1cm wide at 72 dpi. We can’t print that.

Client: Don’t you have some tricks to make it bigger?

Me: No. Sorry. It’s just far too small I don’t think this is a good idea for a luxury brand.

Client: It’s all we have, just use it

Me: OK, but it’s not going to look any good. Here’s a proof. If you print it out, you’ll see what I mean.

Client: It looks fine to me.

Me: Did you print it?

Client: Yes, I looked at it in Acrobat. Please send me the print file, this needs to go to print tonight.

I know who these people use for printing and contacted them. They told me they also mentioned to the client that the image was shit.

Regardless, a few days later…

Client: I’m really unhappy with the postcards. The quality was substandard, and it reflects badly on us and on you.

I sent the client the transcripts from our previous emails, with my warning’s highlighted.

"Basically, this needs to be BLING. It needs to look like a piece of solid gold kitsch from the 80s that wouldn’t look out of place in Idi Amin’s palace in The Last King of Scotland. Something that if you told someone you’d loot it from a Czar in Iraq during the invasion.
Looking professional and discrete and British is not the order of today. Today the world belongs to oil-rich sheikhs who like to know they’re rich, and like to build enormous pointy structures which make the Tower of Babel look like a tiny sand castle made by a baby pygmy.
If you think it looks ridiculously over the top, that’s a good thing. If you then add even more stuff onto it until it collapses under the weight of its own awesomeness like a big, diamond-studded bubble…well that’s kind of where we’re going with this one."
March 28, 2013
The photo on Google street view is outdated - can you please update it so that it shows our renovated exterior?"

We’re working with a high end, big city clothing company who wants to showcase their latest products on their blog. They sent us the images in JPEG for their latest post, depicting a lady wearing their coat in a variety of poses next to a black door.

We added the images, saved the post, and sent the client a preview. The client approves, the post goes live, and we use the resulting posts in a competition on Facebook.

A week later, with the Facebook competition doing well beyond their projected expectations, the client’s business partner returned from an overseas trip.

Client: I’m not happy with the images. They’re not cropped, the model isn’t exactly in the best light (we didn’t take or provide the photos), and darling, people don’t want to see London real estate (referring to the big black door behind the model).

We crop them, touch up the lighting in Photoshop, and once again send the clients a preview before the edited post goes live. The re-edits cost us roughly five hours, a cost we absorbed.

Two days later, the same client who complained calls us. She wants the original images back, as she somehow just realized that the pictures are of her modeling the coat, outside of her house.

Client: …and I didn’t spend that much on a place in London not to show it off. Really, it should only help the business and my modeling career to have them bigger, and while we’re at it, less cropped.


I’ll expect the RAW files as well - my partner deleted them for some reason.

After checking in with the partner, he admitted to her that he had never sent us the RAW files. He then told us that she had demanded he delete the RAW files not send them to anyone, lest someone unscrupulous plaster her face on a porn star.