Questions about dealing with clients, what to expect, demand, wish for, and better communication.

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30
votes
7answers
2k views

How can I convince a stubborn client that white space is absolutely necessary?

We have all been there: you show a client your design and they say "look at all that unused space, we can go ahead and make the text bigger, in fact let me give you more copy. We need to make use of ...
27
votes
10answers
5k views

How can a designer explain their work to non-creative people?

One issue I face personally is how can I, as a designer, effectively explain my work to potential clients or people that do not have a creative side. I know how to explain what software or process was ...
23
votes
7answers
5k views

How do you deal with clients who bash your designs?

This has happened to me a few times, in bigger or smaller scale, and I think it happens to many of us. We as designers have the pleasure/curse of leaving quite a bit of us in every design. When ...
22
votes
15answers
6k views

How do you explain the value of native files to an uneducated client?

If you design a piece for print. It gets reproduced several times over the course of a few years. Then the client doesn't return for any work for a few more years. And suddenly you are contacted ...
21
votes
6answers
10k views

What do I do when I quote a price for a design but the client keeps asking for revisions and redesigns?

I'm a freelance graphic designer, so mostly, my pricing and what not is pretty casual and I don't work 24/7 as I have other things to take care of, so when I quote someone, I figure out how long it ...
19
votes
7answers
7k views

How to answer the ever-present 'make the logo bigger'?

Just like most of us, I regularly face the client desire to 'make the logo bigger'. Especially in web designs, clients want to inflate their logos to ridiculous sizes. How do I effectively counter ...
19
votes
6answers
3k views

What is the 'John Doe' of company names and logos?

I need to communicate a instruction about a technique converting a company name into a logo. I don't want to show real world examples. Because it needs to be obvious that the person following the ...
18
votes
4answers
2k views

How to explain to a client that their logo is incredibly poor

What is the best way to explain to a client that their logo is incredibly poor and amateurish when they seem to like it? They want to spend a fair bit of time and money developing new ...
16
votes
6answers
3k views

How to deal with vague comments about a design from my clients and boss?

I am the only qualified designer in the company I work for, and I struggle with someone higher up the food chain, who has no experience in graphic design, who doesn't know current trends or anything ...
16
votes
3answers
749 views

Bill a client for a design error?

A regular client of 3 years typically orders prints from us quarterly came in over a week ago with an order. Sometimes this client comes in with the designs and sometimes we do the designs in house. ...
16
votes
6answers
5k views

Should I ask for client's budget before the initial first meeting?

First of all, is it a good idea to ask a a potential client for a ballpark budget they are thinking to work with? I just don't want to meet with somebody who has a very low budget, and who could be ...
14
votes
5answers
840 views

In what cases should I pay attention to my design's colour scheme when presenting it? When I do, what is a good way to do so?

Although I have little problems creating a colour palette for my designs, I do find it very difficult to present them to my customers. When I do, I mostly get either blank stares or micromanagement ...
13
votes
9answers
5k views

Should I ask for payment for my logo and website design when I delivered them late?

I have designed a logo and a website for a company. Because I took a little longer than usual (3 weeks), they are talking about hiring someone else. I delivered the designs, (10 Logo Designs with at ...
13
votes
4answers
3k views

Should I mention rush fees in my quote?

I've had a new client request a web site in 2 weeks. Not only I already find that pretty quick but I'm totally loaded so I charged a rush fee that I was comfortable with. I wrote the rush fee in my ...
12
votes
2answers
897 views

How can I write requirements for a graphic designer?

A friend of mine is in need of some graphic design work. I'm trying to explain to him that his make-me-something-like-X-but-different-approach is not a very good way to communicate his needs. We tried ...
11
votes
2answers
931 views

What to do when a client cancels the deal but uses your concept?

Hello fellow designers, Some time ago, a client requested me a logo design for his new company. After I showed him some rough concepts, we came to an agreement on what the final logo should look ...
11
votes
4answers
552 views

How should I handle a client when they ask for my opinion about another designer's work?

I met a client that currently works with a designer whom I don't know - the client showed me his new logo and asked my opinion about it. I answered that I don't like "grey on grey background". That's ...
11
votes
3answers
441 views

How should you web design with foreign typography

Some web design and development projects client's will request capabilities for a foreign translation in their site. How can you account for this and what are some good practices for content ...
10
votes
4answers
378 views

Best practices for client presentation when not face to face

When presenting a project to a client, I like to walk them through stages. This helps me limit their perception to a specific path of design and tends to go a long way to helping them understand ...
10
votes
4answers
997 views

How can I explain to my client that more than two fonts in a logo is a bad idea?

I created a logo using an M & C from Moonhouse font. I modified them letters to suit their brand, but the basic shape is still recognizable. The company name is in Goodtimes font, to indicate that ...
9
votes
3answers
830 views

Who is responsible for text mistakes in a print project?

I am a graphic designer and my project was to design and print a cocktail catalog. Everything worked fine till the client realized, when I delivered the printed catalogs, that a cocktailĪ„s description ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

How to convince a client to have their logo redesigned?

My current client have requested a full campaign, brochures, website, all material except they have requested that the logo stays the same. They are a relatively mid-sized company, and have had the ...
8
votes
10answers
2k views

How can I work with a client that doesn't know what they want?

Hi all the professional out there, I am helping a client/friend with a website design. He is a conceptual thinker. Yet his ideas are always inspirational but not practical. He is always wanting a ...
8
votes
4answers
689 views

How to request vector source files after a job is complete?

I am an office manager for a security company. When I was first hired on, my boss had a friend of a friend that he used to do the business cards and letterhead. They designed it, but used a logo that ...
8
votes
2answers
147 views

What questions should be included in a design brief?

I've recently come across the concept of the design brief as something that the designer generates to the client in order to fully comprehend the scope of the task and to minimize the amount of ...
8
votes
7answers
555 views

What are some good ways to gain practical experience to add to my portfolio?

I passed the ACE exams for InDesign and Photoshop a few months ago, but I am stumbling on how to get practical experience. I have a couple of years of news page design, and a very small number of ...
7
votes
4answers
3k views

Which is a better design pricing model?

I'm curious which pricing model other feel best fits freelance design, in what situations, and why. I am not seeking dollar values. There are a few basic pricing models a freelancer can use: ...
7
votes
2answers
262 views

Is there a graphic design specification system?

Is there a commonly used design specification system to present a graphic design to a customer before we start the implementation? My challenge is specifically on mailings (PDF A4, HTML sent per ...
7
votes
4answers
685 views

If/When to stop asking a client for clarification and just design

I am an in-house designer for a small tech start-up business. I create all of their advertising materials. This is an issue I've run into many times with my point of contact from whom I get the ...
7
votes
2answers
295 views

Do any resources exist for designers to help improve their communication skills to clients

I understand that communication between client and designer is very crucial and it will set the tone for possible work and whether you may ruin your rep. That said I would like to improve my ...
7
votes
2answers
816 views

What is a good systematic approach to increasing the rates I charge?

In the past year, I have been getting more and more freelance projects along with my work as a graphic design teacher. I've been working in the graphic design field 10+ years. Because these contracts ...
7
votes
2answers
140 views

Is there a term for 'reference-marker symbols'?

While this is loosely graphic-design related, when doing design for some kind of annotations, one have to work with symbols used as 'reference markers', such as 1 in foo 1. When you need to discuss ...
6
votes
4answers
748 views

What can a designer do if a client claims that the work delivered is unacceptable and refuses to pay?

I recently had an experience with a client that was a bit messy, and now they don't want to pay for the work I did. They needed some presentation decks, one of which needed to be editable (text to ...
6
votes
6answers
6k views

How to describe/talk like a designer?

I am a front end web developer. I tend to mostly deal with code but do, from time to time, have the opportunity to create graphics. I notice the designers I work with are able to talk in great detail ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Should I charge extra for project files?

I've recently been offered a job designing a flyer for an event that a local organization is hosting. I was asked if I could also include the project files so they could easily alter the design for ...
6
votes
4answers
418 views

How should a designer handle the request to repurpose a design?

Scenario: You design a piece for Company A. The piece performs very well for Company A. So much so that they use the piece for several years. Eventually Company A shuts down. A few years later, you ...
6
votes
1answer
633 views

How to explain the reasoning for and against a font choice?

I have a client who runs a fairly traditional transport business; no thrills, creativity or fun about it. Until recently, he has been using a combination of Bookman Old Style Bold for headings with ...
5
votes
5answers
1k views

Tasteful Alternative to Marquee

So a client of mine is making repeated requests for things that were "cool" when her website originally launched in the late nineties. One feature is a scrolling marquee that just says "welcome to ...
5
votes
4answers
502 views

What are common non-traditional Graphic Design requests, and how to handle them?

Naturally you would expect that a graphic designer is proficient in logo, print and web graphics, but what else do clients commonly request? (Web, email, motion graphics, 3D animation etc...) I've ...
5
votes
2answers
112 views

What is an optimal time limit to meet with potential clients?

I was interested to know what some go by when meeting with a new client and discussing their options and trying to figure out what they want and how you can execute. I typically set aside 30-45 mins ...
5
votes
1answer
597 views

Using work in your portfolio that you're not too pleased with?

This is going based on the fact that apart from my University work, I don't have a great deal of freelance work to fill a portfolio so I can't really choose to leave stuff out. I've heard people say ...
5
votes
2answers
108 views

How To Ask Fellow Designer For Native Files For Prepress Purposes Only?

I am the graphic designer and sole prepress person for a small quick print shop. I often come across issues with a file to be printed and cannot make the needed changes or compensations as they arise ...
5
votes
2answers
146 views

Is ISO 9001 compliant artwork a common requirement?

A pharma client of mine who I do artwork and packaging design for has asked for all .ai files to be given to them for compliance with ISO 9001 manual. Is this normal? I ask because I don't have a ...
4
votes
5answers
187 views

What is the best way to design for a group where multiple people have equal input?

I am building a website for a student organization. Although I'm a novice at graphic design, I can do basic sites (bootstrap is a lifesaver) and am moreso of a pro when it comes to development. The ...
4
votes
2answers
83 views

Usage fees / royalties for re-purposing an existing illustration

a client paid me a fair fee to be allowed to use an existing illustration I had done as a background image on their website. Now they have contacted me to ask whether they could print the ...
4
votes
1answer
88 views

Would moving away from urban areas affect client acquisition for a freelance designer?

I am an entry level designer contemplating a move to the country. This move would give me lots more time to work on my portfolio and develop my skills, but also isolate me from the more white-collar ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

How to use value-based pricing for design projects?

tl;dr What is the best way to use value-based fees for design projects? What would the "value" be? I see that a lot of designers use time-based pricing (hourly, daily, etc.) Time-based pricing is ...
4
votes
1answer
268 views

Using incomplete web designs in a portfolio

I have battled a situation in the past from when I have an idea for a website I would design it. A few years back I decided to apply for some companies that were starting out in web development and ...
3
votes
1answer
789 views

Should I seek explicit permission to place a logo into an image sprite with other logos?

I'm currently trying to get permission to place various clients logos on a website, should I also ask for permission to place their logos into a image sprite together with other logos? My reasons for ...
3
votes
2answers
178 views

Is there benefit to old-world, analog, customer appreciation?

I got to thinking...... Years ago, when you became Adobe Certified, Adobe mailed you a package. In that package was a nice foil embossed certificate, a small Adobe-branded notebook (great quality) ...