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

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28
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 ...
21
votes
6answers
4k 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 ...
20
votes
13answers
5k 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 ...
19
votes
6answers
8k 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 ...
18
votes
7answers
6k 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 ...
18
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 ...
15
votes
3answers
665 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. ...
15
votes
6answers
4k 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
2k 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
9answers
4k 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 ...
12
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 ...
11
votes
2answers
738 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
3answers
374 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
852 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
456 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 ...
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
7answers
502 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
2k 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
212 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
2answers
253 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
593 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
130 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
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
359 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
462 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
946 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
411 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
1answer
575 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
114 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
69 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
181 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
1answer
564 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
76 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
882 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
254 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
2answers
87 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
603 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
144 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) ...
3
votes
2answers
75 views

What should I do to resell a branded design to national partners of an organisation, that I created for a single local partner?

I tried searching for some answers before posting this but since my situation is so unique my questions were never completely cleared up. So about a year ago I was approached by a member of a ...
3
votes
1answer
110 views

What are some good resources for branding exercises or workshops?

I have the chance to set up the branding for a friend's start up business. We're not looking at actual logos just yet, just trying to work out a voice, look and feel for the business - map out what ...
2
votes
3answers
134 views

Organizing PSDs for developers

Is it ok for designers to not organize PSDs before giving them to developers? If not, how do you prepare your PSDs for developers? I'm asking, from the perspective of a developer.. the designers I ...
2
votes
6answers
680 views

What are some good ways of presenting web designs to a client?

I'd like to ask you how you manage with presenting webdesign. Usually, I send a jpg file/files to client directly to the mail, but this isn't the best approach. In most cases it does the job, but I've ...
2
votes
3answers
206 views

What design resources should I expect to get from a client?

I've just been approached to create some t-shirt designs for a tech company and I was just wondering whether I should expect anything from them besides their logo? As an example, If they had a ...
2
votes
1answer
170 views

When Clients ask for all of the fonts you use in their branding materials

What is the correct way to handle a client if they ask you for all of your native design files and specifically the FONTS. Do you charge them for the native files if they have already paid for the ...
2
votes
6answers
316 views

Client wants to remove footer on certain pages, should I?

I have a client who insists that we remove the footer from certain pages under the guise of 'the footer will distract people and they will leave the site/not finish the journey'. To me, this sounds ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

How to Best Create Templates for Clients to edit the content/copy

The Big Question What is the best (possibly a software application) to create Documents (e.g PDF Brochures, Business Portfolios, Annual Reports etc)so that a client can edit the text content? My ...
2
votes
1answer
58 views

Is it okay to attempt to retract pro bono work?

I am a member of a non-profit organization that has used a logo that was designed pro bono by one of our members for several years. Very recently, this designer has had a falling out with some of the ...
1
vote
5answers
191 views

Is a poorly designed website better than no website for a commercial enterprise?

For businesses, a website is a channel of communication. For all except web-based businesses, it's not the only channel of communication available. Given that anyone could make a DIY website for next ...