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57

This is a bit of an opinion-based question, but I still think there's value in it. Also somewhat belongs on Freelance.SE, but may fit here as well. To be honest, the most difficult part of freelancing is sticking to your guns during negotiations. This is compounded if you financially need the work. The best option is often to simply stick to your price ...


52

In todays world there is Adobe, then everything else. This was not always the case. I'll overlook any "learning curve" issues and assume someone knows whatever app they use well. The issue with using "everything else" can be directly felt in terms of workflow speed and compatibility. For layout.... There was a time when you chose between Aldus ...


43

I've never run into this exact problem but if a client sends me a logo from another company I email them back asking if they have written permission to use said logo in their marketing. If they say yes then that is sufficient for me. To word it nicely I go with something along the lines of: I see you'd like Acme Co.'s logo included in your artwork, do ...


41

I assume you are asking how much you should charge to design a business card. The answer to that is: your hourly rate * the number of hours it takes you to complete the job The key is to figure out your hourly rate. That is: annual revenue $ / # BILLABLE hours you work per year Your annual revenue is all the money you need to bring in to cover all ...


33

You have a "thumbprint" client. This person must always change something, and feel like he's left his thumbprint on it, or he doesn't think he's done his job correctly. I have a coping strategy I got from When Bad Relatives Happen to Good People. It's called "Setting a Budget." A woman was upset because every time she went to her son's house for a ...


32

In my contracts I have clauses to the effect of "Client promises that all artwork provided for Designer is owned by Client, or Client has permission from the owner to use it. If Client is sued for copyright violation, Client will state that it was not Designer's fault." Whether it's effective, well, I'm not a lawyer, but this at least specifies that you're ...


30

Stefan has several excellent points, which I'll echo and expand upon: Write up a contract. You don't start anything without a contract. It took me over a week to write my first contract, but that baby is as detailed and iron-clad as I could make it, and now I can slice-and-dice and adapt it to future jobs. The AIGA has a ridiculously detailed sample ...


29

The big issue I see overall is a struggle to make contrast work but a hesitancy to actually push the contrast to a readable state. All the semi-transparent rectangles behind information make for a very unclear business card. Be very careful when you find yourself wanting to put outer glows and drop shadows on text. This is sure sign that there's a ...


28

If the client was given opportunity to proof read final files before they went to press, it's the client's responsibility. If you failed to allow the client to proof read before anything went to press, it's your responsibility. Clients should always have the final say before anything is reproduced. That means the client should proofread all files once ...


25

That sounds like Spec-Work. http://www.no-spec.com/faq/ You should show them what you are capable of (i.e. your portfolio) but be wary about doing any work for them for free.


24

Depends on your contract. In general, absolutely, yes. You did the work, you provided it to the client, now their job is to pay you. I would not offer a discount (seriously, 50 variations?) but would keep it in mind for negotiation if needed. Given that you did so many variations, I would probably offer a 20% discount at most, but only if they were ...


21

You could start by describing what in particular you don't like about this design. Don't get me wrong, I don't really like it either, but I've noticed that you haven't written anything about why you don't like the design. If you told your boss the same thing ("basically, it just sucks"), I'm not surprised he didn't listen to you. If you don't like it, try to ...


21

QR codes can be valuable tools if there's a real incentive to use it. Augmented Reality, Coupons, and Time-Sensitive Content are the primary things that come to mind. And really above all, and worth repeating, is time-sensitive. The important thing before putting it in a piece of marketing collateral is considering - where and when is this QR code going to ...


20

If you lower your prices, don't forget to lower your service. As @Scott says, rates are set for a reason. If a client asks us for a cheaper deal, we say "yes" and then we re-propose the project with some features or aspects removed. We then make the client aware that we've achieved a cheaper price by reducing features or proposing a slightly ...


18

I've been an Adobe Certified Expert for approximately 9 years as of this writing. If working a 9 to 5 employment position, the certification isn't going to be of any great benefit. In fact, as an employee there's practically zero benefit to any Adobe certification other than merely continued education for self fulfillment. Your employer may be able to ...


17

There are actually a couple issues here. If the client just repeatedly wants changes, as @LaurenIpsum posted, they are a "thumbprint" client. And you simply need to get to a point where you can separate yourself from the work and just do what they ask. I often have to tell myself "this is just what I do, not who I am." So changes aren't personal attacks on ...


17

Quote a price, then itemize on any estimate/invoice. If a client sends a broad statement like you've posted.... First ask questions even if you know the answers to them: Will you be providing the copy to use or is that something you want me to come up with? Do you have high resolution images you'd like to provide? Then respond with an itemized list of ...


17

There are a few options: "Sorry, but I just don't have the time to volunteer for pro-bono work at the moment." That's probably the easiest way to handle it. On the other hand, is there a benefit in trying to make this person happy? Could it benefit you in the long run if she's your friend? Is she well connected? If so, maybe you want to try and keep ...


16

You should have a portfolio - pieces that show examples of the type of work you are able to do, the styles you work in, etc. If they're asking for a "free sample" of the page make sure you have a legal document in place to protect your work (and copyright your work before you sent them the "free sample"). There are plenty of legit people that can't imagine ...


16

You say "no, sorry, I can not violate [insert your country here] Copyright Law. I'd be glad to help you license artwork legally." You should also have a clause in your contracts along the lines of "all artwork provided by the client shall be artwork the client has full rights to reproduce. Designer will not be responsible for any artwork that was provided ...


15

Most of the time for live sites you should not have a page at all or, if you really want it live (perhaps to show to others and you don't have a development site), don't link to it publicly anywhere. This is because if a user sees that you have content that interests them enough to click on it, they are expecting to see the page. Having an "under ...


15

My response when asked for free consultation.... I'm sorry, [client]. Please understand that my time is valuable. You are essentially asking me to donate my time for your project, even if it is merely in the nature of a consultation. Unfortunately, it would be nearly impossible to try and convey all that I have learned through education, trial and error, ...


14

Don't resent your client for wanting more, but educate them. The original editable files are your blueprint by which you create their design, but the design is what they buy, not the blueprint. Try a comparison, like: If you get a tailor made suit, you don't ask the tailor for the pattern and a pair of scissors afterwards, just in case you'd want to make ...


14

Lets see what scientists have to say shall we, the paper titled "How Do You Scan? - The Emergence and Development of the QR-Code Scanning Practice in China, Sweden and the USA". It asserts that QR codes are less popular in the west than in Asian countries. The paper states that only about 35% of people with smartphones in USA have ever scanned a QR code (and ...


13

Yes, this is a typical issue. At its core, it's a client thinking that their solution should be designed around their personal tastes rather than around particular business requirements that will meet the needs of their customers. The key is to talk in business terms, not in subjective art terms. Be prepared. Study your customer's business, their industry, ...


13

I wouldn't necessarily be insulted. Your client is simply coming to the table with some terms. You can accept them, deny them, or counter. I'd recommend countering with a formal contract. Typically designers do not deliver the work files for a number of reasons (the least of which is that the client usually has no use for them). But it's not unusual either. ...


13

Some clients you have to be brutally honest with and flat out tell them to pick a direction because otherwise he/she is merely wasting your time. You have to often treat these types of clients as children. Allow them to make choices but specifically engineer the choices they have -- "Do you want A or do you want B?" NOT "What do you want?" If ...


13

When a client bashes my design, I move on with my life and just do whatever they want. They're paying so screw it. All I can do is advise them as a trained professional, try my best to convince them, and then move on. If they're that adamant about what they want than that's what they're going to get from me. Embrace your capitalist core. You're a business, ...


13

QR codes are essentially a different way to link to content. If used correctly, sometimes it's easier for mobile users to scan a QR code than type it in, especially if it's too long or hard to type. If possible, it is best to provide a QR code in addition to the actual URL because some people can't or don't want to scan QR codes. As always, you want to have ...


12

The Cons: you're working for pennies you're working for a 'client' who has committed next-to-nothing to the project you're not designing based on any real client or business objectives/requirements there is no proper feedback loop you're competing with people that are likely using unlicensed software and type you're wasting your time The Pros: ...



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