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32

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 ...


25

I point out to clients that large logos are the equivalent to SCREAMING at customers. When you walk into a store, do you want the sales rep to come up to you and scream, "HI! WHAT CAN I GET FOR YOU TODAY?!" or would you rather have the rep walk up and quietly ask, "Hi, what can I help you with today?" (It carries more weight when spoken :) ) I ask them to ...


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 ...


23

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 ...


18

I will start by saying I have negative social skills with a seasoning of Aspie on them. So, taking that into account, here I go. Based on my Spock-like field work I have learnt that my non-creative clients (I have creative clients as well) tend to be problem solving oriented. They tend to focus on the problems they have and are very interested on how you ...


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 ...


16

This is common. Sometimes surmountable. Sometimes not. What you can try is to 'sell' your solution rather than merely present it. Explain why you made the decisions you did. Why did you go only 2 color? Why did you chose the typefaces you did? Etc. Some call this 'design speak'. The ides is to show your boss that there was thought put behind it--based on ...


16

For me, it's always the why. I've run into many situations where a client is initially uneasy about my work. Not because they outright dislike it, but because they don't think it fits with "what they've seen." When clients are accustomed to seeing the same thing over and over from themselves as well as any competitors, it can be a challenge to get them to ...


15

Get a lawyer who specializes in intellectual property or copyright infringement and have the person review your contract. Depending on the wording and your local laws, you might have standing to sue for cease-and-desist or your full contract payment. (Next time, don't accept a job from someone who thinks "pimp" is a term which business professionals use to ...


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

I would judge by the company and its existence. If the company is a well established brand, like Coke Cola, Pepsi, Red Bull then an expectation of the brand's color scheme would be expected in your design and judged with a fine tooth comb. Also, depending on the company they may have a campaign they're trying to stick with that should be defined in the ...


12

There may not be a good reason to redesign a logo if it is easily recognized and if the market generally has a positive opinion of the brand. In fact a better option would be to make subtle updates that keep logo pretty much the same but perhaps improve how it can be applied in different use cases. So make sure you have a good, solid business case before ...


10

Yes, I would line-item a rush fee to make it very clear that they are asking for something above-and-beyond the norm. And if you want to let them negotiate it, that's certainly up to you.


10

Well, it is hard to say specifically, because such conditions need to be negotiated before the work, not after project dismissed or finished. But, for sure, you can protect all intellectual property you did and client can't use any of your ideas or sketches without payment. So, you can try to negotiate sell of your concepts, otherwise notify to complete ...


10

Consider exploring their reasons for a larger logo, and trying to fix the underlying problem, or suggesting that the website isn't the best place to fix it. For instance, some simply have an aversion to white space. You'll need to help them understand good layout practices, and that appropriately used whitespace will highlight their logo better than making ...


10

From http://blog.codinghorror.com/new-programming-jargon/: This started as a piece of Interplay corporate lore. It was well known that producers (a game industry position, roughly equivalent to PMs) had to make a change to everything that was done. The assumption was that subconsciously they felt that if they didn't, they weren't adding value. ...


10

After spending many sessions reviewing projects I'm curious to know if you met what the requirement was and was their enough information before you did the design. In no way am I trying to be rude but we are only receiving one side of the spectrum and if he's asking for more colors I wonder was this an "open" design. I struggle with someone higher up ...


10

Simple. Have a webinar or a remote session from your desktop. Take the same time out as you would in a meeting but with a webinar you control what is shown, done, and the path the discussion should take. If that doesn't work then code the site to only allow certain access or change the links to not follow through. Some options: GoToWebinar Webex ...


9

There are several factors that can sour what started as a promising project. Personality. There are people who, out of fear and personal insecurity, compulsively and continuously tear others down. They seem particularly apt to target creatives. Simply recognizing this will cushion the blow when they oh-so-politely try to cut you off at the ankles on some ...


8

When I have an initial meeting with a client, I give them a list of pre-briefing questions. There are two sets which might be useful here: Pick three (five, etc.) websites you love — they don't have to be from your industry. Why do you love them? What's appealing? The color? The style? The programming? Now, pick three (five, etc.) websites you hate. ...


8

I have worked with PowerPoint files as well, but I have also prepared just backgrounds when requested, so it really depends on what they asked and what you agreed on. Perhaps something in between would be ideal, YOU create the backgrounds, but YOU also add them to a PP file along the styles for titles, lists and so on. Regarding the contract, a question ...


8

A rush fee is a premium. You are telling your client that you do not normally turn a project around this quickly, and the client is paying you to put aside other work and prioritize this project. I would have no problem putting that into the quote and calling it what it is: PROJECT ESTIMATE: $X,000 RUSH FEE: YY% or $YYY TOTAL PROJECT ESTIMATE FOR ...


8

When I think of a design brief I think it should have: - The overall target audience the design is to be aimed at Many factors can come into play when deciding an audience. Some people will argue that certain typography and colors could be associated with a particular audience, as just one example. - Where is the design to be delivered You should know ...


8

Some of the questions from my Creative Brief (many of which overlap with Matt's excellent answer): If you have an existing (site/brochure/iteration), what do you like about it? What works? What doesn't work? What's your goal for this project? What's your budget? What's your timeframe? Do you need to be able to make future changes yourself? What is your ...


7

When contracts are involved, it's not uncommon for designers to add clauses that explain they will only hold on to source files for a period of X months. This gives them the convenience of easily making modifications and adjustments on the short term while making clear that they are not committed to keeping your files indefinitely. Since there is no ...


7

In your case, this CAN be two separate things. Your work for a client and work in your portfolio. Let me explain: I have tons of work that I've done for certain clients that I hate because of their feedback. I still have to deliver the product, so I sucked it up and completed according to their specifications. BUT I also save the version that I liked. This ...


7

Try to make a working timeline and specify price for every step your design goes through: sketching process, variations, meetings, discussions, final design. So the client can follow the process. Vnovak gave the most efficient answer for now. Also respect for your clients is the basement for success. Your main purpose is to understand their desires and as a ...


7

As someone who is an amateur designer but frequent purchaser of professional work I would like to offer an answer from the buyer's perspective. I say this with the utmost respect for the design profession and with sympathy to your present situation as I know it's painful to work without being paid. I know I am putting my reputation points at risk with this ...


7

There are a couple of ways to approach this scenario: Provide more than one thing for him to choose among. Be prepared, however, for the boss to choose the "worst" one of the set as his favorite. Be able to defend your design decisions with concrete evidence "studies have shown that using orange increases conversion rates by 15%" Don't make this ...



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