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 least 50 variations) and a website design. If they hire someone else, all my effort has gone to waste.

Should I still ask for my payment?
I think I should, but not the whole amount as said, like 20% of it.

Please help.

  • 5
    We can't really answer this specifically, as it all comes down to whatever you and your client initially agreed upon, the relationship you have, gut feelings, etc. In general, however, if you do the work, bill for it.
    – DA01
    Jun 3, 2014 at 6:15
  • 17
    Fifty variations and a website in three weeks? From one person? That's not long at all. Bill them. Absolutely. For all of it. And don't work for them again. Jun 3, 2014 at 10:23
  • 7
    This sounds like a client who doesn't know what they want, but wants to exhaust the universe of possibilities. Fire them. After you get paid. Jun 3, 2014 at 14:29
  • 5
    I've only fired 2 freelancers. One ignored my requirement that they not touch a production environment, and the other failed to respond to communication for an entire week. If you delivered, even if it was late, and as long as we were in contact, I'd expect to have to pay you...So did you tell them you were going to be delayed? Jun 3, 2014 at 18:58
  • 5
    Absolutely yes. And bill for the full amount. See also: Fuck you, pay me. Jun 3, 2014 at 21:30

9 Answers 9


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 extremely hesitant at paying the invoice. In reality, I wouldn't be happy with a discount - the work was done, after all.

In the future, though, I would suggest having a contract in place that specifies how many rounds of edits/variations/etc you would do. I would also specify that copyright of the intellectual property doesn't transfer until the invoice is paid in full. That way, they can't legally use any unpaid artwork. Spell things out in the contract as clearly as possible so that there aren't any surprises for either of you.


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 prohibition for any future usage.


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 professional fulfill them in the language of design.


You should ask for payment, and even consider legal actions if they refuse. Even if you didn't have a contract, clearly there was a verbal agreement (after 50 variations it's hard to deny that there was one). In Canada and U.S. you can take them to small claims court and argue your case. "Being late" is not a reason to cancel the agreement.

  • 2
    In the UK, "being late" is a reason to cancel the agreement, once time is made of the essence. However, in this case, it appears that will be difficult to prove, while the absence of an agreement will be even less easy; no-one does fifty variations pro-bono. Jun 3, 2014 at 21:11
  • 1
    If there was a specified deadline, even in a verbal agreement, going past it is a breach of contract terms. Breaching contract terms does provide grounds for terminating the contract but then the specifics would need to be thrashed out in civil court on a case by case basis, to determine who is liable for what. I'm guessing they would be liable for at least partial payment, but the length of time and court fees probably make that a last resort for any freelance designer. My point is that breaching an agreement does not necessarily render it null and void, it just affects your rights.
    – Dom
    Jun 3, 2014 at 21:43

Man, you are not their slave! Ethics are good but don't compromise on your abilities. You've worked for them. I know how much time it would have taken by "50" revisions. If you think you have done a good work(you are satisfied with what you did) do ask for payment.

Its always better to understand the background of your client. If you know they are from a specific region where people don't bother themselves what the designer has created, be ready to face these kind of situations. I would like to recommend you study some Human Psychology and Geography, i know it will not help directly. But eventually it will help for long terms.


If you order something from amazon and it arrives a few days late, that doesn't mean you get the book for free. You could return the book to Amazon, but in your case your designs are custom made, so they can only 'return' them if they are obviously not as promised.

They are only entitled to a discount if you agreed on a deadline and you explicitly agreed that your payment was dependent on making that deadline. Or if they explicitly told you to stop working because they had decided to hire someone else, they don't have to pay you for whatever work you did after they told you to stop.

You could argue morally that if you promised to have it all ready in one week, but took three due to hanging out at the beach for two weeks, and that delay cost them money, then you might give them a discount.

But as far as the legal side goes, all a debt collector needs is confirmation that they ordered something from you, that you delivered it, and that they haven't paid what you invoiced them.


The only way you couldn't is if there was a written contract prior. I would discount it in good faith however.


Obviously you must ask! If work has got delayed, there must be some reasons behind it.


nope. you cant do the work on time, don't bid. this is just one of those "programmers" that low ball to get the work and it backfired.


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