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I have just completed and supplied 3 logos to a client. I quoted $750 for 3 logo designs. This quote was accepted and I was told to proceed. The problem is that my client is not happy with any of the logos and is refusing to pay. In the 10 years I've been running my own graphic design business I've never had this problem before. Normally my clients have trouble choosing between the options supplied.

I don't know what to do. I can't seem to convey to my client that they must pay for my time regardless of whether they like the logos or not. I have even offered to do an additional logo for them, to be included in the initial quote. Only to receive this response: "I don’t understand how legally I can be charged for something that doesn’t suit my needs….it’s like a customer come into my store and I show him 3 products that he doesn’t like, but he must choose one of them! Do not proceed any further with any more logos, in case I will be charge for something I don’t like."

Any advise? Please help.

  • 1
    What does your contract say? Most contracts I've used have some sort of deposit and cancellation penalty written in. Also, the client's analogy is terrible - if you've got 10 years' experience and it doesn't suit their needs, chances are their brief didn't communicate their needs. And you've already done a bulk of the work: it's not like a customer in a shop, it's like hiring builders to build an extension then trying to cancel without paying when they're mostly finished because they "thought it'd be more spacious". Or sending a dish back in a restaurant because they misread the menu. – user568458 Jul 27 '15 at 1:23
  • @Scott it might be a duplicate, depends on what the deal with the contract is. The key characteristic of that linked question is that there wasn't a written contract (and some unrelated stuff about powerpoint...). – user568458 Jul 27 '15 at 1:25
  • I hope you didn't provide them master files (EPS, PSD, AI, etc). – elCavador Jul 27 '15 at 8:23
  • Don't you prepare proofs and revisions with your logos? I cannot see how this can happen if you make the client approves every revision until the final logos are approved... From the way you explained, it looks like you did 3 logos and expect the clients to accept them without revisions. I can understand why the client is not happy in this case. Your agreement should include a few rounds of revisions and proofs. If you want to work on further projects with him, offer revisions, not new logos. Ask what he liked and start from there. For each logo. – go-junta Aug 6 '15 at 21:48
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This is a legal question. If you are in the U.S., small claims court is where you should take this.

By they way, your client's analogy is bullshit. Design is a service, so it's nothing like going to the store. If you want to flip it back at them say "no, it's like hiring three people to spend time painting my house but then deciding not to pay for their time and effort because you decided you don't like the colors"

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It sounds like this if the first time this has happened to you. You are lucky to have gone this long with this massive hole in your terms.

I recently had someone outright lie in their brief only to try and pull out a new module requirement of a website build in the final touches stage. And refuse to pay any extra for it.

Needless to say I told them to get stuffed. They were not happy and tried to demand a refund.

I told them they had approved the work up to this stage. I split projects into stages and they approve each one. This way they cant easily claim they did not like the design, as I have emails of them approving it weeks ago.. But they will try.

Unlike others I will only take 100% payment in advance for anything under 1k. We all need to make that our normal.

If you have given the final files then it could be that this was his intention all along. And by claiming he does not like the work he may feel you are less likely to check if he later does use it.

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