78

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 "...


69

I personally don't find this picture suitable for a logo. It has shading, complicated color changes, and tiny detail - it looks around 6x6 cm on my monitor, and has tiny stars which might be a single pixel at that blown-up size. Logos are meant to be used in a lot of different contexts, and instantly recognizable (without change) when printed in reduced ...


63

I think your reply is fine. I would perhaps alter it slightly, you don't need to rationalize prices and doing so can often convey a weakness in negotiation: I would really enjoy completing some additional work for you. Unfortunately, I can't take the commission at the same conditions as last year. My rates have increased. I can consider new work if you're ...


59

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 ...


58

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 you ...


48

There's many good answers for this. One thing I can suggest is to simply present the logo to the real business by explaining it the same way you did here! The fact that your logo got a lot of attention already is something that might be appealing to that business. This way, you won't feel like you're judging their logo; you're simply presenting them some ...


42

My business is not a backup service for any client. All clients should be backing up the files they've received on their own. It's not my responsibility to be an indefinite backup service for any client, ever. Clients are not paying a regular fee to maintain equipment, upgrade hard drives, purchase additional hard drives as needed, maintaining software, ...


41

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 ...


41

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 ...


41

There's ways to add security features on your PDF that will prevent people from printing, editing or extracting elements from the file. There's also watermarks that can be added. BUT there's also ways to bypass all this, so it's not 100% reliable. I could also easily imagine it must have taken you a lot of work to do this work, and your client could easily ...


37

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 ...


36

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 ...


36

I include a disclaimer when delivering native files: .... makes no promise, provides no guarantee, and offers no support, for the continued use, alteration, or editing of native files after files have been delivered. It is the sole responsibility of the client to ensure they have proper software, hardware, and expertise in order to utilize any native ...


36

This kind of depends upon who you ask. Here.... it would never be an option. Much the same way I do not work with a client standing behind me "dictating changes". There is no feasible reason why a client needs to be that close. If they wish to micro-manage to that degree, they need to hire an employee. As a freelancer, it is asking far too much in my ...


34

It seems you and your client use different definitions of the word "original". You seem to mean it in the sense that you created the emoticons from scratch without copying anyone else. Your client seem to mean it in the sense that they look too much like other emoticons already out there. Compare this to much of pop-music. Most songs are original in the ...


33

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 ...


30

Okay, it depends on this: If they saw proofs or any other mock up and signed off on the design before it went to code, then I think you are in a good position. They should pay for it, propose that they pay you some money and walk away. If they never saw proofs, just walk away and keep the deposit (they are happy with the logo and stationary, they should pay ...


30

Ethically and morally..... using any "contest" is merely taking advantage of designers. Contest do nothing but take advantage of designers and give all the benefit to the person running the contest. It essentially amounts to "slave labor" of a sort. All designers should adamantly avoid "contest" settings. However, if a designer freely agrees to being taken ...


29

Looking at your question I can see some points that cause me immediate concern: "...first payment after the first milestone (30%)." For me at least that's an immediate problem. I too have staged payments, but the the first stage is always a deposit. If you get paid before you lift a finger you benefit from several advantages! ...problems appeared ...


29

I've been in and out of the graphic design world over several decades, and have also spent a lot of time in both technical writing / illustration and architectural design & 3D modeling - in all those professional spheres, I've used screen sharing for communicating final presentations or interactive demos, I've used screensharing to teach, and on several ...


27

To one of @SteveA points, no client of mine has ever cared that I need to make money from my work. To a one, they pulled and pulled and pulled to extract every penny they could out of me and my work. I could see the incessant revisions and last second changes the hour before delivery coming down the pike and would try to head them off at the pass based on ...


26

TL:DR The client is fundamentally mistaken about the type of data covered under GDPR, although there are possibly things in the files that are covered under it. You should not send them the files, though you do need to respond with any personal information in them. I'm doing some of the data protection work for my company, so I've been reading a lot around ...


26

Don't. Unless specified in the original contracts of that 6-year body of work, you are not obliged to keep the original working files of past projects. That you do so is only for personal archiving. Shenanigans like this are the exact reason for that, and I advise you to include a statement to that effect in your terms and conditions from now on. Try and ...


25

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 different/...


25

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 ...


25

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 ...


24

The client is taking advantage of you. Plain and simple. If "payment is not an issue" as the client states, then the client would have no problem paying you what you are owed to the current point. Whatever that may be. If you had an agreement of 30% at this particular stage... then demand that 30% before doing more. In my experience, any client that states ...


24

The easiest, clearest solution to this problem is to not use figures of any kind in the logo. Stick to symbology and type modification. If the symbology uses some sort of nondescript "stickman-like" figure that may be acceptable. However, color will play a large role there. And one can mistakenly start getting into "cartoon" type of figures which may ...


23

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 ...


23

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 ...


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