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10 Stupid Things Clients Say to Designers and How to Counter It

Clients say the darndest things and designers have to maintain their composure in order to pay the bills. Some will say phrases to send their designer to an early grave. Here are 10 stupid things clients say and how to counter without losing your job.


“I thought it was included”

Clients think that by ordering one service, they’re entitled to any services necessary to make the original purchase happen for free. For example, a client who needs a brochure layout might assume logo design comes with it. Keep in mind that while clients might not always be right, they can be clueless as to how much training, skill, effort and time goes into any specific design. And, always make sure you have a contract that includes very specific deliverables to help avoid confusion from the outset.


Say: “I’m sorry if there was a miscommunication, but logo design is a separate service, because it takes a lot of time and effort to develop the perfect permanent brand image for your company. I’m happy to add the service as an amendment to our agreement.”


“Just do something real simple so it doesn’t cost much”

I think many clients legitimately do not understand the time and effort it takes to create a stellar design, especially when the end result looks “simple.”


Say: “I understand you want to keep your budget low, but please understand that I want to dedicate the effort it takes to design an outstanding business card for you that actually helps you land sales.”


“I need it by noon tomorrow”

Some clients seem to think you wait by the phone for their call every day.


Say: “I know time is of the essence, but I’m not able to get to this until next week. I want to be able to devote the appropriate time to make your project perfect, which is the same dedication I have for the projects I’m working on this week. I do offer a rush service for a fee.”


“Just use this picture”

Don’t you love it when a client gives you a crappy 72 dpi photo and expects you to make it look good on a poster?


Say: “While it’s a great photo of you, the resolution is low, and it will look grainy when I enlarge it. I know a photographer who can take a great photo that can help us make your poster look outstanding.”


“You can just take the photo”