Top 20 New Clients from Hell Stories from Designers
We all know that clients can be really annoying sometimes. The perfect client doesn’t exist, and that’s a fact! If you were unlucky and had to deal with a bad client, then you will relate with these 20 clients from hell stories! These are the newest and the best clients from Hell stories we could find. We posted some similar articles a few months ago and they were a huge success.
CLIENT: “I don’t like the type.”
ME: “What don’t you like.”
CLIENT: “I don’t like how it goes all to one side.”
ME: “You mean ranged left.”
CLIENT: “Yes, yes, arranged left.”
ME: “How do you want it?”
CLIENT: “To be the same on both sides.”
CLIENT: “I don’t have to justify anything for you. I own the fucking company.”
CLIENT: “I don’t mean to sound racist, but…”
ME: “But what?”
CLIENT: “But the site is too black.”
ME: “Like, literally too black?”
CLIENT: “Yes. The background is too black.”
ME: “That’s not racist. That has nothing to do with race.”
CLIENT: “Phew. I can never tell with you black people, what’s offensive and what’s not.”
ME: “I’m actually Lebanese. And, yeah, that one might be a bit racist.”
I was rounding off an Instant Message chat with a German client. I intended to say “Let me know if I can help further”. Instead, my clumsy fingers typed and sent the following before I could stop myself:
ME: Let me know if I can help fuhrer.
Client: Can we change the heading font to more acrylic?
Client: Can we change it to more of an acrylic style font? You know, like slantways.
Me: Oh, you mean italic?
Client: No, I think its acrylic, please don’t correct me again. The slanty-‘i’ in word, you know. For acrylic.
CLIENT: I’d like some options before I commit to an idea.
ME: How many were you thinking?
ME: That’s doable. I’ll –
CLIENT: Sorry, 30. I pressed enter too soon.
“Let’s change the font of the Terms and Conditions to Comic Sans.”
The sales rep from my company came to me asking a logo for “his brother’s building company”. That was all the information given, so I asked for a bit more information, like “what do they build?” and “what’s the target market?”
He then forwarded my email to his brother (accidentally CC’ing me) and added this line:
CLIENT: Can you answer these? Designers are a funny breed. He wants a brief.
I had a client send me an email asking if I could turn a 35”x11” banner I’d done for them into a small square ad for print.
CLIENT: Thanks, but I don’t think you understand. We don’t want it to change at all; we just want you to shrink it into a square. Don’t move anything.
ME: I’m sorry, but no matter how small I shrink a rectangle, it won’t turn into a square. If you want a square ad, I can keep the same components but they will have to be re-arranged.
CLIENT: We don’t want anything moved. Just the same ad, but a square.
I sent them the square, with the rectangular ad in the center and two giant white gaps above and below it. Two weeks later (and without a reply from my client), I saw the version I had sent them in a newspaper.
CLIENT: We got your images, but they are in low-res. We need them to be high-res.
ME: I sent you the renders in high-definition.
CLIENT: No, these are are low-res…
ME: OK, then what resolution do you need?
CLIENT: High res.
ME: I understand, but I need an exact resolution in pixels.
CLIENT: My God! For third time, I need HIGH RES pictures! I don’t care about pixels and stuff; I just need a bigger resolution!
ME: Ok, I will send you one example image, and if the size is what you’re looking for, I will make rest of them like that one.
After exporting at twice the original resolution…
CLIENT: No good! This is still low-res!
It took a lot of high-pitched phone calls, emails, and insults to get to the core of the problem: my client was constantly printing out images on A4 paper, with an old printer, and with with messed up printer head. All on the printer’s low-res setting.
I was at the airport, ready to leave for vacation when I got a panicked phone call from a client. She stated that the video I sent her – part of a large marketing campaign – was missing the sound. After a lot of shouting and threats on her part, I agreed to go to her office try and fix it.
After being escorted into her office, I played the video and double-checked her computer’s sound options. Then I unplugged her headphones. Then I billed her for my missed flight.
ME: Okay what colors would you like?
ME: Nothing specific or…?
CLIENT: Yeah, pretty much every color except red. Red isn’t very easy on the eyes.
“We don’t like the picture of the guy wearing the tie because it looks like it’s pointing to his crotch.”
A client who rejected each and every tie picture afterwards for the same reason. It was for a tie advertisement.
I’m an illustrator and I’m currently working on a poster for a client.
CLIENT: The boy should be tall and lanky, taller than the others, and with bad posture. Make him really skinny. He’s supposed to be 2-3 years old.
ME: You’re saying the boy is supposed to be 2-3 years old, skinny, and taller than everyone else?
CLIENT: Yes. Make him look childish.
ME: A childish 3-year-old, taller than the adults?
CLIENT: This red is terrible! Why did you pick this red!?
ME: It’s the red from your logo. I can change it to the blue if you would prefer.
CLIENT: No, no, no… I’m sending you a word doc right now. It’s perfect. Use that!
I open the file to find text with a rainbow gradient and neon pink drop shadow.
CLIENT: I don’t like the color… I have the correct color in my Photoshop.
ME: Well, can you provide me a color code you like…
CLIENT: Black is 10%, Yellow is 26%, Magenta is 82%, and Cayenne is 100%
CLIENT: Yes… as in CMYK! Don’t you know your colors?
Recently I was hired to develop a new online store for a major fashion company.
CLIENT: We want something modern, clean, and elegant. You have complete creative control.
After I designed and coded it, I sent it for approval prior to it going live. The day after the website went live my client contacts me.
CLIENT: I like it… but what about all this white space (gesturing to the the clean white background). It looks boring. It’s too boring and plain.
ME: We could always put a subtle pattern or color if you’d prefer.
CLIENT: Ah! I got it! We should do something like tropical, on a beach with palm trees and when it’s winter we can have snow falling. Yes, that’s what we’ll do.
After implementing the revisions…
CLIENT: Oh and Kate (not my name) could you class it up and have some music play? Is that possible?
After several revisions:
CLIENT: Can you make the font yellow on a white background? I worry that it might not be readable at night. So, I thought it’s best if it’s glowing at night. Thanks so much!
I tried to tell the client that, if clarity was a concern, that’s not a very good combination. However, she stuck by her request. I changed the font color to mustard yellow and outlined it with black.
CLIENT: It’s good, but let’s make it a neon yellow and lose the outline.
I was designing a simple flash game for kids that repeatedly went through revisions due to a disagreement regarding the main characters design. The client claimed the character wasn’t “cool” enough. Unable to get any other notes out of them, and with the client having a specific idea (but are using a subjective term to define it), I created a short questionnaire to try to extract their ideas for the character.
- What kind of personality does he have?
- What kind of clothes does he wear?
- Does he belong to any subcultures (skater, goth, etc)?
- What kind of haircut does he have?
- He is cool
- Cool clothes
- He’s a cool kid
- He has cool hair
CLIENT: There is way too much free space, don’t you think?
ME: I think you’re being skeptical of empty space. Sometimes a lot of breathing room works really well in a design.
CLIENT: A man does not fear space, he conquers it. Mars, bitches.
CLIENT: I need this project to be really creative, really different.
ME: Here you go.
CLIENT: I don’t like it.
ME: What would you like us to do?
CLIENT: Make it look like the last one we did.