Graphic Design Podcast :: The Deeply Graphic DesignCast

When Your Clients Aren’t Feeling It

When Your Clients Aren’t Feeling It

Have you ever had an unsatisfied client? At some point, I think every designer has run into this problem. It’s how you deal with it that matters.

This episode was spurred on by a listener question we got from a designer who’s client went completely off-the-grid after things went south. Not knowing what to do next, naturally she wrote to us!

Join us as we talk about how we have found ourselves in similar situations over the years, and what we did about it. More importantly, listen for our tips you can use from the beginning of a project to help minimize the risk of this happening to you.

We also answer another listener question about how to outsource those pesky “small jobs” for your web design clients.

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(4) responses

jonathan biehl

August 14, 2016

I loved this episode. I am a young designer with enough freelance projects under my belt to count on one hand. What I’ve learned is to use a contract. I had a client who wanted revisions on top of revisions. This went back and forth for a few months (partly due to the client taking a week to reply between emails). Definitely learned the hard way, but now I know to use a contract to protect myself and to guide the client into working in a timely manner.

The first thing I thought of when listening to this was a quote by Paul Rand. He said this when taking to Steve Jobs when working on the logo for NeXT.

Steve said, “I asked him if he would come up with a few options, and he said, ‘No, I will solve your problem for you and you will pay me. You don’t have to use the solution. If you want options go talk to other people.’”

I loved the confidence Paul Rand has in his work and I believe we as designers should strive to have this same confidence and not let our clients dictate how to design.


Collin Williamson

August 23, 2016

I had an instance very similar to what was discussed in this podcast where the company I was with was producing a website for a California municipal government that was deep in the California wine country. They mostly had people visit their area for wine related activities and they talked about how they wanted a rustic but modern site to reflect this. So myself and the rest of the creative team worked together on this website and when it was revealed to the client, they were upset because we only included areas of interest regarding wine on their site and looked “too much like a tourism spot for people who only like wine.”

The reason why this podcast resonated with me is because we had delivered a product that they had requested, but it was clear when the project was completed and revealed to the client, they realized that what they could offer was one thing and because the site lacked diversity in activities was because they are only known for and only offer one thing: wine.

So sometimes the clients expectations changes because by you doing work for them and developing their image, they really take a look at themselves and realize something about their own business they are unhappy with.

Just wanted to share that experience.


Jonathan Biehl

August 26, 2016

So I question I have is if it is necessary to get a Masters Degree in Graphic Design? I am a year away from getting my BFA in Graphic Design and am excited to get working as a designer. Eventually I’d like to move up in the creative world and become a Creative Director / Art Director. I’m under the impression that getting jobs in this field depends mostly on your portfolio. How helpful is it to go the extra step (and spend thousands more) and get a Masters in Graphic Design?


Nick Longo

August 26, 2016

Jonathan, In my opinion, no. When selecting potential employees to hire, I never once looked to see if they had a Masters Degree. In addition, it has never been an issue for me (not having one) with any position including my teaching employment. What really matter? GOOD DESIGN, GREAT ATTITUDE, AWESOME PERSONALITY and an EAGERNESS TO THRIVE AND LEARN. Go out there and work!! Learn from others and take the next few years as your transition into the real creative world!!!


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