Dealing with Fussy Clients

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One of the most important skills of being a freelance designer is dealing with clients, explaining why they need you, and what exactly it is that you do. Some clients have no idea how designers get to an idea or how long it takes to come up with a solution—I would be a rich man if I had a penny every time a client said, “It shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes.” Sometimes this makes me cynical and rude.

When you make websites, you realize quickly which clients are going to be problems. Ninety-five percent of all brief meetings I go to are the same: They want something like Apple’s website—white background, Myriad Pro/Lucida Grande, a big banner with three boxes underneath, etc. (I should add that I’ve done a few websites like this for excellent and super-nice clients too.)

Whenever I’m having a hard time with clients, I think of David Thorne. My favorite is “Missing Missy” so if you haven’t read it, do it now!

Notes: Swedish design group Chevy Chase explains how they turn a clients idea into finished work that I quite like. The picture (above) is from that presentation.