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  • Problem Client


    I've been working on a logo design for a client who has already got a huge discount from me (so I could get her future business) and I've took a 50% deposit and supplied her with three concepts. These three have now turned into five, and she's still not happy with any of the concepts.

    I compiled a great brief with her, and I felt really confident, all my concepts perfectly meet the criteria (logo for classy clothes designer with a hint of latin style). She keeps sending the concepts to her friends and asking their advice, and they keep saying things like why not just keep the old logo (which was clearly made using standard windows fonts and mspaint).

    What do I do? I sent her a bit of a pushy email back this morning since she was suggesting that we keep going until she finds the one she likes, she's not given me any feedback on the current concepts, only that she liked one of them but felt it needed tweaking (which was what I hoped for). She also spoke about me doing something similar to her old logo (which is simply terrible and I wouldnt know where to start) and says nothing about her business, her style, or her target clients.

    It's doing my head in! Help, what do you guys do in this situation?


  • #2
    What's in your contract?

    As a side note - I've never known anyone to be successful at giving "a huge discount" to a new client. All I've ever heard about this tactic is the client always expects to pay the discounted rate.
    Columbus, Ohio is not off the map.


    • #3
      [quote=Rockk]What's in your contract?


      You mean in regards to getting out of it. She'd have to pay for the work to date, which she pretty much already has with a 50% deposit.

      It's more annoying than anything else, obviously I want to keep her happy cos I want her future work (she was talking about brochures and flyers which are good earners for me) but I dont think she understands the concept of working with a designer, you dont pay a set fee and then expect to have me work for forty days and forty nights on the basis that her friends cant pick a single design between them. You certainly dont pay for me to redraw your old logo. It's her business and she already said she liked the concept, and if they think that her old logo was good then she really shouldnt be asking them anyway.

      For example, I did a logo with a flamenco dancer, and one of her friends said that it didnt say anything about her style, the client had previously sent me about 20 photos of one of her favourite designs of her wearing a flamenco dress. I traced the silouhette and she was really into the idea that is was both her and one of her dresses as the emblem for the logo.

      I mean, the brief was great, really great, she gave me loads of details about her business and her intended audience, and I designed concepts to fit that brief, although she hasnt changed the brief, it seems she doesnt understand that a designer can only work to a brief, and I extracted as much information as I could and worked with that. I mean what can I do, I took the brief and came up with the concepts, if she doesnt like them (bearing in mind they can be worked on) what is the normal practice?

      Do I fire her if she carries on and save myself the trouble, or just keep her happy and get the job done.



      • #4
        ^ I meant how many concepts/revisions are specified in your contract. You've provided her with five already - what's your limit? Does your contract list the charge for additional concepts/revisions?

        I'm one of those people who usually try and stick with a project. I hate firing a client, but I know that sometimes it's for the best. It seems that nothing good comes out of it - neither the client or the designer is satisfied - so I usually go above and beyond my contractual commitment to satisfy a client. Have you had a face-to-face meeting with her about what it is she wants now that she's seen your concepts? Does/did the client agree with the original brief? What would she change in the brief now?
        Columbus, Ohio is not off the map.


        • #5
          It sounds like she has something in mind but can't explain what she wants and will typically go that's it when she sees it.
          Can she sit down and go through each design with you?
          Be calm, open and honest.
          It is always difficult to second guess someone - try using source materials for fonts, shapes, styles to narrow down your focus.


          • #6
            My contract doesnt list a charge for revisions/concepts or how many, but I specify this in the quote for the project that she recieved before we commenced. I told her three. I've done five out of the goodness of my heart but she keeps saying worrying things in emails (I'm in uk she is in malaysia) like "lets just keep working and see what happens". I mean what the hell does that mean! I'm just getting stresses about it now, I've got another project that I need to dedicate my full attention too, normally a logo would be out of the door by now, but it's dragging on waaay too long.


            • #7
              She pretty much sent me like 5 logos that were really classical fashion logo's like coco channel, givenchy, and versace. So I came up with two classical designs with an emblem to build the brand around, and a more modern high street style logo just to see what she made of that. I've since worked on another two classical designs since from her first reactions she wasnt interested in the modern design. She wants a nice type for the name with or without her tagline, and an emblem that can be recognised as her brand (with the proper marketing of course) without the need for her name. She DEFINITELY wanted to go down the high end design house type logo affair.

              I think I'll just need to explain that she'll need to give me some feedback on what we've got so far, otherwise I wont be able to carry on, I need some more direction whether we end up working on one of the existing concepts or creating another one! :S

              Last edited by bigmedia; 06-25-2008, 08:38 AM.


              • #8
                Just for your interest this is my favourite concept I gave her, I think fits the brief perfectly and is very classy all round.


                • #9
                  Hmmm, that figure doesn't read as a flamenco dancer, it looks like a pregnant clown, sorry. (not trying to be harsh, just what I see) When I first heard your concept, I thought it sounded pretty cool, but I think you need to sketch this out some more, perhaps work with a different silouhette. Can you post some of the other concepts?
                  “The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level we created them.” Albert Einstein


                  • #10
                    It has lots of potential, but I would have been really reluctant to show this to somebody on the other side of the world.

                    If I was the client my first reaction would be, she's only got one foot, and it looks twisted. What's with that pointy hat? Why is her arm so fat? Is it because she's pregnant? This isn't how I want my fashions to be thought of!

                    I know that was brutal, but I guessing that from her point of view she's not thinking about this as a concept ready for additional development. She's thinking the above.

                    I would rework it.

                    Edit...... Oops. Didn't mean to gang up on you. I must have been writing my post when WannaBrie posted. But it does reinforce my thoughts about your logo.
                    Last edited by Rockk; 06-25-2008, 04:46 PM. Reason: Explanation
                    Columbus, Ohio is not off the map.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by bigmedia
                      For example, I did a logo with a flamenco dancer, and one of her friends said that it didnt say anything about her style, the client had previously sent me about 20 photos of one of her favourite designs of her wearing a flamenco dress. I traced the silouhette and she was really into the idea that is was both her and one of her dresses as the emblem for the logo.
                      Tracing a photo of someone in a flamenco dress is not the best way to draw a flamenco dancer icon/image. I did not recognize the shape to be a flamenco dancer, despite the fact that you had already told me what it is supposed to be.

                      I agree with Brie. You need to spend some time learning some drawing basics.

                      In terms of logo design, I see a weird unidentifiable shape plopped on top of a classic typeface. It's meh. Nothing "latin" about it. Nothing "fashion" about it. Nothing "clothing designer" about it.

                      Sorry to sound harsh, but if I were your client I would not accept this either.
                      Sketching not only helps you work out good ideas, it helps you get past the bad ones.


                      • #12
                        The silhouette isn't very strong. It looks more like a large roman person in a toga to me.

                        When dealing with silhouettes, there are no visual clues as to where the head, neck, waist is, so you need to either exaggerate these or make sure they are there. Try and define and focus on making the body elegant.

                        You also need to let your client know that she has reached her maximum number of revisions and that she will start incurring an hourly rate from now on. It might sound harsh but she might try and voice her ideas better then. Sometimes it takes parting with cold hard cash for people to be able to articulate themselves.
                        It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like "What about lunch?" – Winnie the Pooh


                        • #13
                          Sounds like you need a set a number of thumbnails,concepts and final revisions in your contract next time – regardless of their success. Then if the the client would like more than what is specified in the contract you have grounds to charge for it because its extra work outside the contract, In this circumstance you would actually need to draft up another contract for the extra work and another for any extra work after that.


                          • #14
                            Yeah, thanks for the feedback, the reason it looks the way it does is cos it's traced from a photo of the designer. I can post the photo later. I've got some others, just the pose in this one suited better I thought. The pregnant bit is her swooshing one of the dress ruffles round, the other foot is set back under the dress standing one foot in front of the other, maybe I can see it better because I know what the original photo looks like. It's only a first concept, any design she likes can be reworked, its just that she's not really picking one, although she did pick this one at one point, though the silhouette was traced from a stock photo and looked like this, turned out the fashion designer had used the same stock photo previously for a catwalk backdrop and for some reason didnt really want to use it again! What are the chances of that!

                            This one is just a rough trace I did before any tweaking, but I dont have the final one with me right now, but it's much more feminine I think.
                            Last edited by bigmedia; 06-26-2008, 02:47 AM.


                            • #15
                              The second one is lacking of details, especially on head and shoulder.

                              I prefer the first one, but people have their opinion right, it looks like a preggo mommy.






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