Bad Taste

I just designed a book cover for a client that I’m quite proud of, particularly the typesetting of the title and the pairing of the script font with a sans serif font. It’s trendy and would look pretty good in my portfolio. However, my client came back and said she wants the entire title in script because it would be “prettier and more consistent.” It is a very long title. I made the revision and it looks horrible. But she loves it. :roll_eyes:

This is not the first time this has happened. I seem to attract clients who hire me as a monkey to push buttons, rather than a designer with skills and experience. Granted, this client has been one of the better ones. She listened to everything else I suggested, but not this one that really matters. Usually I just leave these types of finished projects out of my portfolio. But this was work that I really want to showcase. Plus, she’s giving me an attribution in the book that could lead to more business down the road.

I’ve already tried explaining to her why her revision is a bad idea (I used more diplomatic terms of course). No go. So, my question is, can I include my original design in my portfolio instead of her revision? I will be sending her a contract that gives me the right to use the design for my promotional purposes, but I’m guessing that refers only to the finalized design that she paid me for. Also, should I ask her to remove my attribution? Seriously, the end product is so bad I don’t want my name associated with it at this point :grimacing:

I’d say you can put anything that’s your work product in your portfolio, but since you’re writing the stipulation, just make it applicable to interim iterations as well as the final product.

If you feel that strongly about it, then yes. In fact, it might have helped get the message across if you’d done that while debating with her about the typography. Tell her it’s no longer your design, and you don’t want credit for it.

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Better still, add the client’s name to the credits.

You have to be careful doing that. I had a client get all offended that I didn’t want my name on a credit panel. I mean, really offended. Requires mega-tact if you want them to come back.

Of course you can. It’s your design and an example of what you’re capable of doing. She has no rights over the cover she didn’t choose.

I’ve asked clients not to include my name on various projects for similar reasons. As PrintDriver mentioned, it requires considerable tact to do so without offending the client. Maybe you could tell her something along the lines of, even though the book turned out well (a small white lie), it’s your standard policy to decline a credit line for work that might misrepresent to others your style or the design decisions you would typically make.

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There aren’t bad things, there are bad people.

Thanks everyone! I really appreciate the advice. I decided to allow the attribution, but to include a stipulation in the copyright release that allows me to use previous versions of the design in my portfolio :slight_smile:

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