Resizing & Client Issues

I keep asking a client to please summarize/shorten/reduce/etc. his content and we can move on from there but he’s really not budging. He has this 8ft x 8ft food menu banner that he wants turned into a 4in x 6in flyer. This just doesn’t seem possible with all that’s going on here…or is it and I’m just being too dramatic?? Any advice. Like he wants to keep even the repetitive parts.

I work remotely for a Pop & Pop print shop in my former hometown of Philadelphia, PA. We do flyers, tickets, obituaries, posters, local street stuff. My supervisor is like “I don’t think it will work, just be really creative“. Yeah. Sure. WTF.

It’s cluttered, but I don’t see too much that could be removed without eliminating important information. The type will be awfully small at 4x8 inches Is that a trifold size or the size of the trim? If it’s the former, it’s not gonna work without a magnifying glass.

Even if it’s a trifold that folds out to a larger size, I can imagine everyone over the age of 35 or 40 searching for their reading glasses. Reversing it out of that dark blue will also create potential registration problems.

Is there any way to talk the owner into a larger-size flyer? It’s not going to cost much more and will more than pay for itself.

What I’d definitely do is get rid of that Brush Script typeface.

Of course, I wouldn’t be visiting the place anyway — they don’t accept cards, and it’s been years since I’ve carried any cash around with me.

He’s cheap and doesn’t want to go any larger than the 4x6. It’s the trim size but it is double sided, .25in margin. At the 4x6 size it’s sooooo nonfunctional I really don’t understand the point. Though, I’d like a Rum slushy! I live in Florida, it’s always hot!

That’s going to be a lot of 4pt type. That won’t end well.

Look, all you can do is give your professional advice and let them do with it what they will. Maybe make them sign off on a hard copy to make sure they know what to expect. But it’s their money and their call. They may need to see it in print before they grasp how illegible it will be, and then you quote them for a redo.

I agree with @Mojo. If this person won’t budge, grit your teeth, do it, get paid, and move on. Maybe he’ll recognize the pointlessness of type that can’t be read once he sees the proof.


The additional major problem here is that I’m paid by the gig and the thought of having to redo work that I know is problematic is an unpaid pain in the butt :disappointed: What starts out as a pretty decent amount of pay for the time spent turns into a handful dollars on the hour of having to deal with an unruly client and then re-doing the work.

Yeh looks ok to me - don’t see any issues, plenty of room to tighten up.
Worst case scenario supply a free magnifying glass with each menu.

They get up to three “edits” included. Ideally, that means a color change, adding additional imagery /text, font change, etc. small things. Well, sometimes those small things can amount to a complete redesign but it’s not as annoying as this. For flyers all I get is $50 (24hr turnaround), unless it’s the same day, then a little more. I usually speak with clients via text exchange or video chat. I guess that’s another problem with something like this. Clients don’t see a printed proof, just digital. So he won’t see the problem really until after the order is completed and printed.

You get $50 for changes, or $50 to design the flyer and make 3 rounds of changes?

I get 50 for both the design and three rounds, not an additional 50 for changes. But sometimes, actually a lot of the time, it’s more than three, people never stick to the rule and we never charge them for more. It’s just written that way in the policy that they sign. This case has just dragged out a little bit longer than usual because of delay in email response to my request for revised text. It’s been almost 2 days now and I think he’s just expecting to see the final product than respond.

Aside from the annoyance of a client making bad choices and not listening to advice, here’s how I look at these situations: sometimes you lose money on a job, and sometimes you make more than expected. If they average out in the end, all is good.

On the other hand, I’ve found that client revisions don’t tend to even out if they’re not defined in advance and controlled. Fixing a spelling mistake here and there is no big deal, but deciding to add new content or rewriting copy often amounts to complete redos that affect the entire layout. If it’s a multi-page publication, like those I tend to work on, days can be spent on what a client thinks is a simple matter of swapping out one thing for another.

I factor into the initial cost the inevitable minor fixes that take five minutes here and there. I charge for my time on significant redos after the proof is sent.

Your situation differs from mine, but if you consistently lose time and money due to less-than-ideal clients’ bad habits and poor judgment, you might want to discuss it with your client — the mom-and-pop print shop.

I gave up on that sorta thing after a while.

Just bounce the low paying if there’s no larger projects.
If there’s larger projects then I tend to squeeze in cheap and cheerful.

But had a beeatch of a client a while ago and it was alleviating when I finally realised ‘I don’t have to put with this’ - I had an ‘aha’ moment.

Just told them I wouldn’t work with them any more unless they paid the full rate.
They soon left. And I think they bounced about a few places before eventually finding themselves out of favour with everyone.

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That 50 is actually a raise. Last year I was just getting 30 (as a base and then of course increases with different projects). However, the atmosphere was still the same with uncontrolled edits. This is not a 9 to 5 business, when clients have changes in the middle of the night, they will call me and I’ll work with them just to meet the print deadline. I love the variety of products and working remotely. Thus, I have stuck things out with the business, but yeah, this is new thing…thinking of the business itself as being the client.

I guess I feel like I’m not in a position where I can reject projects because this is still the beginning years for me. So I take on everything I can get for the money and the experience as well as a chance to hopefully make some portfolio awesome projects (not too many of those yet).

There are a few red flags here but… Are you the printer’s employee or contractor? Employees receive a W2 at the end of the year. Contractors get a 1099.

So this is my first job. I did not research as much as I should have on being an independent contractor. I work for a design helpdesk, which is within the print shop but run independently. When I asked about the tax situation in November, I was told I was gonna be given a 1099 however, I never received one. The person I asked in November and a number of times after, no longer runs the helpdesk and a different person does. I kept a log of every client I had and every amount I received including tips. I filed my taxes with those amounts included. I never received a paycheck or anything from the former person who ran the design helpdesk, I was only paid through CashApp. Now things are different even though they set the terms of the fee scale they want me to send them an invoice for projects instead. I guess I was just so excited to start working and was like I would think about the money stuff later. Yeah, it’s tricky and sloppy. I made about 10,000 last year doing design work. It was and still is a side hustle to my bread-and-butter admin assistant job. So I’d like it to be more than a side hustle, and I know I have to get more professional about it, especially in terms of finance.

This heading off on a tangent, but it’s an interesting freelance business situation.

Based on what you’ve said, this “help desk” is your client if they’re paying you after you invoice them. You’re not their employee if they’re not deducting taxes from the payment. You’re an independent contractor accepting work from this “help desk” as a subcontractor for whatever company they’re working for, such as the “mom and pop” print shop you mentioned.

I believe they were legally required to send you a 1099-MISC statement if you did over $600 of work, but that’s not your worry as long as you reported the income to the IRS and paid taxes on it. As you mentioned, it sounds more than a little sloppy on their part.

As I mentioned, I design lots of publications of various sorts (also as an independent contractor). Some of those publications contain advertising, and I’m sometimes asked by the publishers to work with the advertiser directly when they need help designing their ads or when they send some sort of weird file that makes no sense. When that happens, I keep track of my time sorting out everything, then I add it to the invoice I send the client. Of course, I get an understanding in writing that this is the case before doing it.

Again, it’s a different but similar situation to yours. What you’ve described is unusual, but there’s so much unusual stuff when freelancing in this business that the unusual stuff becomes the norm.

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Helpdesk is actually part of the business’ name. I will post whatever the outcome is of this thread’s topic!

Well to bring things back to topic, any typeface recommendations?

If you’re shooting for legibility, I don’t think you have many options. I’d start by using that same sans serif… is that Helvetica… to replace the script. Print it out and see if it’s legible. But really, this is a hopeless project.

I don’t blame the client for the craziness in this situation. Their business is sandwiches, and getting something designed and printed is an infrequent activity for them. The help desk and the printer should know better, since this is their business. They are giving away free unlimited changes and expecting you to eat the time.