It was hard to whittle this down to just the top five, because we have hear so many awful cliches from potential clients, but these ones make our blood boil for sure.
#5 – “I’d like to take it to the next level.”
This means nothing to us. It sounds insightful. It sounds “edgy”. It sounds forward thinking. In reality it’s complete and utter nonsense. It tells us nothing about where you are or where you want to go. And what are these “levels”? This isn’t a video game and you’re not leveling up to Mage 100. You might as well have said “A classical composition is often one floor above you.”
If you deliver this line to a designer after being presented with design concepts you just gave them empty feedback. We have no idea what to do with it. If there is something you don’t like about the design work be direct and tell us. We’re all adults here. We can take criticism.
#4 – “Make it just like this other site.”
Um, no. We’re not ripoff artists. We want to create something just for you, something that will tell people who you are and what makes you special. If your business is so unoriginal that you feel you can just steal from someone else then perhaps you need to come up with a new business plan. Just saying.
#3 – “Can you make the logo bigger?”
This one is so old, tired, and cliche that it has it’s own cream and it’s own song. There may be times when this one is warranted, but in general we know the basic constructs of design – like scale. Do not say this if you want to stay on our good side.
#2 – “You will gets lots of exposure from this.”
That’s great, but the last time we checked we can’t pay our rent, utilities, or even buy a cup of coffee with “exposure”. Try this one out with another business, like a restaurant, and let us know how it goes.
You see, the world runs on this thing called money. We exchange goods and services for it every day. You do as well. So do it with us, for our goods and services. If you can’t afford our services, we understand. We’re not right for everyone. But don’t try to swindle us with this line.
#1 – “I already have an idea, so this should be easy.”
No it won’t. More likely than not we will have to spend twice the time and energy explaining why your idea won’t work. Or worse yet, spend time producing a concept of that idea we know will never work.
You’re hiring us for our knowledge and experience, so let us do our thing! We’ll be happier. Which means we will produce better work. Which means you will be happier with the process and the outcome. We’ll end up being friends and laughing over a cold pint instead of resenting each other and crying at home… alone in the dark.
If you’ve said any of these to a designer, stop it. Just stop it. You’re not helping anyone with these. Being a good client is just as important as being a good designer. We’re putting this list out there to help you be a good client. One we want to do great things with. So we hope you take this constructive criticism to heart so we can do great things together!