Freelance Gone Bad – updated
This sounds fair, but here’s the thing: what if you do two designs and I really don’t like them at all
Candis: Then I would feel bad and do a third one for no additional cost.
(I asked a few questions about color and fonts and she responded but I don’t want to make this post super long)
Sent over 3 Concepts instead of 2 cause I always try to provide more than what I initially said I would
Client: Hi Candis, Sorry but they’re not bad. But not really great. Number two is at least more feel-good. I forgot to tell you I hate maroon .Number one is ok but also not great. also, you misspelled Hernandez. I’m not sure about having nothing on one side. I like the clean lines of it. I’m sending the logo. Please give it another go round. Today?
Candis: Can you send me some examples of what you like. Since I don’t know you and this is our first time working together it is hard to guess what you’re looking for. I would be able to giveyou another concept by end of day.
Client: I’m looking for a more modern updated cooler look. Just give it another go round please.
I sent over 3 more concepts – making that a total of 6 concepts
Client: Ohgosh! I am so sorry candis. This is just not working. What shall we do? I don’t want to make you crazy.
Candis: I tried to give a range of options between elegant, and fun using different colors and design elements. Without knowing any background on your client and the normal style of your agency it’s hard to produce something to fit a specific style. There wasn’t much direction to base my initial concepts on and without any specific feedback it would be hard to move forward.
If you would like to provide feedback and or direction on what you are looking for I would be happy to continue working on this for you.
If you think a phone conversation would be beneficial I’m more than happy to talk with you at anytime. If not I will send you an invoice for the time spent on concepting.
Client: No response
I included my designs below. Honestly if you think they are as crappy as the client thought please say so but keep in mind the feedback and direction I was given and that these are concepts.
So apparently because she doesn’t like the designs she feels that her agency is not required to pay for the work that was done. This is what I’m assuming since I have not heard anything from her. Of course I disagree with the thought of not paying for concepting work. There are many reasons why I don’t do concepting for free but I won’t get into that now.
Anyone who knows me knows that I take every creative project I get seriously. I work a full time job as a graphic designer and work on many freelance projects a week, this is a huge part of my life.
I know I am partially at fault here because I should have asked for some sort of payment before I started concepting. The turnaround time was tight on this project so I was trying to be nice and move forward as quickly as possible.
Sometimes I think I’m to nice and people just take advantage. My rates are not high and I always try to produce the best work I can. Dealing with stuff like this just sucks. I need to be more cautious and value my time. Projects and people like this are not worth it.
She responded today with this:
the bill you sent was for the full amount we had agreed upon. I think it’s only fair that you get paid half the amount since it never came to fruition.
I will send you a check for that amount.
Nope I don’t think that’s fair but whatever. Now I understand why her other designer “couldn’t hit the mark”.
Eric B. June 9, 2009 at 4:35 pm
Another approach is to respond to the "what if I don't like your concepts" with something a la Paul Rand (albeit tactfully). http://www.paul-rand.com/thoughts_politics.shtml
Unfortunately this is also the reasoning why people use contracts, and % of fee upfront.
Keep your head up, everybody gets a terrible client once in awhile.
Brad Colbow June 10, 2009 at 5:11 am
These look great. Don't worry about it from a quality angle, if anything I would say you're undercharging for your work.
When I started taking on freelance projects I had gotten some really good advice, and I ignored it all. No contract, no upfront fees, working on impossible deadlines. In retrospect it was a good thing to have some really bad experiences, that was the only way I could learn. Keep your head up.
Candis June 10, 2009 at 9:34 am
Thanks for your comments. Much appreciated!
Rob Cubbon August 4, 2009 at 10:45 am
Quite agree with the commenters – that client was a nightmare and shouldn't be allowed to get away with it. But, like I do, you put it down to experience and don't feel bad about asking for money up front. I've had that happen like once in three years so these people are, thankfully, in the minority.
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There are some really nice designs in there so don't let them get you down! I have run into the same problem a couple x's and It will never happen again. I always take some payment up front and it really depends on the job type but for something as small as your job I would have asked for payment up front. Hang in there though, it happens to all of us and you clearly have some skill. Learn from it and move on!