If there's one thing that creative people and account handlers have in common it is that neither are telepathic, telekinetic or have the power to read minds.
Yet it seems many clients think otherwise. Work that has been carefully designed, beautifully laid out and cleverly written all too often comes back with biro marks all over it. Feedback such as "Can you add a few extra words, (two sides of A4), change the design to landscape, or my current favourite, try something less salesy" are comments that do very little for the blood pressure.
Mind you, these are peanuts compared to a client who wants to design the thing themselves. This is when you have to forget everything you've learnt, disengage your brain, chew on your knuckle and just do what you're told.
Faced with a designer/client, creative people are always on a hiding to nothing. These people lack simple human interaction skills and basic business etiquette. On one or two occasions I've seen them simply stroll into a studio, take a seat next to the designer, and once they've added a few greasy fingerprints to the immaculate computer screen, start barking instructions such as "That word, make it bold!" or "this page needs more green."
Which brings me onto of this brilliant conversation between client and designer I found on "Clients from Hell":
Client: I don't like the type.
Designer: What don't you like?
Client: I don't like how it goes all to one side.
Designer: You mean ranged left.
Client: Yes, yes, arranged left.
Designer: How do you want it?
Client: To be the same on both sides.
Client: I don't have to justify anything to you. I own the fucking company.
John Fountain is a copywriter.
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