12 things clients say that only creatives will get - Heart Internet Blog - Focusing on all aspects of the web

The Client is Always Right

You know the feeling … It’s Friday, it’s five to five … Tonight’s the night! The one night when you finally get to click off on-time and have a weekend. Like a person.

Then it happens: The phone rings and you hear those doom-laden words: “Can you just …”

Of course, they assure you, “It’ll just be a five minute job!”

And you know that you’ll be at your desk ’til midnight. Again.

The life of the creative isn’t easy. If it was, everyone would do it – instead of ringing us up at the end of the day and getting us to do it for them.

But the client wants what the client wants!

Here are a few examples of those conversations where you just have to keep telling yourself: “The client is always right … The client is always right … The client is always right.”

1. Everything’s free on the internet, right?

I'm not a designer, but... #notadesigner

CLIENT: “Look, I’m not a designer, but I’m pretty sure we can use their logo.”

ME: “No, we can’t use their property. It’s their copyright.”

CLIENT: “Even if we change the colour?”

2. Predicting The Future

How long will it take? #crystalball

CLIENT: “How long will it take for you to build me a website?”

ME: “Well, that depends on what you want it to do, how many pages, things like that.”

CLIENT: “I don’t know yet. So, how long?”

ME: “Let me just look in my crystal ball.”

3. Designed by committee

I'm just gonna show it to everyone else #designbycommittee

ME: “Any thoughts on the new version?”

CLIENT: “I love it. Signed off. I’m just gonna show it to everyone else in the office and see what the team thinks.”

ME: “Oh, good.”

4. Photoshop Can Fix Everything

Can you make the sun shine...? #photoshopfix

CLIENT: “Can you make the sun shine?”

ME: “Sorry?”

CLIENT: “In the photo. It’s very grey.”

ME: “The photo you supplied? It was taken in the rain.”

CLIENT: “Yes. Can you make the sun shine?”

5.  The font you don’t want

Can it be Helvetica? #makeithelvetica

CLIENT: “Can the type be in Helvetica?”

ME: “But everyone uses Helvetica. Don’t you want something that’ll stand out?”

CLIENT: “How about Comic Sans?  Hello …?  Hello …?”

6. On the money

I know designers who charge less #onthemoney

CLIENT:  “I know designers who charge less.”

ME: “I know clients who pay more.”

7. Writing is easy, everyone can do it

Why am I paying you for a whole day? #writingiseasy

CLIENT:  “Why am I paying you for a whole day, just to write one line?”

ME: “Why aren’t I charging you for the years of experience and qualifications and the lifetime of skillfully honed craft that went into writing that line?”

8. You know you want to work for free

I don't like to pay upfront #workforfree

CLIENT: “I don’t like to pay upfront. You don’t pay for your electricity upfront, you pay for what you use.”

ME: “You pay for your food upfront, whether you eat it or not. I have to eat too.”

9. Avoiding innovation at all costs

Can you make it like their ad? #avoidinnovation

CLIENT: “Can you make it like my competitor’s ad, please?  I know that works, their shop’s always full.”

ME: “So they don’t need you to advertise their business as well, then, do they?”

CLIENT: “How do you mean?”

10. Online schmonline

Can you build me an eBay? #buildmeanebay

CLIENT: “Can you build me an eBay?”

ME: “You mean an online auction site?”

CLIENT: “Yeah. That eBay makes millions.”

ME: “True. Although it took years to build up its business.”
CLIENT: “But that was before the internet.”

11. You know you want to work for free (again)

Could you do me a quick favour? #freework

CLIENT: “Could you do me a quick favour?”

ME: “For free?”

CLIENT: “I’ve got loads more work lined-up for you, after.”

ME: “So I can charge you upfront for that, then?”

CLIENT: “No, I thought this was a favour.”

12. Do you have a time machine?

So can you do that by tomorrow? #timemachine

CLIENT: “So, can you do that by tomorrow!”

ME: “Not really, no.”

CLIENT: “Great. Bye.”

ME: “Hello?  Hello?”

When Clients and Creatives Clash

We’re pretty sure there are moments here you’ll recognise – but feel free to share in the Comments Section below – your own “The client is always right” moments – those times when your clients have asked you for something outrageously unrealistic.

Then we can all feel your pain!

Subscribe to our monthly Heart Internet newsletter, filled with the latest articles about web design, development, building your business, and exclusive offers.

Subscribe now!


Please remember that all comments are moderated and any links you paste in your comment will remain as plain text. If your comment looks like spam it will be deleted. We're looking forward to answering your questions and hearing your comments and opinions!

Leave a reply

  • Sheila Calder


    Just do me a quick freehand sketch. It doesn’t have to be very good!

  • Christina Kinsey


    I am a dressmaker and costume maker. Yes l can relate to that…
    Think l have encountered the sewing version of all those

  • Kerry


    Can you just Photoshop out the flowers (in the supplied picture that they set up and took) to show more of the lady?

  • Willy


    Love all of these logos. I’ll take them home and show my wife, she’s an interior designer. Or…

    My daughter has just graduated from art college, I’ll see if she can come up with any ideas.

  • Sarah de Roeck


    Can you photoshop the post box out, so we can see what’s behind it?
    Wait, WHAT? 😂

  • C.Eaton


    Client: ‘But these days it’s only pushing a few buttons?” on querying a year long bill saga to design a brochure that changed beyond all recognition in that time.

  • Sabina


    Send various different mockups to client, shes a musician:

    Her: Love them and Ive chosen!! Can you just you change this this and this.

    Me: Sure thing!! (Does edits and sends back final version).

    Her: Oooh!! Thats exactly what I asked for… But my manager doesnt like it, can you start from the beginning again?!

    Get me your manager!! Why are we discussing this?!

  • R


    We need a photo of this farmer with sheep, so we’ve taken a photo of this farmer with sheep…but they’re the wrong kind of sheep, can you take those sheep out and put in different sheep? True story

  • Paul Brand


    I went to see a new potential client who needed work books and a manual. He insisted that I listen to his brief but not talk and then send him an estimate for the design and printing. When I sent him the estimate he was shocked at the price. He asked why it was so expensive and I said that it wasn’t the best way to produce the material. He wanted to know why so we had a meeting the next day when I explained all the problems with his brief. He accepted them and asked for a revised estimate based on my suggestions. I got a call the next day and the client was amazed that it was £8,000 cheaper. I said that it was also better and the right way to produce the work. He accepted and I did work for him for a few years and the work also got him promoted.

  • 09/04/2019

    Two days after Van Gogh’s Sunflower painting sold for £2mill, a customer seriously asked me “Does it come in pink?”

  • D


    “Can we have the logo in army green, my grandson is army mad and would love that!”

  • Kevan Sutherns


    I’ve never been a computer designer but feel the pain, I was a technical support engineer/project engineer/test engineer, in short everything they couldn’t hang on someone else, I got! Most people seem to think that you know what is on their mind, which often made me wonder if they had one! I would often after a ten minute conversation spend days designing systems, parts and arranging the manufacturing to be told “Oh it was just a thought!” “The team want this changed”etc, etc, etc! I gave up and retired!

  • Zoe


    1. “We just want a simple website”.
    2. “Oh, don’t think much about it, it won’t take you more than half an hour”.

    And life goes on… :-/

  • John


    When they INSIST that you spell a word the “right” way – i.e. their way – even though every dictionary spells it the way you do…

  • Duncan Hewitt


    Arch Viz client: “The bricks on the side of the building are the wrong colour – they’re too dark. Those on the front are spot on. Can you make the side bricks the same as the front bricks?”

    Me: “it’s the same texture, but those on the side are in shadow…”

  • 16/04/2019

    Best one I had was a charge by the hour design. Finished and signed off in 45 minutes. “Can I have my money back be use you finished it sooner? Since I paid for the hour?” – no.

  • Mort


    Can you make me an A1 poster out of this 72dpi thumbnail I found on the internet?

  • Alexander


    Client: These banner images are all blurred and pixely. They don’t look very good.
    Me: You mean, the images you supplied. Those 150kb images that really should have been 2mb?
    Client: Yeah, they don’t make the site look very good.
    Me: They are your images. I did tell you what size they needed to be. If you’d sent them the right size then they wouldn’t look like that.
    Client: Well, we didn’t have any others.


Comments are closed.

Drop us a line 0330 660 0255 or email sales@heartinternet.uk