Creative Pros: Design client from the depths of Hell. Help me deal...
June 4, 2014 7:42 PM Subscribe
What seemed to be a nice new client has gone haywire on me. How do I survive this project?
posted by ecorrocio to Work & Money (15 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Through a referral, I picked up a potentially substantial new client. A school district. Started in on a large-ish print piece for them (full color 32+ pages). Only then did I discover that they are completely dysfunctional, unfocused, with a heavy dose of decision-by-committee. Add to that a department-wide fear of the unpredictable leader (who I have no contact with and who has a tendency to throw cold water on the ideas the underlings like). Bottom line, 8 (widely varied) brochure versions later they are still feeding me long lists of vague input ("more magical"? "We're on the right road"?). Deadline approaching fast and I'm tapped out. Hours for this project are now roughly at 4 times my original estimate (they'll pay the hours ... If I survive). I'm the second designer on the project. The first had to drop off because of some "personal issues". I can guess what those were.
I don't mind input. I'm not a Prima Donna designer. I've been designing successfully for 20 years and have plenty of very happy clients, but never have I run into a situation like this. Frankly, were it not for my sense of professionalism, and respect for the person who referred me, I'd dump 'em tomorrow. But for now I'm committed to see it thru. I don't think I can deal with much more. Having design after design either rejected outright or nitpicked to death with nebulous "feedback" has done me in. Through it all: " we love your work!" "we're on the right road!" I'd much prefer "we don't care for your work... Bye." My referrer told me her contact said they really like working with me.
Creative professionals: How have you endured similar situations? I'm so tempted to give them the files and say "adios", but I can't. Can I?