Blog Archives

A Bad Ass way to win over a non paying client

Pretty sure we have all experienced this at least once in our careers, some more than others. Last year I was unfortunate to get sunk three times, and it really affected my confidence more than anything else.

There was a fourth attempt but this time I tried a technique that initially, I didn't feel too good about enforcing, but it worked.

There are a number of situations that you can be faced with, all with differing variables, so I don't think there is a one size fits all solution, and often there is just not a solution at all. However, if you are faced with a situation similar to mine, you may want to try this at home.

A little background

Not going to name names as it was sorted out in the end, but I will explain the general scenario for you. A nice logo project for someone who needed a new identity for a reasonably substantial company. I had got a small deposit, so I didn't feel overly concerned about getting the full payment when invoiced.

Needless to say, the invoice was ignored. It was ignored a handful of times and my patience finally got the better of me. This was about 4 months down the line. I knew in this time the client had implemented the logo and had been up and running as a business.

So this was a perfect time to try this plan.

It's not actually that Bad Ass, but it sounded good in the title.

Counting on the fact that the client was using the new logo in day to day use, I wrote a reasonably diplomatic letter stating that if the invoice was not settled withing 7 days, I would take steps to either re-sell the logo design or re-use it in it's entirety for a new client project I had coming up.

I was simply counting on the fact that the client would hopefully not feel too good about seeing their unique identity being sold off a number of times to other clients, or re-used for another major company.

It's quite amazing how one can get attached to something like a logo, and only then realise the importance it has.

After a few emails of huffing and puffing by the client, the unpaid invoice was paid in full.

It won't work every time

This is by now means a sure fire method, but I think in cases such as this, where the client has used and is using the unpaid logo in day to day use, a motivation to pay is not out of reach.

This method is not really devious or unreasonable. It's just playing with the cards you have been dealt and recovering as best you can from a unfair situation.

Don't put all your trust in a contract

As I have written in other posts, I have a much tighter system in place now. I still don't have a contract, personally don't believe in them. A contract would not have helped me in the above situation. I require full payment or a 75% deposit for first time clients. Full payment upfront usually for all overseas clients as this is a tricky one to get bad-ass legal on.

For a current identity project I am working on, that has a high budget of around £3000, we have negotiated a staggered deposit arrangement. 50% up front, a further 25% mid way and the final 25% on completion.

The more you can get upfront, the less you will worry about collecting the final invoice, and that level of peace of mind is priceless during a lengthy project.

 Previous Post:   Vintage Star Wars Travel Posters by Steve Thomas
 Next Post:   48 Band Brand Names Iconified for your Amusement

Posts of Similar Content:
Your Client and Their Financial Well-Being A couple of times I have been caught out with clients whose business dealings have expired during a logo project for that business. The end result is that I have lost out on a percentage of the total project cost. They may have paid a healthy deposit, but I have generally put in far more hours than ...
Payment structure advice for larger logo design budgets Just a few words on how I manage deposits and payment for the logo projects that have a budget of £2000 and over. For most projects I ask for full payment up front for most overseas clients and between 50% to 75% deposit for UK clients. However, when you get a job with a much higher budget, asking f...
Indepth look at my freelance logo design process – Part 1 I often get asked why my logo design process seems to differ from many other freelance logo designers. I don't take your money, scurry away for a week then present you with 4 gleaming logo design ideas for you to choose from. You choose one, offer up some remarks then I scurry away again and make se...
Logo Design – You often get what you pay for The title is not entirely accurate, but for the purposes of this post it serves a use. This post is to  draw attention to a very common situation faced by designers, a client preempting project negotiations by saying "we don't have much money". However, I must also say this, regardless of the budget...

More Logo & Graphic Design Posts - Main Blog Index

Subscribe to Blog Updates, using: RSS | Email | Feedly