Being ditched by your client isn’t a subject not many of us logo and graphic designers would care to talk about, but it happens, and it happens a lot.
Q: Is it just me, or does it happen to other designers?
A: No, it’s not just you. Far far far from it.
Being dumped by a client has happened to me a number of times in my logo design career, and I also know it’s happened a number of times to other logo designers that I know of.
I also know being ditched by a client has happened to those amazingly talented wellknown designers who you probably feel are incapable of doing any wrong.
Sometimes you don’t need to had done anything wrong to be ditched.
Being ditched happens to new designers; it happens to seasoned designers, and it happens to large agencies and studios.
Being ditched by a client happens to all of us.
The reasons are many, and varied, and sometimes there are no obvious reasons.
- Sometimes it can be feel totally unjust, especially if you know you’ve busted a gut and spilt blood and tears trying to impress your client.
- Sometimes you just know you haven’t done your best, and you go with the flow.
- Sometimes you’re not even ditched, but seemingly ghosted:
The client just seems to lose interest, and doesn’t’ reply to any emails or provides any more feedback. There’s just silence where the days turn into weeks, and weeks into months. All the time you’re left wondering…
- Sometimes we have a personal challenges going on meaning your mind is preoccupied, but we still need to take clients in order to pay those bills:
That’s the hard one to try and make peace with; knowing you desperately need to say Yes to taking on that logo project, but also know you’re likely not going to be able to be 100% there for your client, so you just hope beyond hope that by some luck of the creative Gods, you are able to muster on through and complete the project with a happy client.
But it doesn’t happen that way, and you end up being ditched… and boom goes your self esteem, your pride and convincing yourself you must be the only designer to have been ditched.
You are NOT the only designer this happens too!
It literally does happen to all of us, and if it hasn’t happened to you yet, then it’ll likely happen at some point:
Not necessarily due to anything you have or haven’t done, but likely down to something out of your creative control, leaving you totally baffled and confused.
You’d not be alone with that one, and when it happens just know it’s happening all over the world and to each and every one of us.
So it also happens both ways; you can be the unfortunate victim, but also the fortunate saviour. I reckon it all balances out in the end.
Just handle the client/designer break-up with grace, try not to burn any bridges, and move on to the next project.
Reduce the Risk
Sometimes this break-up can be a pretty bad experience, especially if money is owed by the client, or any other number of practical and monetary complications caused by an unexpected end-of-project: money owed, projects you’ve turned down thinking you’d not have the time, scheduling nightmares, etc.
- Having a contract can help in some of these cases, and it’s worth looking at having one if you don’t already.
- It’s worth having some kind of Professional Indemnity Insurance, which I have courtesy of WithJack. I’ve had to rely on this insurance, and I wouldn’t be without it, so I’d strongly advise this your next to-do.
1. Pure Storage had initially approached me first, but my quote was too high. They tried with several designers, and even a logo design contest website, before coming back to hire me.