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Clients from hell: why you should stick to your guns

"I work as a typesetter and a book designer and was working on a book about makeup. About 60 pages into the project, I had the following conversation with the client:

Client: So, when are you going to start changing the font?

Me: Which font?

Client: All of them.

Me: I was never planning to.

Client: You need to. The font is too manly; it needs to be more feminine.

Me: It needs to be more feminine? You approved this layout and these fonts. You approved everything at every stage throughout the briefing process. I have a signed approval with this font in it. If I change it, I'll have to redesign much of the book, and I simply can't do that for free or as part of your edits.

Client: Well, to be honest, I thought you could just press a button and change it.

Me: A fair misunderstanding, but I'm afraid it's not so easy.

Client: Well, I can't afford to pay you any more for further work, and if you don't fix this, it's a clear breach of contract and I won't be paying you anything.

Me: It's not a breach of contract.

Client: Look, this is going to get messy if you keep this up. I assure that breaching a contract is serious and I can sue you for it –

Me: As per the conditions of our signed contract, in the case of a dispute, I'm going to burn you a disc with all my work. You can cut me a cheque for all the work I've completed so far, and you can feel free to use the remaining money to replace any fonts you want to.

Client: I think don't think we're understanding each other ...

Me: There's no misunderstanding on my part. You approved something, and I worked to those standards set out in a brief. It's your business to change those standards, but it's my business to protect myself if a client tries to bully me.

This article was originally published in issue 250 of net magazine (opens in new tab). To read more stories of client nightmares, head over to Clients From Hell.

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The Creative Bloq team is made up of a group of design fans, and has changed and evolved since Creative Bloq began back in 2012. The current website team consists of six full-time members of staff: Editor Kerrie Hughes, Deputy Editor Rosie Hilder, Deals Editor Beren Neale, Senior News Editor Daniel Piper, Digital Arts and Design Editor Ian Dean, and Staff Writer Amelia Bamsey, as well as a roster of freelancers from around the world. The 3D World and ImagineFX magazine teams also pitch in, ensuring that content from 3D World and ImagineFX is represented on Creative Bloq.