I love to read articles about design and art and how to be a better designer. I am knowledgeable, but I always think that there is something new or new insight that I can gain. With that being said, I began to notice a trend on multiple blogs and different sources that refer to the client as the “enemy” or the “nemesis”. They referred to clients as annoying and bothersome and unappreciative, and I am simply appalled. I am not going to name any certain names, because I hold myself to a higher standard, but if you aren’t happy with a client, then it is partly your fault.
First of all, if you are on your own then you ultimately decide who you are going to do design work for, no one else. If you make bad choices, then that is your fault.
Second, it is our responsibility to inform the client of what is expected from their end of the process. In your estimate, design brief, or working contract, it is your responsibility to lay out all of the details of how certain aspects are handled. If you are unhappy with the behavior of your clients, then most likely you are doing something wrong. It is important to let them know that they are responsible for all of the product information, product images, what the costs will be, set the time frame, due dates for payments, etc. That all should be laid out in a contract signed by both parties before any work is even started. If you take the time to make sure that your client understands the process, what is expected and when, as well as the schedule and time frame of the project from start to finish, then everything will go much more smoothly. I agree that there are sometimes problem clients or that some clients can be bothersome, but that should only be on a rare occasion.
One thing to remember is that clients are spending a lot of their hard earned money to pay us to do design work for them. They are trusting us to understand their needs, and solve their problems in order to create more business for them. They are trusting the well-being of their business. There is a lot of trust involved in hiring us, and with all of the scams and crooks out there, ( I am not just talking about design, but life in general) it is not always a quick thing to accomplish. Not all clients are perfect, but they deserve our respect and they certainly are not our enemies. Good relationships always lead to repeat customers.