Difficult clients can be the biggest nightmare for graphic design artists. Learning to deal with these requests can be a great learning experience. However, there are times when these demands can become such a problem that they are ultimately not worth the drain on your business. Interested in learning how to avoid difficult clients? Let’s go!



One of the biggest problems in the graphic design business stems from deadlines. While its true that many designers struggle to meet their deadlines due to their own problems, what I’m referring to is unreasonable deadlines by clients. Often, clients do not understand the work that goes into making a good logo, turning out an excellent t-shirt, or finalizing a website. Some may dismiss your work as “it’s just like drawing a picture,” or something similar and thus not comprehending just how intense and demanding the design process may be. With these individual, you’ll be faced with an impending, unrealistic deadlines.

Avoiding such scenarios is actually relatively easy, once you learn your own limits and what you can accomplish within a set amount of time. Unfortunately, many budding designers may be tempted to tackle too many projects at once. If you are self-employed, you really need to watch how much and what type of work you accept at the same time. Those working to assign tasks to others in a graphics design firm under them must realize the limitations of their staff and not take on clients that will require unreasonable time commitments.

Learn your own limits and stay within them, or risk failing projects horribly. Tackling contests and crowd-sourcing requests through websites like DesignContest is a great way to start learning your own limits, skills and strengths.

Some clients may provide a steady stream of work to your firm, however, this alone may not justify continuing your relationship with them. For instance, a client that offers steady work but is a constant source of stress and tension for your design work is simply not worth it when you evaluate the project as a whole. While they may give you some peace of mind in the form of reliable work, they will certainly hurt your productivity and well-being over time. Be able to recognize such clients and how they drag your practice down before it becomes a serious problem.

Finally, it’s important to be able to distinguish between difficult clients and ‘normal’ work. This may not be as much of an issue with those working for a graphic design firm. However, for the self-employed designers, it can become a little easy to turn down difficult requests once you have become well-established. There are times when a challenge is an excellent time to learn and find out your own strengths. Be able to recognize the when to turn down requests and when to tackle one. It can be a fine line between the two, but with practice you’ll find it easy. Happy designing!