10 Things to Never Say to a Graphic Designer

Things To Never Say To A Graphic Designer

Things to Never Say to a Graphic Designer

You probably have never heard an expectant woman tell the doctor to hurry up and deliver her baby because if he does she will give him a significant amount of money above the normal charge. This would be crazy and even unthinkable even let alone doable. Well, it has happened. Not the woman and the doctor in most cases but a client and a graphic designer. Imagine throwing some dollars to a designer so that they can do you a favor because you are in a hurry.

You do that so that they can complete your work faster. Well, they end up doing a shoddy chaotic job that you will seriously disapprove of. That is just an example of how the life of a graphic designer is. Here are ten absurd things people say to their designers that you should never say to your graphic designer.

  1. “Can you do this thing for me really quickly

Image result for a demanding client images

Some clients come in thinking that what they need to be designed will take a very short while. Well, it does not. They actually say this before even the designer sees the content on which to base the design. Your designer may be busy but will always make an adjustment to accompany your work but it is better to ask them how much the work will take rather than give them time limits.

The designer is the best person who can estimate how much time a design will take and all you need to do is ask instead of giving a timeline that may even be unworkable with. Designers are there looking for money and if you insist that your work should be quick, they will do it but the design will always be of poor quality no matter how good they are.

  1. Never ask for many samples so that you can choose which you love best.

‘So can you do a lot of versions, I will know it when I see it’. This is one of the most inconsiderate things you can ever say to a designer. So you expect them to do 5, 10, 30 pieces so that you can come up with a decision. Why in the first place did you go to them? It’s best to go away and come back when you have decided on what you want.

You are just being a burden. You want all those samples done yet you will by the end pay for just one. Furthermore all the other draft designs are useless and a waste as they were designed specifically for you so they cannot be used to do any other design. That is not even close to being fair. Go to your designer when you have decided on what you want.

  1. “I want you to do something exactly like this one here”


This is a normal problem because people love what they have seen work somewhere else. What is the work of your designer then if all you want is for them to copy something? Apart from ethical consideration of not copying other designers’ work, you put them in a legal consequences problem. The problem of copyright that can see your designer face legal action against them for plagiarism. Instead of all this why don’t you put your trust on your designer? They are also professionals and you can be surprised by what they can come up with if you only give them the chance. Their original piece may be even much more presentable than the one you want to get. Just let your designer do their work. Let them enjoy their originality.

  1. Use this image I downloaded online”

Again the issue of trust and originality not mentioning the part where you are stealing someone else idea or plagiarizing. The image could also be subject to copyright. Another problem with such photos is that they may not be to specification with the design at hand. The pixels might be too low so it comes outstretched on the design ruining it. It is best that after providing the content you tell your designer about which of the photos you would want to be put. The designer is well informed that they are able to tell which photo will go better with the design. In most cases, the client will force the designer to use exactly what they love even if they do not know how it will turn out. The result, they say another thing they shouldn’t that we discuss that phrase next.

  1. “How about we just go back to what you were suggesting”

Let’s face it, you are not the only client that the designer has so just stop wasting their time. When they advise you to forego something, it is not because they want to use their concept but it is also because they have experience in what the field is about and experience with a similar subject. Most clients are proud because they will need proof that their concept won’t work and why. That will just be wasting time and resources on you both. And obviously, no one pays the designer even after engaging them in a wild goose chase. Be humble and let the experts do their work.

  1. “Put my company’s name on your page, I will not pay you but you will get a lot of my exposure”

This is again the meanest statement that many clients especially the well-off ones with the ability to pay you will say in most cases. Well if the exposure will put a plate of food that night on the table I am sure they would not mind. But it doesn’t.  It is good it will boost their portfolio but that will not pay their bills. You should stop looking for favors or branding strategies in that manner. You know design is a job like any other and they may be depending on that ‘exposure pay’ to keep going. So next time is better to hold on to your exposure and just give them their due.

  1. “How much for my project?”

Every item has its price. Designs are no different. Every design uses different resources and its impossible to tell you how much your design will cost before a designer has gone through it. Factors like urgency, complexity, format, and layout how it will be printed are just a few things that determine the cost. Before asking such a question make sure your designer has considered all the factors needed then you can ask the question if you must. Comparing a designer to the one who charges less can be viewed as if you are downgrading them and it can affect your design in a bad way as they will tend to do a shoddy job because you are looking down on them.

  1. “I leave that to you. You are the expert”

Yes, the designer is the expert that is why you went to them in the first place. And they can create a design with perfection. But what if they have no content of what you want. They will go and do something that will end up not helping you. Their work of perfection will go to waste as they will not guess correctly what you want to have on the design so it is ultimately upon you to communicate your desires. Make sure you provide the contents of the design before saying those words.


  1. Your price is too high, I know someone who does it for half your price”

Related image

Pricing of different designers depends on a vast of variables. It could be the cost of living, geography, skills, experience and so much more. It also depends on the designer’s qualities such as speed, originality reputation and the quality of the work done. You get what you pay for basically. By coming to this specific designer you must believe that he is better than the previous one. So you should just comply with the rules of the house. There is nothing wrong with comparing prices, but don’t tell the designer to his face that you know of cheaper services.

  1. Can you have this done by tomorrow”

Designers are also human. I know of designs that can take days depending on its complexity layout and most importantly, the level of originality of the designer. Every project has its own process and time requirements just like any other thing out there. Designing is a process and it requires quite some time from my experience. Again avoid giving your designer unrealistic timelines, just ask for advice and they will tell you how long it estimated to take.

So by now have you ever seen a woman tell a doctor to deliver her child faster for a fee? I am sure by now you know of several of these types of women. Designing is a process let us keep in mind that designers are human too who need time to rest and experts who have vast experience in their fields. Some of the questions you ask out of ignorance may have a negative impact on the work you want to have done.


Here are a few more great graphic designer posts!

Brandon Stapper
Brandon Stapper is an entrepreneur and investor. He is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Nonstop Signs, an industry leading graphic design, print, and sign business with multiple locations throughout the United States. At 20 years old, with no formal education and only a few hundred dollars, Stapper turned a $400 custom decal machine in a garage into an international printing powerhouse focused on helping businesses improve their marketing and branding with everything from retail signage to packaging, to trade show displays.
facebook twitter linkedin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.