Clients That Suck

Lately, I’ve had a little extra time building up between now and my next project, so I have been surfing craiglist heavily looking for projects to fill in the void. While I’ve found some promising stuff, most of the things posted are pure crap.

Henceforth, I felt the need to take a look at the 3 worst types of people who offend us gig-seekers.


3. The Portfolio Freeloader

The Porfolio Freeloader usually post ads that read as follows:

I am seeking a professional, high quality designer to do my website. I can’t afford to pay, however this would be an excellent website to put on your portfolio.

Basically, they want a professional to do the work for free. Sounds enticing!

Lets say you are looking for a prostitute. Really, you are looking for the highest quality professional who makes her living in the world’s oldest profession.

I suggest that the Portfolio Freeloader tries posting another ad: ” I’m looking to get laid, I want a professional hooker to screw my brains out. I can’t afford to pay, but it would be an excellent lay to add to your experience”.

Any hooker or web designer who responded to this ad believing that it would be in their benefit would only hurt themselves and their credibility to a certain extent. If you want to do free work, build your own site first. Figure out what works, and what doesn’t. If you are going to do free work, intern a bit with a reputable company. Don’t work for free for too long though, long enough to learn the ropes, the ins, and the outs.

This of course doesn’t include donating time to your favorite local charity’s or social organization’s website, which I have myself have done in the past. Didn’t see any hookers offering free sex for charity workers, but it’s a novel idea.

Portfolio Freeloader, please stop posting your ads. You make our neighborhood look dirty and cheap.


2. Equity Sloth

The Equity Sloth has the “Coolest Product” and the “Best Idea” for a website, ever. In fact, they have so much faith in their product’s badassness, that they don’t think they should have to do any work…at all.

A typical Equity Sloth’s ad looks like this

I a great idea for a website to sell my unique product. I am looking for a web designer to take charge of this excellent opportunity for a share of equity in the company.

Translation: I lack the ability or motivation to sell my product in the traditional marketplace, therefore, I don’t have money I’m willing to risk by extending my reach onto the internet. You will do everything, marketing, construction, maintenance, and I will sit there and daydream about how great my idea is! You get 20% of any profits made! What a fabulous opportunity for you!

Usually the idea is this “I am afraid of germs and I made a toilet seat handle that makes it so you don’t have to touch the toilet seat to lift it. Now, you only have to touch the pee encrusted handle!”

Oh Equity Sloth, will you ever learn?


Reaching into the depths of my memory, I will now talk about the number one single worst client to work with in the world.

1. Graphic Designer Primadonna (GDP)

I can’t count the number of foul metaphors I could use to describe this dastardly villian. The Graphic Designer Primadonna is so convinced of his aesthetic rightousness that no matter what the medium, his visual commercial design rivals of the masterfulness of the Sistine Chapel.

When it comes to websites, the GDP will unleash his frenzied yet inspired web designs on his 1200×1600 Photoshop canvas.

After several unsuccesful attempts at uploading this monstrosity of billboard proportions the GDP will post the following ad

Wanted – Web guru to help finish a website for a client. The website is designed, I designed it, so I really just want someone who can make it work. This is NOT a design job, I designed the website. I just want it to work.

Translation: “I am god. Just because I don’t understand the technical aspects of the web, I DESIGN a superior website because I am an artist and you are more technical. ”

So where did the GDP go wrong? First off, when he told a client “yes, I can make you a website.” Then, operating under the assumption that web design was kind of like designing a magazine ad or bus stop billboard, the GDP goes on to create a Frankenstein that he can’t control. Obviously, when the GDP has to contact someone, he wants to keep it exactly how he designed it, and wants a web professional to do it.

GDP projects become a nightmare, often because of unworkable design, egos, as well as being a piece of work that you really don’t want to put in your portfolio.

My advice to Graphic Designer Primadonnas: Stick to designing individual graphic elements until you have learned some of the fundamentals about web design, or let the web designer do his job.


Kyle wrote 139 posts

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