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For great justice

Graphic Designers Get Snarky Revenge By Illustrating Client Feedback

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A good friend of mine is a graphic designer and I can hardly believe some of the things he occasionally tells me about clients. I always knew he was telling the truth of course but it turns out the epidemic is far worse than I thought. Relationships with clients are always tricky, neither of you are mind readers, so what you come up with and what the client sees in their head may not always be the same thing. And then comes the feedback. The series Sharp Suits was born out of a bunch of Irish designers’ frustrations with that aspect of the field – clients talking complete and utter nonsense. They call it a “creative catharsis” and you’ll understand why when you see the images. However, the experiment did more than just let the designers release some anger, all proceeds from their art show went to Temple Street Children’s Hospital.

(22 Words via Elizabeth Amber)

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  • Joanna

    Excellent. This is pretty much the reason I chose not to go into graphic design. Nobody knows what they want!

  • Marina Rice

    Oh god, this is painful. As a graphic designer, I can say just about all of this is true.

    I once had a client that told me he wanted his site to look like a children’s book, but not childish, and then proceded to send me the most random images that had essentially nothing in common. Minimalistic logos, watercolor paintings, sketches, ink drawings. “Something like this.”

  • Sara Sakana

    “I’ll know what I want when I see it” FFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUU

    My personal favorite was the [undisclosed city] chamber of commerce president who had a problem with the lovely professional stock photo of a mom-dad-two-kids-and-dog family I’d put on their site redesign. She seemed to feel that nice professional stock photo of a mom-dad-two-kids-and-dog family wasn’t appropriate. I can only guess that she had an issue with the family in the photograph being Hispanic, because she spent five solid minutes trying to say “use a white family” without actually saying “use a white family.”

    “Can you make them, um… look more like us? You know… *vague gesturing* like us? Their clothes are fine, they just don’t look……~like us.~”

  • Bri Lance

    Oh man. I don’t think I could have resisted trying to make that conversation as long and awkward as possible, just to see if she would finally break down and say it.

    “Oh, do you want a different breed of dog? No? It’s the glasses, isn’t it. They should be wearing glasses. No?”

  • Anonymous

    Arrrrrgh!!! So far, three are true to my experience!

  • Captain ZADL

    Yep. Been there. That’s why I eventually transitioned into IT. It didn’t help much.

  • Captain ZADL

    Yep. Been there. That’s why I eventually transitioned into IT. It didn’t help much.

  • Anonymous

    Development isn’t much better, at least not whenever you end up also dealing with end-users. Sure, many are great, but for every 10 wonderful users, there’ll be one who makes you wonder what the hell was put in the gene pool and why they’re so determined to crush what faith and optimism about the human race you might still possess.

    And somehow, that one sticks with you far longer than all the good ones.

  • Joe Michaels

    Hilarious, Bri. That’s hilarious!

  • Joe Michaels

    Yep. Totally agree. Stupid people (who think they know more than they do) are everywhere.

  • Jen C

    Once had a client tell me — with a smile on their face — that they kind of thought my logo design looked “throw-uppy.” It was in front of two co-workers no less. I literally let out a loud, single laugh and said “I guess I don’t have any response to that!”

  • red

    that’s exactly the reason why I am done with gd after 10 years!..I just couldn’t take it anymore

  • Mark Brown

    I’m a writer, and I’ve gotten the same thing from producers.

  • LikoNatera_Art

    This is why I don’t miss advertising at all. I love it when I draw Caribbean looking people on story boards (where I live) and the client wants white people and asks for “more aspirational” characters.

  • Suzanne Larsen

    oh that elephant one. I designed decorative windows/doors for a few years and every 5th customer had a picture of a hummingbird in their paws when they walked in. “My neighbor has a hummingbird on his front door, and I want one…. but not the same one.”

  • Eksith Rodrigo

    The upside: They turned the drivel feedback usually consists of into truly wonderful works of art. Creativity will find an outlet somehow no matter the thumb it’s usually under.

  • Hardik Panjwani

    hahaha. Sara, next time please do what Bri suggests. :)

  • Woman

    Way to not credit the artists.


  • Jill Pantozzi

    If you were viewing all on one page you might have missed this sentence from the main article (with link) – “The series Sharp Suits was born out of a bunch of Irish designers’ frustrations with that aspect of the field – clients talking complete and utter nonsense.”

  • Laura Truxillo

    “aspirational?” What the devil does that even mean?

  • Anonymous

    Whoa! MOBY DICK!

  • Anonymous

    I’m no graphic artist, and I’m not in advertising, so I don’t have any funny stories to relate, BUT I just wanted to say these are all brilliantly clever and funny! “Red isn’t really Christmas” is totally my favorite!

  • Alicia Guy

    Oh man, I did this stuff for over 4 years and it’s all true. I did album art for cds and you would not believe some of the things I heard. It was ridiculous!

  • Anonymous

    Being an illustrator, I have gotten many of the same alliterations from a client. I hope these were done in some fun, and not mean spirited. I mean, some of the clients comment are just unprofessional and completely not helpful. But, I get when a client says, “make the sandwich more playful”. It sounds like a ridiculous requet, but sometimes those are the right adjectives to get the right style.

  • John Smith

    They’re trying to subtly say that they think that… Caribbean and Hispanic people don’t work hard or try to be leaders. Yeah.