Knowing When to Back Out of a Graphic Design Project

Freelance graphic designers will have good and bad clients but there are times when a freelance artist must bite the bullet, stop designing, and end the graphic design project (and the relationship with the client) – and here’s why.
Lack of pay

When a designer takes on a project from a client, price is usually discussed and agreed upon. When pay becomes an issue due to delinquent payments, excuses, or no payment at all; graphic designers need to stop all graphic design work and decide if they want to finish working on the project.

It would be unfair for a designer to ask a client to pay them for not designing a graphic and it’s equally absurd for a client to expect a graphic designer to complete a project at no cost. If a client is being “shaky” with the funding of a project, a graphic designer should cut their losses and stop designing for the client.

Dealing with client abuse

I’m not sure if client abuse is being studied or if people take it seriously, but graphic designers know of it all too well. Client abuse occurs when a client is being too demanding, insulting, or completely rude to a graphic designer. The demand of a graphic design project is already stressful enough without the addition of a rude and abusive client. When the project becomes abusive; the money loses importance and the graphic designer should stop dealing with the client altogether.

Lack of communication

Communication is the key to making sure the designer and client come up with the right mix to make the graphic project work. Both clients and designers can get busy and communication can fall behind from, but when communication almost ceases to exist, it’s time to reconsider doing the project at all. If the design is important to the client, it’s likely that they’ll want to keep the lines of communication open, but if they stop talking it’s likely that they won’t pay up (or you’ll have to chase them down). If the communication stops, the design work should stop as well.

The client and artist aren’t the right fit

The client might be great and the designer might be awesome, but sometimes awesome and great don’t mix. It’s best to be honest with your client (and yourself) if you know deep down that the project isn’t going to work no matter how hard you work at it. There’s nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about – sometimes a project just doesn’t work. Not telling the client in advance will stop the client from finding the right designer and stop you from moving on with your graphic design career.

– If you’d like to read more about the crazy world of graphic design, check out Great Graphic Design Clients You’ll Always Want to Keep, How Freelance Graphic Artists Are Killing the Design Industry, and 4 Telltale Signs a Graphic Design Client Isn’t Planning to Pay You. Feel free to drop a comment if you have any thoughts on this topic.