Clients From Hell: Stop Creating Them

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It’s all in memories now, but the lessons linger. Luckily only 5% or less of my projects have been hellish. However, too many of us designers moan about clients we say were born and brought up in hell.The truth is, we create a number of these issues ourselves, or the enabling environment for Frankenstein-like situations to flourish.

Here are a few tips, things I’ve learned the hard way, that could help you stop creating clients from hell.

Write Everything Down

I learned this from my first job but somehow, depending on the situation, we value word of mouth above the written word, do not. Make sure everything is in the contract and both parties are happy, otherwise, why go ahead to do the work?

Upfront Fees

Based on discretion, make sure you receive some sort of fees, before you throw yourself into work. Some people charge 50% of the entire work upfront, some 25%, others schedule payments on a weekly basis. However you do it, just make sure, you are getting something as the project kicks off.


Establish frequent check-ins with your client and document it, to make sure the project is on track or things are going according to plan. Some people have an everyday check-in, others weekly. It all depends on what is suitable for you and your client.

Another aspect is having trusted friends, mentors etc who can help you along the way (of course without sharing confidential information)

Do a great job

Keep your head down and do the work you have promised. Do great work so no one would be able to point finger, you will also have your integrity intact.

Know the Laws

Make sure you understand the laws of the land, regarding contracts, payments and the companies you are working with. Find out what governs your transactions

Stay Positive & Respectful

Whatever happens, it is not the end of the world, atleast you will live to do things better next time. Even if the project went up in flames, you can still end well, which is based on your attitude and approach to life. So stay focused, appreciative and positive.

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