About the blogger: There is no one blogger at the helm of Clients From Hell – instead it’s 'a collection of anonymously contributed client horror stories from designers.'

What is it about? Clients: can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em. The client/supplier relationship is what makes our capitalist world go round – the exchange of revenue for goods or services rendered keeps the giant cogs of our economy turning. 

Clients From Hell
But, as in love, this relationship can be fraught with danger and frustration, the kind that threatens to rob you of your sanity. Because, as in life, some clients are genuinely lovely people: sensible, reliable, well-informed and quick to appreciate a job well done.

Others, however, seem sent to test the lengths of one’s patience: mercurial, demanding, egotistical, eager to throw around their weight but woefully meagre when it comes to paying an invoice.

In short: clients from hell. And it’s these clients that directly inspire the horror stories making up this blog.

Why do we love it? Chances are, you will derive more satisfaction from this catalogue of horrors if you’ve ever worked in a creative agency, where dealing with sometimes bewildering or inane client requests is par for the course.

But the good news is, you don’t need to be a designer or developer to appreciate some of the more outrageous requests of the technologically-challenged, because stupidity is a universal language.  

Best Posts? Some are short and sweet and others a little more in-depth. Here’s a small selection of our favourites...


"I don’t know what I want, but I’ll know it when I see it."

Also helpful: 

"Give it more of a design edge."

Colour confusion and a political correctness fail: 

Client: “I don’t mean to sound racist, but…”

Me: “But what?”

Client: “But the site is too black.”

Me: “Like, literally too black?”

Client: “Yes. The background is too black.”

Me: “That’s not racist. That has nothing to do with race.” 

Client: “Phew. I can never tell with you black people, what’s offensive and what’s not.”

Me: “I’m actually Lebanese. And, yeah, that one might be a bit racist.” 

Client foxed by meaning of the term 'freelancer': 

After sending two invoices for payment, I sent another and called the client when the receipt that they had received it came back. 

Client: Why are you calling me? 

Me: You haven’t paid and this is the third invoice I’ve sent. 

Client: It’s even more than the last one!

Me: Yes. The contract you signed stated that I would add a late fee for payment. 

Client: You mean I have to actually pay you? I thought you were joking!

Me: What on earth made you think that? 

Client: You’re a freelancer!

Me: And…

Client: Well, you work for free! If you were supposed to be paid, you’d be called a paidlancer or something!

Really really unfortunate typo:


I was rounding off an Instant Message chat with a German client. I intended to say “Let me know if I can help further”. Instead, my clumsy fingers typed and sent the following before I could stop myself:

ME: Let me know if I can help fuhrer.

How good are your mind-reading skills?

Client: I need you to reformat this so that it matches our new marketing and logo redesign.

Me: Okay. Can you send the new logo and some samples of your new marketing?

Client: Oh, we’re still deciding on that internally. Can’t you just take a few guesses in the meantime?

Double fail:

We finished a 30+ page site for a client only to receive a phone call from a very upset client.

Client: Help! The new website is not working right! 

Me: What seems to be the problem? Everything seems to be working fine on our end.

Client: We’re trying to print all the pages out and they look terrible when they’re on paper!

Me: Why are you printing the website out? 

Client: Well, two reasons - first is that our CEO doesn’t like computers. He will only approve your work if we print it out for him.

Me: I’m not sure that’s going to work - websites are meant just to be displayed on computer monitors. What’s the second reason for printing it out?

Client: We wanted to make a backup in case your site goes down. 

Bold. The new CAPS LOCK:

"Make everything bold so it all stands out!”

Reasonable requests:

Client: We have a meeting next Wednesday to solidify the theme.

Me: Okay. When is the deadline for the ad?

Client: Yesterday. Can you come up with something and send it? I just sent you the specs.

Me: You want me to create an ad that was due yesterday with a theme that won’t be decided until next week?

Client: Yes

Me: No.

Get a random hit of cringe-inducing hilarity here:

Follow Alaka on Twitter @EchoingBronze