20 Ways To Drive Graphic Designers Mad

Are you a potential client? A new graphic designer? Or someone who just enjoys annoying people? If you’ve never worked with graphic designers before or you simply want to tick us off, here are 20 ways to drive graphic designers mad.


psd-vs-jpg-vs-word1) Send your images in MS Word format

Seeing MS Word file attachments in our e-mails makes us want to pull our hair out, more so when you treat MS Word as a photo album.

2) Send low-res images

Graphic designers are always asked to scale images and it’s hard to stretch a low-res file without sacrificing its sharpness. It’ll be hard for us to “make your logo bigger,” but we’ll get to that part later.

3) Ask us to edit flattened files

Although it is possible on some levels, there is a limit to how much we can edit your flat files. Please make sure that you send us files with editable layers. Usually it’s the file with the blue Photoshop icon.


4) Ask for mock-ups before hiring us

Nope, that’s as good as working for free. Mock-ups are submitted after we sign a contract and agree on the project details. We have portfolios that host our past works from which you can judge our art style before hiring us.

5) Discuss business terms and statistics with us

We’re not dumb but there are certain things that you should leave to your colleagues, the same way that we leave you out of hex codes. Unless the information is crucial, limit your words to 3 syllables and the numbers to 2 decimal places.

6) Ask us to work for free

We want to give you your money’s worth but we have to consider our cost of living.

7) Tell us “it’s good for our portfolio”

Eyes of graphic designers sparkle when they find work that would be good for their portfolios, but that’s not for anyone else to decide but the artist himself.

8) Haggle endlessly

Haggling is only minimally considered before the project starts. We are in a creative market, not a fish market where you can get the stale fish at a discounted price.



9) Insist that we use fonts inappropriate for the project

Are we making a children’s book? A teenage comic book? If not, let’s leave Comic Sans on the shelf. You want your brand to look cool by using Helvetica? Hmm. We don’t think Helvetica would go well with infant needs.

10) Compare us with other designers

Please don’t tell us about the graphic designers you found on the internet who charge $5 for a logo. We all speak the same language but we don’t all have the same accent.

11) Tell us you don’t like “white space”

We will not accept the argument that you paid for the “white space,” hence we should fill it up with something, anything just to get rid of it.  White space is not a waste of space. It’s part of the design.



12) Tell us to make the logo bigger

The number one client feedback that we hate hearing is to make the logo bigger. Big isn’t always better. Graphic designers sometimes forget that the logo should be prominent, but the client has to understand that the logo is not the artwork, it’s only a small part of it unless the logo is the hero image.

13) Expect us to know what you like

We are graphic designers, not fortune tellers. What we can tell you now though, is that you will not get what you want unless you tell us exactly what it is.

14) Expect unlimited revisions

There is a limit to how much we can revise our work based on the brief you have given us. If our work bounces back over a couple of times because you don’t like it, it might tell us that you are indecisive — and we might not work for you again.

15) Use vague instructions

Jazz it up a bit. Can you make it more web-ish? It lacks sparkle. There’s no oomph. Can you make it pop? Please try to be as specific as possible because vague comments lead to vague revisions.

16) Watch us work

Go ahead and hover at our back and crawl above our shoulders when we’re so in the zone. We just can’t promise not to punch you in the face.



17) Ask feedback from non-authorities

Go ahead and show our work to your friend/child/spouse, but don’t rely solely on their feedback unless they’re adept with graphic design, business, or marketing. Discuss our work with your business partner, your director, an advertising major, or anyone with authority and enough knowledge within your company.

18) Take too much time sending revisions

Before we started our project, we laid out a timetable to gauge the production time. That timetable can only be followed if we get your feedback for revisions promptly.

19) Tell us we’re wrong

Yes, we’re humans and we commit mistakes, but don’t tell us outright that we’re wrong when you don’t like our designs. It is likely that we did not meet your expectations due to different reasons, but that doesn’t mean we’re wrong.

20) Refer to us as “just a designer”

This is probably the worst thing you can say about a graphic designer, that he is JUST a designer. We don’t dress in suits everyday or carry briefcases but we take pride in what we do.

As a graphic designer, what else drives you mad that isn’t in this list? Share them through the comments below!

9 comments on “20 Ways To Drive Graphic Designers Mad”

  1. spieler Reply

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! Nearly all of this points i had in my 19 years in this business!

  2. Kristopher D. Williams Reply

    .Ive dealt with this and I’m dealing with it now. Confused people that keep revisions after revisions……I don’t want to rack my brain on the same design because I’m confused with what you want

  3. Anthi Malteza Reply

    Here’s what I think. On one hand, you have the whole “non-designer” world think you are just a designer and as such, you need to follow instructions to make clients happy. On the other hand, you are a professional designer with education and experience that the “non-designer” world usually can’t quite imagine, and you work to meet the requirements of a brief – whether that makes someone happy or not. When these two collide, the aforementioned 20 things might happen.

  4. Pin Reply

    Keep feeding you with other designers’ work and ask you to follow what they did.
    This always happen when you show your client/boss your design but they just ignore it. Instead of reviewing your work they keep showing you other example. for most of the time the examples are the same type of design you showed to them.

  5. Robert Vasile Reply

    @1. save the word document as docx, replace the docx extention with zip then unzip the file; 100% you’ll find all the images at their real size, 90-95% at their original size… use your brain to make your life easier; or just use google…
    for everything else, just use a front or some kind (like a client service person, if you can afford it) and stop whining

  6. Jäegermeister Reply

    17. 17 drives me up a wall and the first time it happened with another designer was the last time I wrote a contract without a very clear, very penalty-laden non-compete clause. Like, ok, your cousin is a designer- then get them to do it!!

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