Every designer has a “client from hell” story, and thanks the appropriately named website Clients from Hell, we can all feel the pain — and learn from it! And now the writers of the site are releasing their most rage-inducing anecdotes greatest hits as a cleverly designed hardcover book. To anyone who’s ever sent email asking a designer to “make it look more like Apple,” or (god forbid) work for free: abandon all hope, ye who enter here!
While the site is little more than a stream-of-consciousness collection of hilariously brainless horror stories, the new book is structured as a graphic-designer’s version of (what else?) Dante’s Inferno — with various levels of client idiocy fastidiously catalogued and relegated to nine increasingly heinous circles of hell. And just like in Dante’s original version, “Betrayal” is the very worst sin a client can commit. After all, is there anything worse than a client who throws a designer under the bus to cover his or her own craven ass?
While the site and the book work just fine as coping mechanisms for exasperated designers, this slim, snarky volume may have actual utility as a perverse kind of etiquette manual. Let’s face it: while many of the dopes whose demands are pilloried in this book are actual evil human beings, many more are probably just oblivious to “the rules of the game” from a designer’s perspective. So pick up a copy of Clients from Hell, put it in your design firm’s lobby, and prospective clients might just learn how to play nice. Everybody wins!