5 Warnings That Tell to Decline a Design Project


There is a definite period in a designer’s profession where they must make a firm stand and decline a design venture. Of course nobody likes to kick away a nice earning from a client, but there are situations where it just isn’t worth the ordeal. Even though the economic slump has made it an extremely testing period for professionals, but some client projects is just a waste of time. So, instead of wasting your time and efforts on something that wont reward you, you should beware of the warning signs beforehand.


The trouble is that we get attracted by the earning and don’t realize the worth of a design project. This leads designers to taking up projects that end up paying nothing at all. Here are 5 warnings that tell you when to decline a design project:

1. Poor Credit History:

After experiencing clients who don’t pay, there is one thing I have learnt…always run background checks on clients who look dubious. There are some clients out there who have a habit of conning every logo designer they work with. Before you accept a logo design project from clients, try to find out his previous dealings with other designers and if he has a habit of not paying up. You wouldn’t want to around pillar and post to get your hard earned money do you?

After suffering from customers who don’t compensate for the project, I have picked up a valuable lesson…be sure to examine the credit history of the clients who appear suspicious. In your careers, you are bound to encounter customers who have an addiction of ripping-off every designer they use. Prior to taking up a design venture from customer, attempt to discover his past negotiations with other professionals to check his credit history. If it is bad, then it is a clear sign to decline the project upfront.

2. Wants you to Copy:

Every now and then, you may bump into customers who will demand you to work against our principles. For instance, if a customer asks you that he wants a brand identity design and asks you to copy a famous trademark, don’t do it. You may think that it will be the client’s headache if he wants the design copied, but in the end you will be damaging your portfolio as well. Also, prevent operating for penalized organizations, as it will resultantly impact your popularity in the marketplace.

3.  Insufficient Project Details:

Puzzled customers are still controllable, but customers that have no idea of their design requirements are risky. As a professional designer, it is vital for you to be on familiar terms with what the customer’s specifications are otherwise you cannot make the right thing. However if a customer approaches you with a project on hand and asks you to accomplish it without a design brief, then you should decline it. There isn’t any sense working for someone who doesn’t recognize their company needs.

4. That ‘Gut Feeling’:

Occasionally, you acquire a sixth sense intuition that foretells you that something bad is about to happen. If your gut feeling says that the design project isn’t viable to work on, stick you’re your intuition and decline he project. This is because if you are not satisfied with the client, you won’t be able to work efficiently on the venture.

5. You are Being Rushed:

Ever undergone a client ordeal where you are being pushed for the design? A rushing and pushing client is a warning sign that you should decline the project from start. If the client comes and asks you to take up a project and complete it in a couple of hours, refuse it. This is for the reason that a design is not a fast food that can be ready in a few moments.

Never be too hesitant in refusing a design project that doesn’t add up to your expectations. There will be many projects coming your way which are worth taking up so don’t fret in declining a project when the warning signs are imminent.

Henry James is a designer and blogger who runs Logo Contest Reviews. On his site, you can check out comparisons like 99designs vs CrowdSPRING and facts about 99designs scam.


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