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Help - Nightmare Client - How do I deal with this person?


Junior Member
I’m a freelance graphic designer and recently had a logo and website homepage design signed off (all paid for). The client was so difficult to handle. It got to the point where I had to ask them to be more respectful and work in collaboration with me as they were being so rude. It did actually work - but the whole project was exhausting. In the end both myself and the client were pleased with the work. However I've just had an angry email from the client asking me to remove all of the work I had done for him from my website and blog. He's furious as I didn't ask his permission to put on my site etc... It seems bonkers as the web design has my link on the bottom! I want to tell him to go jump... but worried this one might go on. Want to include this work in my online portfolio. Any advice?


Staff member
technically he's in the right, you didn't ask for permission to show it on your site. Doing the work doesn't automatically give you the rights to show it on your site.

Unless you stated in your original contract or it's in your t&c's then you need permission to show it.


Active Member
Agreed with Levi, without it being written into your contract with your client, your client has every-right to be annoyed, take down the work, eat some humble pie and put it down to experience.
I agree get it in youir contract, other than that its not worth it even if you have it in your contract, just let it go and move on to the next client.


In future you should try and build some sort of discussion into your closing meeting, covering aspects such as this where you can ask them if they have any reservations about you displaying the work completed in your portfolio. Alternatively, you can increase the overall price by, say 5 - 10% and then offer a 5 - 10% discount for allowing use in your portfolio.

I don't think there are many real reasons why companies would care if you put it in your portfolio or not. Perhaps they were just looking for ways to get back at you for something they took offence too previously. Who knows!
I;ve never had this issue, even before it was in any contracts of mine.

In one sense.. it is your work but with saying that... He paid for the work and hired you + gave you the brief. just take it with a pinch of salt and remember to put it in a contract
I think this is time to back down, say a quick 'sorry' and remove without further question. Lesson learnt, Always ask.

Building up a good relation with the client is very important. Whilst you need to remain professional, they are not your friend - lets make that clear or before you know it you'll be doing "quick favours". But happy customers are the key to successful freelancing. You never know who they might tell or when they might come back. I get the occasional long forgotten client crawl out of the wood work from many years ago due to them having a good experinece with me back then. Sometimes they've moved on and next thing you know you find yourself getting commissions from their new company.

On the other hand, to manage a problem client one technique that my colleague keeps going back to, and it seems to work is a full on toys out of the pram job - but in a very professional way.

Basically, whatever it costs you, however much time you've invested always be prepaired to stop work, offer a full refund and walk away. It's a game of call my bluff which if you're willing to carry out you will always have the upper hand.

"Yes, I'm very sorry, we seem to have reached a stale mate/have a difference of creative opinion .. etc etc. all I can do is offer a full refund. Obviosuly that means you won't have paid for any of the work I've done so far so I will retain copyright/IP etc... and I won't be able to provide any of the files, source code etc..."

Usually a client has a deadline and has already invested time in the selection process so the thought of having to find someone else to do the work at the 11th hour will cause them to back down! Just depends if you have the balls to see it through. Good luck.