This post will probably go “poof!” at some point.

I’m a designer and I am employed often by an agency as their Art Director / Lead Designer / Whatevs. When I’m in this role I’m paid as an independent consultant and I work entirely on my own, from my personal office, meeting them only for occasional meetings. I handle client contact independently as well.

The owner of the agency normally works directly with me and the clients I work with — going to initial meetings, etc. Besides that though, she mostly stays out of it except to bug me about billable hours. She is thirsty for work all the time because frankly, she just loves money. Whatever, it’s fine! (It’s not fine.)


She is a Yes Man. Or a Yes Ma’am. Or a ‘How high did you say?’ She doesn’t care about quality so long as she gets paid, and faster is better. If a client says “I’d like to see this as a hologram,” she’ll say “Sure! It’s important you LOVE IT” without even bothering to ask “...why do you want a hologram?”

Normally this is a non-issue because 90% of the time all client communication is direct through me. But right now I have one client that is being weird and finicky, and it seems like I might intimidate (?) him. So, he’s gone to her and asked for a bunch of nonsense and her response was... you guessed it... “Sure!” And now I’m up late looking at the work and thinking... this shit is terrible and she owed it to me to explain that to him to his face.

I just want to yell at her for not giving a shit about the final product or our client’s ROI. For being obsessed with their immediate satisfaction at the cost of long-term success. She gives people what they ask for mindlessly (or she would, if I didn’t stop her) without considering that most people will not be happy getting everything they ask for. With design clients, requests do not necessarily or even usually equate to a fulfilled brief. People have no fucking clue what works. That’s our job!


When the focus is just on money, it’s easy to say ‘Yes, sure, whatever you want...’ but I can’t operate that way. I have been forced into corners with her before, and had clients dictate things that killed products. Literally, dead in the water, millions of dollars lost, all because someone wouldn’t say: “Hey, this is a bad idea and we know it, so let’s stop it right now.”