Originally posted on 12 December 2005
I get an e-mail “Naina, would you help me out with graphic design/logo design for the business, which earns me money?

I give them the benefit of doubt that maybe they are indeed talking about a paid engagement. So I write to them “Tell me more about your business, your requirements.

The next e-mail I get details their requirements, what they want their website to do and look like, what they want their logo to look like. They go to great lengths to explain what exactly they want. My reply e-mail to them then details what exactly I will deliver to them and I also let them know how much I’ll charge and how I would prefer them to pay me – since most engagements involve long-distance clients.

I never hear from them again.

I wish they’d atleast be professional enough to send me an e-mail and let me know that they can’t afford me and will not be able to work with me.

UPDATE: 29 December 2005

I have recently been involved in an e-mail exchange with someone who needed some free work done and they kept referring to this particular blog post telling me what a sad person I was. They wanted a small logo done for a non-profit and since I have been busy with other [ paid and free ] projects, I declined and told them that if they needed me to do some work for them, they would have to pay me – opportunity cost. And they kept pointing out how I write a blog only because I have an agenda and not a good heart – I don’t think they read the first line of this blog post and have succeeded in completely misunderstanding what I mean. [ It’s easy on the internet – misunderstanding. ]

I never said in the post above that I “will not” work for free. I just said that I hate it when people assume that I will work for them for free and create something for their business “which makes them money”. I am open to working for non-profits and have time and again replied in the positive when I have been approached in the same regard.

Why should I feel apologetic because I am busy and cannot take up another non-profit free project? [ Which basically means that I did feel apologetic in this particular case and thus did not like the feeling ] I could probably have been a bit more polite – but some people just don’t get it.

And oh! When I say that I expect them to be professional and tell me they can’t afford me – of course I don’t expect anyone to say those exact words! Since I’ve written this blog post, I have exchanged e-mails and discussed potential projects with clients and have told them upfront to tell me if they don’t want to work with me – for whatever reason and thankfully “ALL” of those wonderful people have been very upfront about their current situation. Who said a designer couldn’t get a percentage of the money that their client makes from selling their product? [ for the product for which I designed the logo! Of course subject to terms and conditions. ]