Graphic designers sometimes get tempted to work for any and every client that comes their way. Beggars can’t be choosers, so if you don’t have many clients to begin with, that’s an understandable attitude. But not every business relationship is a good idea, and sometimes a client is just more trouble than they’re worth.

When you’re dealing with a design client, there are a few red flags to look out for. Maybe your client is consistently late with payments, or they don’t pay you the price you agreed upon. Perhaps they’re rude and disrespectful, or even outright lie to you. Or maybe you actually like the client, but you’re just too overloaded with work to take on their next project.

Practically every graphic designer has a story about some nightmare client they’ve had to deal with. Horror stories about annoying or incomprehensible clients are all over the Internet; there are even entire websites devoted to them. But there’s a fine line between an annoying client and one that threatens your ability to do business. How do you tell when you’ve crossed the line from a client relationship that’s simply uncomfortable to one that’s truly toxic?

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Though it’s never a pleasant experience, there are some clients that you’re better off letting go. Nobody looks forward to doing that, especially if you’re averse to confrontation. And firing a client is a big step that can’t be easily reversed if you change your mind later. But in the long run, nipping a problematic business relationship in the bud will save you from a lot of grief and free up time that you can spend on more valuable endeavors. The trick is to identify the signals that indicate a client is worth letting go.

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This handy graphic illustrates the most common warning signs that it’s time to fire a “client from hell.” Whether you’re a veteran graphic artist or just starting out in the industry, you’re bound to get some use out of it. Be sure to share it with your fellow graphic designers so that they know what to watch out for the next time they work with a “devil in disguise.”

10 Signs that tells, its time to Fire your Graphics Design Clients

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