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Being a Female, What is your Clothing Style?


No matter what field you are in, be it graphic design, you must know how to tackle difficult clients. But there is a vast difference in handling a male client and a female client. Now don’t get me wrong here, I do not intend to lay down a gender prejudice here. What I intend to establish is which clients are more difficult to satisfy…male or female?

You might remember my earlier post invigorating the battle of genders with male female logos. But this time around the focus is to differentiate between male and female clients. What are the traits that distinguish the male clients from female clients? Is their concern more on quality or money? Which are harder to convince? Both the genders have their own share of annoying little traits that make them difficult for designers to please. For graphic designers, it is imperative that they understand the attitude and traits of their clients beforehand, so they can handle them accordingly. Let us examine the selective traits of male and female clients.


• Annoying characteristics of female clients:


1. Too finicky or confused?

The first thing about women clients is they are choosy. And by choosy I mean really fussy. They will keep on making multiple revisions of the design and won’t be able to decide on which is perfect. In other words women clients are not easily satisfied.


2. “My heart is on the left but it’s always right”

The longest that I have ever worked on a design project was for a female client. When it comes to making decisions, women clients take much longer than men. This is because they combine emotional factors with their rational decisions. Although their head tells them it is right, their heart keeps telling them there is something missing. God knows what the missing thing is anyway.


3. “Pink suits my complexion”

Although the song goes like “boys will be boys” but I believe “girls will also be girls” no matter how old they get. They will always prefer gaudy and decorative designs over the simpler and sophisticated ones. Just because they have a wardrobe full of pink or it matches their complexion, they’ll insist on having a shocking pink design for their corporate identity. Regardless of how much you persuade them, they will stick to their choice even if it doesn’t look professional enough.


4. Heads I win, tails you lose:

I once played this trick with my nephew, “heads I win, tails you lose”. It took him a week to figure out that he was never going to win this way :-D. The same is the case with female clients…If it’s good, “I did it” – If it’s bad, “You did it”! If they don’t reply, they are really busy. But if you are late in submitting the design, you are irresponsible!

Which clients are more difficult to satisfy - Female or Male?

5. “It’s my right to fight for every penny”

Another trait that is found more in women is that they tend to bargain a lot. When you work with women clients, you can be sure of defying inexhaustible bargaining, because they will fight for every penny. The difficulty for designers is to make female clients understand the value of design project and make them realize the costs attributed in it.


6. “No big deal if you did it”

There is one thing that graphic designers should remember while dealing with women …don’t expect acknowledgment since you may never get it! Women can be really rigid when it comes to appreciating someone’s work. This can also be frustrating for designers who desire some recognition and praise for his/her efforts.


7. Questions galore:

When you are working with women clients, you can be sure of one thing…questions galore! Although it is a natural habit for women to ask too many questions, but it becomes a real headache for graphic designers to attend too many questions, some of which are illogical and meaningless.


8. “I am right, you are wrong”

Another pesky trait that I have experienced working with female clients is that no matter how incorrect they are or how illogical they might sound, they are always right. For them it is you who is wrong. Imagine how annoying it is for graphic designers to be assumed incorrect in their area of expertise by a laywoman.


9. “Let me ask my hubby, granny, Mary……”

“I think I’ll have to consult my husband for this”…this is one of the common statements that women clients say to graphic designers. The difficulty is that women like to involve family or friends in their choices. They want to consult their close ones for finalization of the designs. This becomes really difficult for designers who have to refute each and every foolish advice that the client is given by her relatives or friends.


• Annoying characteristics of male clients:


1. Always in a hurry

With men it’s like everything is a piece of cake for them. Male clients often want their designs to be prepared in the least time possible. The problem here is that a professional design requires time to make, which the male clients fail to understand.


2.Poking their nose

One thing about many male clients is that they “view” or “observe” your work and designs on the pretext of a demo and later get it made from someone else at a cheaper cost or free of charge (probably from their kids). This infuriates the designer, since they do all the hard work and someone else reaps the benefits.


3.The “know-it-all” attitude

Another thing about being masculine is the pride of “knowing everything”. So male clients sometimes pretend they know a lot about graphic design, but actually don’t. One can imagine how frustrating it is for designers when their clients try to “teach” them about graphic design.


4. No commitment for payment

Although this problem can arrive with any gender of clients, but as far as I have experienced, male clients tend to make delay in payments. You will get a lot of excuses like “hey, there seems to be some problem with my account, I’ll pay you later.”


5. Busiest creatures on Earth

There is another problem that is persistently found in male clients. They seem to be too busy when called for revisions. They would prefer to discuss over the phone rather than coming to check the designs. This can be really hard for designers to understand on the phone.


6. Evident lack of courtesy

The amount of courtesy is one thing you will find less in male clients that in female clients. I don’t wish to imply that all men are discourteous, but a majority of them deal with the designers with a rude attitude. Come to think of it, there are more chances of getting into a verbal clash with male clients than with female clients.


7.“Do as I say”

There is one thing that you will notice in most male clients and not in their counterparts. Men seem to be bossy while handing out the project to the designers. One day they’l want something done, the other day they’l ask you to stop that and do the other part.


8.“You should know what i want silly"

For male clients most designs are “old” or “dull” They want something “different” something “never seen before”. But the problem is that when asked what exactly they want…the answer is “I don’t know”.


9. “So what if I forgot?”

A very shrewd thing that many male clients do, is keep on making additions to the project without increasing budget. They settle the budget for a simple website design, and then want an upgraded version of the template, then ask for flash in their website and the list goes on in this fashion. This is one thing designers should keep watch of when dealing with male clients.

In the end, i must acknowledge the good attributes of both gender of clients. While women are well-organized when it comes to work, men are quick at decision-making.But what do you think…which gender should be acclaimed of having more negative points as a client?


Author Charlie B. Johnson

has written Posts 388 .

  1. 1

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Blueprint DesignBlog, weeeh, .:: Matías Alli ::., Mustafa Duran, Albert Jackson and others. Albert Jackson said: Female Clients are disgusting?? [...]

  1. Atlanta Graphic Designer On June 7th, 2010 at 12:28 pm


    This is an interesting topic. I think the behavior of the client also depends on the sex of the designer. There’s sometimes a different interaction between male/male male/female female/female female/male work pairings, because those different pairings create different work environments.

    Another important thing to point out is that it can really be reversed too – I had male clients who exhibited many of the female characteristics, and female clients that exhibited many male characteristics.

    I think the way clients act towards you has more to do with the energy you put out and the boundaries you set, as opposed to it being related to their sex more, even though in some situations clients do fit the descriptions you wrote based on their sex.

    Thanks for bringing up this great discussion topic!

  1. Emil On June 7th, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    Recon this, yea. Been doing some stuff, mostly simpe web and copy for my dear friend, free and all.
    Everytime something is wrong i get an overhaulin’, and when i do something right it’s a mere “okay great thanks”.Often, at least.

    Kind of annnoying.

  1. Maryanne On June 7th, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    I have found women are very fickle and very specific when it comes to designs and they will tell you out-right if they don’t like it and will show and tell you in length what it is they don’t like about it. This is okay, because at least you know what they want. But it is true with some female clients you spend a lot of time haggling with them over a price and like males they ‘know someone, who knows someone that can do it for half the price’.

    Male clients are…yeeah, they are an experience to deal with and ALWAYS seem to know more about your job than you do. They are more likely to use the ‘I know someone who knows someone’ on you than women. Experience has taught me not to sound as if I know more than them because it seems to offend them, especially since I’m a female.

    But if I had to choose – I would say female clients are easier to deal with because at least you know where you stand. ts also easier to talk them out of really bad designs whereas male clients…not so much.

  1. Christian Logan On June 8th, 2010 at 2:17 am

    LOL! Awesome topic and i love the way you have defined every point. Great stuff. Personally I think female clients are tougher as they are too particular about things.

  1. Clipping Path On June 8th, 2010 at 7:01 am

    It was really nice post. Thanks a lot for sharing..

  1. Male Female Fight!! | All Mint No Hole On June 8th, 2010 at 11:13 am

    [...] No matter what field you are in, be it graphic designing, you must know how to tackle difficult clients. But there is a vast difference in handling a male client and a female client. Now don2019t get me wrong here, I do not intend to lay down a gender prejudice here. Read ahead [...]

  1. bcr8tive On June 8th, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    You were very thorough in your approach to this article, however I have experienced many of the aforementioned irritations with genders you placed in other sections …

    Since everyone is different, I can’t justify any one set of difficulties to an associated gender. It should be so easy to be able to box everyone into a category, then we could “prepare” better, for what’s coming! Good try though!

  1. Thinkstock On June 8th, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    Great debate. Wish it was that easy to peg one as easier to deal with than the other!

    Client relations are always tricky, whether male or female. It’s really about finding the right balance of listening, speaking, learning, setting clear expectations, defending and, yes, sometimes surrendering. Every client is different, so we need to be careful about taking any sort of a gender checklist into a meeting and expecting our clients to fit neatly into one category or the other.

    Just as Atlanta Graphic Designer says, it’s all about the energy you bring and the boundaries you set!

  1. Sonja Meyer On June 8th, 2010 at 10:06 pm

    I agree with Atlanta, it definitely depends on the sex of the designer as well as the sex of the client. In my experience, women tend to be more abrupt or seemingly rude when they don’t like something and you have to shake it off and try not to take it personally. but men are more likely to act like they know more than you, and try to keep the power in the relationship. This is very general and not always the case but it ‘d be interesting to know what causes these traits. Could it be the way each gender is socialized to deal with a professional environment?

  1. Morgaine Brigid O'Herne On June 8th, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    In my (admittedly very limited) experience with clients, it seems to me that women have more unrealistic expectations of what I can accomplish and in what time frame. They tend to treat me like what I do is a ‘fun hobby’ (maybe because I talk about the fun, creative aspects when I’m around women?), whereas men seem to realize that it’s actually work.
    fyi, I am a woman.

  1. adroid85 On June 9th, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    I find myself doing endless tweaking for female clients on senseless feelings about the design that come out of the blue. Often the designs find there way back to how I intended after the rest of that clients family gets a look. I tend to find that men settle on designs, which may not always be a good thing. In some ways the endless tweaking may actually help you explore new designs and make you better for it.

  1. Prior Creative On June 10th, 2010 at 6:53 am

    Wow, great resource! Just starting out as freelance and things to watch out for like this really help! Thanks

  1. vector graphics On June 10th, 2010 at 11:57 am

    female clients more difficult deal with. awesome post… i loved the way you have detailed it. :)

  1. Rocky On June 11th, 2010 at 12:56 am

    wow really nice topic.. i think female clients are more difficult to deal but age factor also matter.. If you are a smart guy and client is a young girl then it is not that tough :)

  1. Shazaam On June 11th, 2010 at 3:33 am

    My clients come in all flavors: Men, Women, large companies, small companies, individuals. My experience is that no matter who the client (man or woman) it always comes down to the size of their budget. The smaller the budget, the more of a pain in the ass they are. Having said that… most of my clients are male, and 90% of the time, they are a pain the ass. The few female clients I have have been a pleasure to work with. Maybe I’m just lucky, but I do know one thing: I love my clients! :)

  1. MKDesignHaus On June 14th, 2010 at 10:15 am

    I agree with Lou, actually. It totally depends on the client and the relationship. I’ve had both stereotypes in a guy, and only part of those in women. I’ve had very male traits in women too. Soooo yeah, it can go either way. What I think is important is just doing your best to satisfy your client, and try to explain as much possible so that they can understand what you’re doing and make an informed decision. If they choose poorly, that will be on them in the end, not you. Your job as a designer, is to solve a design problem, recommend best-practices to them, and yet, they can blow that all away with their own stubborn ideas (whether they are their own or Aunt Mary’s.) We just have to try our best!

    Difficult clients are not fun, but learning how to deal with them is a necessity. Keeping things in writing from the start is a great way to avoid headaches!

  1. Steve On June 20th, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    I agree with vector, female clients are really hard to please sometimes, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  1. Victoria Blount On June 23rd, 2010 at 3:19 am

    This is a very interesting topic for discussion, but i think how quickly a design gets signed off and completed can depend on a multiple of things whether the client is male or female, like the relationship you build up with them can effect the productivity.

    Also i think sometimes whether the client is female or male is irrelevant, it depends on the individual and what there expectations of the project are and meeting that if they are misguided or unrealistic is where difficult behavior can begin.

  1. ben buysse On June 23rd, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    hahaha…extremely funny article this was mate! and even more funny were the pics you used to describe the whole ordeal :-D I must admit, this is a good topic to discuss on as clients are the only people graphic designers have to value to most.

    Coming back to the subject of clients, i think both clients are equally difficult to handle… this is because both have there personality traits that annoy the graphic designers a lot. btw u missed one point on female clients…they can really cajole the designers into doing their work (sometimes for free) ;)

  1. Ashely Adams : Sticker Printing On June 24th, 2010 at 8:08 am

    Hey, it is an informative post. Being a designer myself, I feel it is really important to know how to handle clients. Be it male or female, I believe the best way to please your client is regular follow up.

  1. Oscar On August 3rd, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    I’ve had my fair share of both.

  1. Jay On December 13th, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    Hands down, it’s women from the east coast. Everywhere from New York border over to the Atlantic. The men aren’t much farther behind, but the women… watch out!

  1. Luis On February 28th, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    Really good post for Beginners. My last boss (Male) has every point you just mentioned in this post and that is why I quit my job. I always thought he had a bad behavior; now I have to find another job lol.

    Thanks for your Time

  1. LR On May 22nd, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    Also, women cannot make commitments to pay because they don’t earn as much money as men do.

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