How To React When Clients Say They Hate Your Logo

Nicolas Susco
4 min readMay 8, 2018

Most people don’t go to their doctors, listen to what he or she has to say, and then decide to offer some constructive criticism. They leave with a prescription and take their medicine.

But in an industry like graphic design, people feel much more comfortable offering opinions during the process. Many clients provide feedback and ask for changes to the design you’ve produced.

I’ve worked for clients who loved my first take on a logo and trusted me completely. For others, I wound up producing what feels like a thousand different versions.

We’d all like to have our first drafts accepted without a word of dissent, but it doesn’t happen that often. There will inevitably be clients who are unhappy with the logo you present to them.

Here’s how to handle it:

Trust Your Expertise

Your client hired you either because you came highly recommended, or they saw your past work and loved it. Either way, they’re relying on you to provide them with a service they can’t do themselves. You’re the expert in this field.

Your mission is difficult: You have to produce a design that fits your client’s needs and communicates the brand to anyone who sees it. Companies don’t change logos regularly, so a design is going to represent a business for a long time. It’s natural for clients to be particular about the final outcome.

Some designers settle this problem by presenting the client with a selection of several logos to choose from. But I don’t think that’s the right way to approach the problem. You should focus on producing one piece that you really love, rather than 10 you’re just okay with. I get that you want to give the client options, but if you’re being honest, you know the majority of those aren’t good enough.

As a designer, you’re qualified to make this decision. Trust your expertise. You have the experience and knowledge necessary to create an amazing brand. Present the option that you believe meets all the criteria, and iterate from there.

Know Your Clients

If you know for a fact that you’re presenting the best possible design option, you’re probably going to be fine. Maybe the client will come back with a couple tweaks, but they’ll be easy to incorporate.

Some clients have good taste, and their feedback is more than welcome. They may even test you and push you to produce something that’s much better than your earlier versions.

And sometimes, their feedback isn’t that great. In that case, you’re not only designing — you’re constantly trying to convince the client that the logo you’re providing is better than what they have in mind.

Over time, you’ll begin to develop a sense of which type of client you’re working with. It won’t shock you when a client is difficult or doesn’t know what they want, because that’s something you can figure out before you even begin designing.

You may end up banging your head against the wall if you misread the client. But if you know for a fact that a client is going to be difficult, then you can prepare yourself. You can develop an in-depth explanation about why you chose this design and what its benefits are.

You’ll learn to sell your design better if you know the type of client you’re working with.

Make Your Case

The worst possible mistake you can make is to throw up your hands and give the client whatever he or she wants. That’s taking a professional risk. An artist doesn’t sign their name to any old canvas, and you shouldn’t sign your name to something you feel is less than great.

Some clients simply don’t know what they want, and many don’t know what they need. Your job is to explain to clients why you chose a certain logo. Maybe you chose one that looks better printed at lower quality or at a smaller size. They might not love it, but they also might not realize it will look better on all the brochures they plan to print.

Explain what was going on in your mind while you designed the logo. Show them your process. Hopefully, the client will be able to explain their thinking too. And then you can have a valuable conversation that will probably produce an even better logo.

Whatever logo you design, you need to be proud of it. If you know and feel you’ve produced something great, and the client still doesn’t like it — that’s fine. Try to incorporate your client’s feedback, but trust your intuition. Through communication and education, they’ll eventually understand that what you created is the best possible solution for their business.



Nicolas Susco

Designer and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience in digital and graphic design, Nicolas has led his own agency since 1999.