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Nov 13, 2007


Anthony R.

have to say - two wrongs don't make a right...(cheesy I know!)

And it is sad that etiquette doesn't seem to have it's place in the civilised world anymore I agree with that; but at the end of the day, business is business whether you are a graphic designer or a battery manufacturer and finance (unfortunately) needs to drive everything... you generally don't get clients asking for the most expensive thing either I guess....

just my thoughts - I don't want to come across as mean or anything!

Richard Weston

Oh go on Ben, do it for fifty quid. It doesn't have to be any good. Doesn't even matter what the titles are, as long as they're different. And quite basic, so use Arial.

Two titles, say three words each, set in Arial, just stick 'em at the top. Fifty quid. Sweet.

Get a few jobs like than in and it'll be easy street before you know it.

claire gates

'I'm sorry, I'm very busy' is no excuse for anything.


Well done, Ben!

I wouldn't stand for something like that either.

Also, did you notice that the person didn't greet you in the second email either?

Looking forward to more blog posts! I'm addicted to your blog :D


Phillip Wheaton

To busy to take 5 seconds to add "hello there" or "I'm interested in *" or "We stumbled on your site and think you are perfect for *"? I don't buy it.

Being busy does not excuse being unprofessional, or at least marginally courteous - and that's universal.

Richard Weston

Say, "More Vroom Per Volt" on one and I think just, "Betteries" on the other, quite big.

Steve O

I hate emails like this. How desperate for work do they think you are? How important do they think they are? The fact that they could not see what they had done wrong just adds weight to the decision to not do the work... sorry, slave labour.


What with this post about etiquette and standards, and that one the other day where you moaned about not being offered tea, you sound a bit like the Victor Meldrew of British graphic design.


OK, say sixty quid and chuck me a tenner for the titles. Come on, "Betteries" alone is worth a tenner. I'll throw the other one in for free.


From a PR firm??!! I'm sorry, but someone working in Public Relations [unless PR stands for something I don't know] really should know better.


Every industry is like this. Most of these e-mails should just go in the trash and don't even warrant a reply.


It's the people that would have done the job that devalue our industry. I'm sure the next design agency they pulled off the web did do the job for them and it would have been half assed. The company that emailed you are probably used to getting a job done off the back of an email like that – there are too many jokers with computers that call themselves designers these days.

Anthony R.

It sounds like a lot of you need to get off of your design superstar pedestals to me....


Sounds like AnothyR did the job to me?
There is no excuse for professional courtesy, since when did manners not count? I remember being told the first thing you should do when looking for a job, is find out who to contact, and always use their name in any communications!


OK. Anthony, what do you think? "More Vroom Per Volt" and "Betteries"? A tenner?


But how cheaply could you do it?

Beijing Batteries Inc.

Ten minutes after using our batterries and you'll be wanting another one.

Anthony R.

Nice one Tom - thanks for the mud slinging,

anyway I like the sound of betteries; £10 +VAT...brilliant...I'll take it; no job to big or too small...

In all seriousness though this is what gives off such a bad impression about the industry; individuals/agencies who think that certain kinds of work are beneath them, and are rude back unless their client is waving bunches of tenners under their noses!

I mean, if you went into a shop to buy something and were a bit off or rude to the sales assistant -they (generally!) wouldn't turn around and say 'I'm not going to serve you!'


Hello Ben,

my name is [name] and I'm a P.A at [name of company] and I have a problem.

I need to sort out some covers for a presentation and I'm not really sure how to go about it because I don't usually deal with this sort of thing.

I found your contact details and the internet and thought I'd ask if you could help out.

The budget is limited, and I'm not sure it's the kind of work you would normally do but could you give me a call to go through the details?

Best regards,

That took 2 mins to write.


Your response it spot on.

An alternative reply could have been an astronomically high quote for the work.

Tom Shostakovitch - The Inimitable

Must be dreadful for you Ben.

You could have played along with it.

£1, cash (no paperwork).

Then got ME to design it.


There's a phone equivalent of this.

Whenever someone calls and starts off with the words "What it is right, " I normally try to end the conversation within the next 30 seconds.


Well done! I totally agree with the above - it doesn't take 2 seconds to address an email properly and courteously. I always respond to business emails, even if I know the person well, in the proper manner - business is supposed to be professional after all! Would you address your bank manager in that way?

Even an informal 'Hi Ben' followed by 'I found your website via Google and would like a quote from you on the following...' would be acceptable.

CLIENTS: If you want to work with a good design company you don't start your emails off with cost, ever. Oh and manners wouldn't go astray! And designers, if you want to be seen as a good designer don't accept jobs that try to screw you on cost or get the 'bottom dollar' - it won't do your portfolio any good.


So interesting and ideal post....and useful for my market research

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