The perfect client

Singapore, 3rd September 2012

In my first season of blogging I asked the question about what would constitute the perfect project. Last week when I was in China, someone asked me about the perfect client. Does such person exist, a dream client? I think that as (lighting) designers we all have this ultimate desire to get a client who is willing to pay astronomical fees, only wants what you want and leave you totally do your job in your own peace and time. Of course he pays everything in advance, provides business or first class travel if not his private jet with limousine pick up at the airport, presidential suite living and all expenses paid including an appearance fee when you go to meetings or site. But that is of course wishful thinking… or is it?

For me the most important thing I want from a (perfect) client is trust and respect. Without that all the rest is meaningless. It is most gratifying when you work with a client that appreciates your skills and expertise and respects your ideas and recommendations. The next best thing is a client who is willing to put his money where his mouth is. Many clients ask a lot but when it comes to it don’t really have (or want to invest the) the money to follow through. Closely linked with that attitude is generally being a good paymaster. I love clients who pay when pay is due. Most of the time the opposite is the case with clients dragging their feet constantly while building so many administrative levels for approving and executing payments that the project is about to finish by the time you get your first payment. We generally ask for 14 days, settle for 30 days and get paid in 60 days or more. But we have some really nice paymasters too, some who within a week of invoicing have processed the payment into our account. And you know what…we go through hoops for these clients as for us prompt payment is a measure of trust and respect!

Light Watch 3-133: I draw lots of inspiration from what other designers create. In the little town of Sant Pedor in Spain, David Closes Architects converted an 18th Century church, The Sant Frances Convent, into an auditorium and multicultural facility, perfectly blending old and new. It is no surprise that lighting is a key ingredient. Images from

03. September 2012 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: light watch, lighting and culture, lighting and the economy, lighting design practice | Leave a comment

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