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I work as a graphic designer on a freelance platform. Recently, one of my regular clients messaged and said he had a surprise for me. He said that the poster I designed for his play won the award for best poster and my name was called out in the award ceremony. He also sent a picture of the memento and thanked me for my vision and execution. I felt very much surprised and proud of the work I delivered to him. This was actually the first time I get recognized for my work and thus I have a strong wish to get the memento in my hands. But, I'm not sure whether it is right or not!

We don't know each other outside the freelance platform and we're located in different countries. And he never said whether he'd send the memento to me. He just said thanks and asked me to treat myself.

So, How can I ask for the memento without offending him?

  • @Clicker: Could you please remove the part of asking if it is rude? That would make your question off-topic here. As this is 2 diferent questions right now anyways. What in it self would be off-topic. I'd advise, just stick with the 2nd pullet point, and this should be a fair and good question :) – dhein Mar 12 at 9:43
  • Thanks for the correction. I'm a newbie here. @dhein – Clicker Mar 12 at 10:08
  • @Clicker It's customary to wait at least 24h to accept an answer, since it usually prevents other people to try to answer your question - and maybe their answers would be better. – Rekesoft Mar 12 at 12:59
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    By the way, the award is credited to you, or bears the name of the client, or the client's company? Maybe they intend to keep it. – Rekesoft Mar 12 at 13:02
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    @Rekesoft During the ceremony, presenter announced exactly like this: the winner of the best poster for the festival... for 2019... goes to... [my name] of [name of play] – Clicker Mar 12 at 13:09
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As you say that it's a glass statuette, there's no way to get a copy, as it's often the case for "bigger" awards, where both get a big and a smaller item. So, one if you has to keep the award, and the other one will keep the memory.

As a professional, you most probably sold your work and all (included intellectual) rights attached to it. It's then now your client "physical" award, while you still have the "mental" one.

In this case, I'd ask them what they want to do with it. For instance :

I'm so happy and proud that we won this award. I hope that we can repeat this in the nearest future :) if you don't intend on keeping this one thought, I'd be really pleased to have it. In this case, please let me know how we could proceed.

This way, you play as a team ("we") and let them decide (as "leader", because they hired you) if they want to be nice, or not... And you don't push too hard and don't force them. You don't even burn a bridge.

As a "leader", I always let my mates get the "award and the recognition", just keeping the intellectual pleasure for myself. So I know that some people enjoy "giving away the statuette". If it's the case, good for you. But in case they say no, or don't answer (same result), you'll have to suck it out unfortunately.

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There's nothing wrong with asking him to send it to you. If you have not yet replied to the picture he sent, you could do something like this:

Oh wow, I am really thrilled to hear that and thank you so much for telling me and sending the picture! I'm really proud of the work I did on that poster and it's great to see it recognized. I can't wait to hold that memento too! Are you sending it to me? That would be amazing!

[As an aside, the physical thingy that they give you when you win an award is often also called an award, which might be a better word here than memento.]

If you've already answered, you can simply write again and invent a small fiction involving your mother, spouse, friend or whoever:

Last night my mother asked where I was going to put the award in my office and I realized I didn't ask you if you could send it to me. Can you? I'm really proud of winning it and would love to display it here.

If your client is an independent who is just starting out and money is tight, you can offer to pay the shipping, especially if your country is richer than your client's country. But if your client is well established and you are not, don't mention money at all.

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