Categories: Logo Theft
Written By: Nora Reed
A few days ago, we posted an article regarding the unethical practice of replication of logos. While we received a large number of comments (both in favor and opposition, and some very critical of our views!), we have come to believe that our blog has an increased readership. The article seemed to spark off a few negative vibes, and hence we felt a sequel to the logo theft post was required.
As we have stated in our â€˜About Usâ€™ web page, â€œLogo Blog is dedicated to giving you unbiased, reliable and independent user based reviews and advice about Logos, and Logo Design Companies.â€ On a similar note, we talk about the latest happenings, industry trends and culture, skills, and many more issues related to logos, design, image branding and etc, promoting excellence in logo design in general.
The LogoBlog team never intended to offend anyone, and we would like to offer profound apologies if our views came out too strong. However, this should not change the fact that we still maintain our stance on this topic. Letâ€™s have an objective look.
One of the readers stated:
Design exists as derivatives â€œofâ€. There is no design which is completely unique, since we humans base our understanding based on shared experiences- ways of perceiving â€œsomethingâ€, meaning that the â€œsomethingâ€ already exists. There are cases where designers just plainâ€™ol copy and that is wrong. Besides the first example, which â€œcouldâ€ have been copied, the other two are not.
AGREED! As humans we take inspiration from objects, instances and experiences that are already present and yes design can not be absolutely unique. HOWEVER, considering it is a designerâ€™s job to make use of his creative talent and produce a concept which is fresh and different, originality is therefore a key ingredient to becoming a successful graphic designer.
As for the first example (the Quark logo and the Scottish Arts Council logo), it can be rightfully said that Quark did copy the logo and changed it later. Clearly the copied logo was different from Quarkâ€™s original logo, yet it was not radically differing from many other logos that use the circle with a square design element.
As shown above, each of the displayed logo bears an uncanny resemblance to the Quark logo and one in particular as mentioned previously: the Scottish Arts Council logo is too close to comfort. These logos indicate that there was absolutely no originality in Quarkâ€™s logo design and it is unfortunate that the logo mark for a brand closely associated with designing itself was a copied logo.
Moreover, as pointed out by one of our readers, the following logos belong to two very different companies and again may not be absolutely the same, but are way too similar. Thus it can be said that the designer of one of these logos did copy certain elements from the other logo.
Not to forget the disastrous and very notorious logo copyrights violation for the new fragrance by Britney Spears, introduced by the cosmetics giant Elizabeth Arden. It was not only a logo design ethics violation but also a shameful act as the original logo belonged to a charity organization.
Now an attempt to label these designs as instances of logo theft might be ethical for some and inappropriate for others. The subject is open for debate, objectively though!
Taking inspiration from other designs is one thing, however producing concepts that are too similar to that of the original design is unfortunate for the company that holds the original design as a trademark and is equally disgraceful for the brand that adopts the copied logo. Copying logo designs comes under plagiarism which is regarded as a serious crime.
On other note, as wrongly identified by one of the readers, the logo examples were merely displayed as visual examples to support the text, and were not intended to be used for business or commercial purposes. Hence by posting logos to support a claim, we are not breaching any copyrights, neither committing any form of logo theft.
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