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Again with the boat logo

Why being #1 for boat logo on Google ain’t always a good thing

Boat logo

A look at the most copied logo in the history of ever. Or at least in the history of The Logo Factory®. Before we go into the details, perhaps a little back story is required. Lessee. We designed this sharp little logo for Euro Yacht almost a decade ago and it’s been in our logo portfolio since 2004, Boat logo entered into a contestand probably a little earlier than that. We featured it in our logo design gallery as well as in our Daily Logo feature that was running at the time.

It’s a pretty neat little workup, what with its iconic simplicity and painfully to-the-point graphic depiction of what the company actually does. Not a bad effort at all. But that’s not the reason that this little boat has been knocked off more than any other design on our website. Uh-uh. This design just happens to be featured on pages that are number one and two in Google results when someone types the keywords “boat + logo” into a search bar. Number one in Google images too. All in all, you’re going to run into these pages, and images, when searching for anything to do with boats. And logos. That should be cool, right? In a perfect world, someone in the market for a boat logo and looking to hire a logo designer will find these pages, visit our website and hire our company for the gig. Long on theory. Short In practice. Seems like a lot of folks looking for inspiration to design a boat logo are using Google search.

Google search 99designs boat logo contest

And finding this cute little boat logo. And then knocking it off all to hell. Sometimes with a few minor tweaks. Most of the time, the .JPG from our website file is just run through some image tracing program, some new font work tossed at it, and Bob’s yer Uncle. Not just once or twice either. Over the years, the number of times this logo has been knocked-off has reached almost Biblical proportions, starting around 2006, when it started to get entered into logo contests. In fact, pretty well any logo contest that had to do with boats, marine sales companies, and even tour boat charters. Sadly, we’ve been playing whack-a-mole ever since it hit the front page of big ‘G’ and our little boat icon has been found on pretty well every contest site there is. Repeatedly. Here’s a recent example, taken from our blog, that illustrates how this usually plays out.
Boat logo evolution
Let’s take one spiffy little boat logo we’ve found on the internet, tweak it up a bit (in this case the portholes were removed) and we’re all set. We can submit the retooled design into a $150 logo design contest that some boat company is hosting on 99designs. Like so.
99designs boat logo contest screen

This attempt did pretty well too, receiving 4 out of 5 stars from the contest holder. Nice, bus till out of the winner’s circle. As hard as it might be to believe, yet another designer had a go too. In the same contest. Using our handiwork as their, ahm, inspiration. Let’s take a look at how the second designer reimagined our original. Maybe removing the portholes and the waves were a little spartan for the contest holders tastes, so they left the waves in, but moved them about and resized them a bit.
99designs boat logo 4

With that masterful stroke under their belt, the ‘inspired designer’ then squished the hull and skewed the windshield a tad before uploading their attempt to the contest. Which went something like this:
99designs boat contest screen

Now that’s more like it. Five out of five stars this time, placing the design well within the reach of the $150 cash prize. Probably would have won too, if it weren’t for some busy-body piping up in the comments section and putting paid to this time-saving enterprise (sent us a Rip Report too). Nothing ventured nothing gained I suppose. Lest it seem like we’re harping on logo contests (again) let’s take a look at a couple of companies that seemed to like the Euro Yacht logo so much, they cut to the chase and made it their own.
Boat logo on other websites
At leftIB is Nautic Marine, some marine sales company in Egypt who seemed to have taken the PNG image from our site, blasted out the background and added some lovely shadows, bevels and glows to an otherwise simple treatment (if there’s something worse than getting stuff knocked off, it’s getting stuff knocked off badly). At rightIB is the website of Orca Too, a nice boat charter company hailing out of Newport Beach, California. They liked the logo just as it was. And there it sits. Just as it was. On our website. We could go on, but hopefully, we’ve made our point. Which it this:

Someone once opined that ‘imitation is the sincerest form of flattery’ so when it comes to designing boat logos, considered us well and truly flattered. It’s not that we don’t get it. It’s a cool logo. And it’s number one on Google. But please leave our little boat alone.

It’s been through a lot.

Another Boat Logo

99designs boat logo

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