Or how I bought the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Panda logo from Logo Garden for only $69.00.
According to the press release that hit my e-mail account this morning, Logo Garden is “poised to disrupt online logo design and biz card space” with their do-it-yourself whiz band logo maker. Ooooh, that does sound swell.
Let’s cut out designers..
Billed as the ‘fastest growing logo site in the world’ Logo Garden is yet another in a line of Flash-driven web-based logo generators that promise for a few bucks ($69.00 to be exact) would-be entrepreneurs can avail themselves of do-it-yourself logos without employing the skills of, oh I dunno, a pesky graphic designer (though Logo Garden looks remarkably like another DIY logo site – Logo Yes – and if I were a betting guy…)
Let’s take them up on their offer..
Anyhoo, say I wanted to open a new business called, lessee, Steve’s Pandas or something. I’d naturally want a logo that incorporated a panda. So, we’d start off looking for some animals using the funky animated interface…
And then narrow it down to pandas using the handy-dandy search field. I kinda like the cute little fella in the top left corner. That’ll work nicely methinks.The Flash-driven interface let’s me drop in type, so I’ll add my company name, mess around with the fonts and Bob, as they say, is your uncle.Wow, that is a pretty sweet logo. Now, it’s only a matter of checking out, plunking down $69 clams through my PayPal account and we’re in logo design nirvana. Time elapsed, ten minutes and no graphic designer had to darken my door. What could possibly go wrong?After checking out, my nifty new logo is stored on the Logo Garden site, ready to download in a wide-range of file formats so I can start plastering my cute little panda logo over everything I own. Website, business cards, perhaps a vehicle wrap for the official Steve’s Panda van…Great system? Perhaps. Only one itty-bitty problem with the whole thing. Namely, thisOooh dear. That may represent a problem (“but my logo has eyes!” won’t cut it for the copyright and trademark lawyers I’m afraid.) Though the good folks at Logo Garden have that angle covered. Witness the fine print on the site regarding pesky issues like trademark and copyright:
(2) Trademarks and Copyrights. User acknowledges that no trademark, copyright or service marks are being conveyed under this Agreement. User acknowledges that LogoGarden has no obligation or duty to perform copyright, trademark or service mark searches to validate the symbol database is not infringing on any trademark, copyright or service marks. Accordingly, LogoGarden encourages Users to perform their own independent searches. User acknowledges that LogoGarden shall have no responsibility to assist User in seeking state or federal intellectual property protection (i.e., trademark registration). LogoGarden shall not be responsible to assist User to perfect the Users rights.
Course, if you find any infringing trademarks and/or copyrights, the good folks at Logo Garden would like you to let them know:
(3) Third Party Rights. If Users believe any content appearing on the Web Site infringes another party’s rights, please to notify us of this infringement.
Ahm, okay. I think I found one. After I dropped $69 bucks on it. Wonder if I can get my money back?
To: LogoGarden.com [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Date: Tue, Aug 16, 2011 at 8:36 AM
Subject: Refund Please
Please refund this order. The logo I bought belongs to the WWF (World Wildlife Federation) and the minute I print this design anywhere, I can expect a cease & desist letter from their fairly well-heeled lawyers.
[copy of my receipt and order]
Thank you for your order. The details of your order are listed below.
Bill To: Steve Douglas
Email Address: email@example.com
Order No: 11799
Logo – Qty: 1 – Price / Each: $69.00 – Total: $69.00
S/H: $0.00 Tax: $0.00 Credits: $0.00 Total: $69.00
The nice lady at Logo Garden replied thusly:
Date: Tue, Aug 16, 2011 at 5:06 PM
Subject: Re: Refund Please
I’m sorry but per the Terms of Service posted on our website we cannot issue you a refund.
“(d) Refunds. When User completes their logo and/or logo and business card and chooses to submit payment, user is charged for the Services. User understands that all sales are final and no refunds shall be issued. LogoGarden has the right to cancel orders and provide a refund at any point in the development process. LogoGarden retains the right to modify or change this policy at any time without notice.”
Taken from: http://www.logogarden.com/terms-of-service.php
Yep. They had sold me the WWF trademarked panda and wouldn’t give me a refund when I pointed it out. Let’s hear it for do-it-yourself logo generators.
Let’s hear it for “disruption.”
Apparently, the WWF logo isn’t the only knocked-off logo being offered for sale on Logo Garden. Their Facebook page is littered with complaints, reports of alleged knock-offs and examples of work copied from a wide-range of designers. You can also check out Iconify‘s
logo design thievery and Prejean Creative‘s LogoGarden should be plowed under for more.
Buyer beware indeed.