If you’re a regular reader of The Factor, you’ll know what a grim position I take on unauthorized companies (or websites) ‘borrowing’ our material. If you’re not, you do now. And it’s pretty, pretty grim. Been the subject of many a blog post and even a Copycats section on our website. But it’s not just our material I get my undies in a knot over, it’s anyone’s work, be it a freelance designer that I know, or even people who are technically our competitors. If, during my regular forays out into the interwebs, I happen to find our competition’s work being pinched, I’ll try and let them know, and they can take care of it in whatever manner they see fit. Ultimately, I’m off the position that this kind of chicanery is bad for the graphic design industry in general, and the online logo design niche in specific.
Take the other day when I ran into some UK based outfit called Fast Startup, who’s site seems to be a complete rip from Utah based (and Hewlett Packard owned) Logoworks‘ website. Amazingly, the Fast Startup‘s domain features a huge swath of the LW website, including text, logos, design examples and packages. If everything was as it seemed, this would certainly rank up there with the most blatant knock-offs I had ever seen. However, and despite all the apparent skullduggery, there was one aspect of the site that cracked me up, and more than just a little.
Without a hint of shame, Fast Startup‘s guarantee page (above) featured a picture of Morgan Lynch (who happens to be the CEO and founder of Logoworks) as well as a ‘personal’ guarantee about Fast Startup‘s design services. Stupid bastards had even featured an image of Morgan’s signature which should add to the personal touch, but as the ‘personal’ guarantee is credited to some cat called Jason Gamble, kind of negates it entirely.
Now, I’ve never been considered a fan of Logoworks, but this kind of stuff really, really, really gets my goat. Logoworks have a handy-dandy online chat thingy so I thought I might as well drop by and tell them what’s what.
Now, I could be a wag and ask if Logoworks is such a believer in logos, corporate identity, brand building and what have you, why they’d feel the need to ‘create another portal’, a ‘feeder site’ that goes by another name, uses another logo, doesn’t refer to HP whatsoever (which, one would think, lends a heap of credibility) and why Jason Gamble is the name featured under Morgan’s picture, signature and supposedly ‘personal’ guarantee? But as I already know the answers, I won’t.
In related news, stay tuned for our ‘Why the hell can’t I get higher in Google‘ seach engine seminar next week. Features bonus lecture on “I don’t like company A, so I’m going to hire company B.”