How Google’s newly improved image search can make policing logo design knockoffs a whole lot easier.
Take a few seconds to watch the little video above. It pretty succinctly describes the newly improved features of Google’s Image Search and how you can use it to find images that are similar to one another. Pretty slick claims. But does it work? And what are the practical implications? Well, yes it does work. With almost magic-like precision. As far as practical implications go, there are tons. Designers, and owners of intellectual property can use Image search to track down unauthorized use of their design goodies – in this case (obviously) knocked off logo design. Let’s take a look at how a search shakes out by first visiting the Google image search home page:
I’ve found that you get best results from images that are already included in the image search index, so I picked a logo that’s been in our portfolio in one way or another since 2003 – a design for The Tanning Factory:
To make Google image search do its thing, we simply have to ‘drag and drop’ the image into the ‘Search by Image’ field (you can also ‘drag and drop’ from any web page using another browser window):
That brings up a ton of related images that Google ‘thinks’ are similar. The results are nothing short of uncanny:
By drilling down through the index, we can find all sorts of logos that have been appropriated from The Tanning Factory original. There’s a music blog:
There’s a T-shirt company:
There’s a modeling agency:
There’s this so-called graphics factory:
Googe image search can also be used for tracking down knocked-off photographs. My daughter was able to find a picture from her anti-smoking college project being used, in all places, on a website that’s marketing tobacco products to teenagers. She proudly told me this morning about sending her first ‘cease and desist’. Atta girl.
Hat tip to Jeff Fisher‘s Blogomotives for first cluing us in on how to really use image search.