We’re Buying Logos

Cost of our logos on the internet? $15 apparently…

The website selling logo templates promised oodles of wonderful things. For a few ducats, and a couple of minutes of our time, we could snap up one of their handy-dandy templates and go to town. And why not? Who’s not interested in creating a full-blown corporate identity at a fraction of the going rate? $15 logos.As a studio that tinkers in logo design, we have lots of demand for fresh logos. So let’s give this a whirl. Say we wanted to purchase a new logo for, ahm, a record company. That sounds good. Let’s select a template that’s appropriate, say, this one:

Well, ain’t that peachy. A little head wearing DJ earphones. Smashing. But what to do? According to the good folks at the template site, we can buy the artwork for ‘limited use’ or purchase it outright ‘exclusively’ for a few more shekels. And lookee here. One of their sales pitches threw out the question “are you tired of relying on expensive graphic designers?” Hmmm. Now that you mention it, we are kinda tired of ‘relying’ on graphic designers. And who can beat fifteen bucks? Certainly not us. Always being budget minded at The Logo Factory®, we plunked down fifteen smackeroos for non-exclusive ‘rights’, paid through the old man’s Pay PalBuying template logo through Pay Pal account and downloaded the .ZIP package of assets. Quite a bargain too, coming complete with fonts (hey, is that legal?) and various formats of our sparkly new logo. While we were chomping at the bit to start plastering that puppy over our websites and blogs, there was one small hitch to this template Nirvana. The logo is remarkably similar to a design that we created for Diversity Records about a billion years ago, and a example that’s been in our logo design portfolio for years. Actually, let’s not be coy. it was exactly the same. And unless there’s been some dramatic changes to copyright and trademark law that we missed, that logo ain’t available (legally) for purchase by anyone, exclusively or non-exclusively.

Unfortunately (and $15.00 later), while we may believe that they we use this artwork for our new music venture, we can’t, and anyone else buying the cute little DJ runs the risk of getting hassled quite severely the moment this logo hits print.

In our portfolioLesson learned? Potential buyers of logo design services, especially on the internet, would be well served by remembering that old saying ‘Caveat Empor‘. And website entrepreneurs? If you’re going to open up a website to sell stock logos, logo templates or ready-made designs, please remember this: It ain’t cool to sell material that you don’t have the rights to sell. Nor is it cool to be ‘inspired by’ other people’s stuff and make like you designed it. It can potentially lead you, and your clients, into a world of hurt.

Now, wonder if we can get our fifteen bucks back (we did).

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