I don’t do logo design because honestly, I’m terrible at it. I have a lot of great ideas and I can knock one out in a life or death situation, but it’s just not my forte. I much prefer to spend my time making websites. I do have friends who spend hours each day coming up with creative ways to express what a business does in a beautiful, eye catching beautiful logo. I also know how much it sucks when someone steals your work and, not only tries to pass it off as their own but, sells it online. Jeff Fisher had that experience when one of his friends sent him a link to a site which was doing just that, selling his stolen work.
In going to the LogoGarden site, I was immediately stunned to see the image from the TraveLady Media identity, which I had designed years go for a friend, exhibited in the top row of examples as the logo for a business named Pack-a-bag Travel Management (above). I began to find more and more of my designs as I went through icon archives on the site. Work by identity peers, acquaintances and friends – including Von Glitschka, Maggie Macnab, Christopher Simmons of MINE, Prejean Creative and many others, were everywhere. I even saw immediately recognizable logos such as the World Wildlife Fund, Moonstruck Chocolate, and Time Warner Cable being offered for sale to, what I would assume would be, unsuspecting customers of the site.
It didn’t take me long to find a good two dozen of images from my own logo portfolio for sale. Some were simply copied exactly; others altered very slightly from my originals. I found many more cases in which logos for sale were much more than simply “inspired” by my own work. I literally felt sick to my stomach after finding the following, the most explicit examples of my stolen designs:
TraveLady Media: Just one example of my original logo design, the icon being sold on LogoGarden.com and the logo being featured on their homepage making use of my icon design, with a testimonial from a supposedly satisfied customer. The identity was designed for Pacific Northwest television and media personality Cheryl Hansen.
DataDork: Oh, yes they did! The LogoGarden hacks even kidnapped my DataDork guy! The image represents a self-proclaimed “computer geek” in Fontana, CA.
Project Stepping Stones: A program on the St. Charles Medical Center Foundation In Bend OR, Project Stepping Stones Project provides prenatal education and family health support programs for uninsured, low-income women to promote baby and child health. When I created the logo, I purposely dropped graphic “stones” in the shape of an “S” letterform into the imagery. LogoGarden.com left them in place when copying the image for their own purposes.
After finding so many examples of hijacked logo design work on LogoGarden.com, I started poking around a bit more on the site. With Google searches, none of the testimonial business names on the home page resulted in the finding of real businesses.
Creating a logo, website, page layout or any other piece of designed media takes time and effort. Often I hear, “I can do it myself” and you can. The reality is anyone can do anything themselves but hiring an experienced professional will not only save you time but money whether you’re hiring someone to design you a brochure, logo or fix your car because they know what works and what doesn’t work. They know the questions to ask and what the answers should be. They take the guess work out of the equation.
You can read the rest of Jeff’s post here where there are plenty more examples of his and other people’s logos that have been ripped off.
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