Logo is essence of any Brand. It reflects your brand value and identity. So Designing a Logo is very important for any business. Most of the brands are recognized by people with just looking at their logos. So designing right logos for your brand is the first step to achieve right Marketing Mantra.
Designing logos comes with its own share of problems. Today we are discussing some issues related with Logo Designing. For logo designers, trademarks, copyright and registered designs can be a career minefield. The advent of cookie cutter designs and design contests isn’t helping. Just getting from basic design to finished product needs a sort of designer’s travel insurance in the form of knowing what might be a problem.
Design Issues Basics
It’s quite possible in all innocence to infringe on one of these things through sheer ignorance and lack of information. The legal side is that a court ultimately has to judge any real dispute. Logos, which are by definition a combination of the legal properties of trademarks, copyright and registered designs, can also infringe on all three.
A square inside a circle, and a letter in bold font are the basic logo.
- Party A says the logo infringes on their trademark because of the square/circle combination.
- Party B says the letter in the circle infringes their registered design.
These are actually pretty shaky claims. There needs to be a clear, damaging resemblance to existing designs to constitute an actual infringement. The parties are within their rights to claim infringement, but they didn’t invent the square and circle combination or the font.
Design Software – The Cookie Cutter Effect
If basic issues are fairly straightforward, ironically, the real danger comes from another direction- design software. If you have a look at logo design contests, you’ll notice that the briefs include a requirement for Adobe Illustrator files, vector drawing etc, as specifications. Most logo design work is done on this high quality software, because it’s a lot easier to work with.
Now look at the designs themselves. See any common elements? See large numbers of designs which, by virtue of using the same software, tend to create natural points of conflict in terms of the logic of trademarks, copyright and registered designs?
There’s a problem here. Design briefs for logos do include common elements. The brief wants particular things. The designers, on the other hand, want their designs to stand out, despite these common elements. The result is an unholy mix of individuality and commonality in designs.
OK, that’s a natural result of briefs and the requirements of the design themes, right? Unavoidable, to a degree? The designer had to do what was required in the brief, correct?
Yes, and that’s where the huge clash with trademarks, copyright and registered designs begins. Large numbers of cookie-cutter designs are coming onstream. Clashes are inevitable. For designers, this is a rock and a hard place. Matters aren’t helped by corporate culture, which tends to prefer the sort of designs which “look corporate”, and are actually a very narrow bandwidth of design concepts. These designs are unspeakably lazy conventional and boring. It’s no coincidence they clash so often and so easily.
A Way Out for Designers?
Designers will be pleased to hear that their artistic preferences and instincts finally have their vindication- “Don’t do what everyone else is doing”. Good designers don’t imitate lazy designers while they can still breathe, so the way out is to use your talent. If you can simply outclass other designs, you’re unlikely to infringe on anything. The highly individual, standout design is better business, anyway. Please feel free to share your comments and thoughts on this.