Grand Theft Logo

A custom logo for $79!
Too good to be true? Heck no.
You can get a logo designed by nationally known logo designers like Jeff Fisher or Von Glitschka for this low, low price.

Well, OK not exactly. Parts of your logo can be made by them. The rest you have to assemble using a spiffy “logo-generator”. LogoGarden.com is “the fastest growing logo site in the world” according to their wesbsite. They sell “DIY logos for Entreprenuers”.  Yay. Just what a designer loves to see.

Sometime this weekend I started to see multiple Twitter and Facebook posts from designers commenting about www.LogoGarden.com. They were pissed. You see, these designers said they never allowed their work to be on this site. On Sunday Jeff Fisher posted this on his Facebook page: “Buyers beware – and designers may want to take a look for their work in the logo design archive of LogoGarden.com I’ve found at least 20 of my original logo designs being offered for sale on the site. These are logos for my retail, restaurant, service, nonprofit and event clients. Numerous internationally recognized logos are unethically being offered as potential logo designs for unsuspecting business owners.”

What unsuspecting clients may not know is that they take on the liability of using their “generated” logo. If they read the Terms of Use on the site they would know…

From their website/Terms of Use:
(2) Trademarks and Copyrights.  User acknowledges that no trademark, copyright or service marks are being conveyed under this Agreement. User acknowledges that LogoGarden has no obligation or duty to perform copyright, trademark or service mark searches to validate the symbol database is not infringing on any trademark, copyright or service marks. Accordingly, LogoGarden encourages Users to perform their own independent searches. User acknowledges that LogoGarden shall have no responsibility to assist User in seeking state or federal intellectual property protection (i.e., trademark registration).  LogoGarden shall not be responsible to assist User to perfect the Users rights.

What’s really perplexing is, that according to their website…”LogoGarden.com founder and president John Williams, a leading logo design expert, literally wrote the book on brand standards for companies like Hewlett-Packard and Mitsubishi. An entrepreneur and former owner of award-winning studio Logic Design, John served as Entrepreneur.com’s branding columnist for over 5 years…” I just don’t get it.

I am really hoping that designers will share this story with everyone. Not just each other. I think the only way to compete with these online DIY design sites is to make their pitfalls common knowledge. If someone knows they may be opening themselves up to a lawsuit, they may think twice. Sure we believe these sites are an inferior solution to hiring a professional designer, but how are budget-strapped business owners supposed to resist a $79 price tag? C’mon that’s a steal.

MORE INFO: Want to see the making of a logo that looks suspiciously like the WWF Panda logo? Check out the Logo Factory article: The perils of do-it-yourself logo makers

Judith Mayer (5 Posts)

I am a designer and owner of Keyword Design, a company I started 10 years ago after moving from Chicago to NWI. I specialize in design for non-profits and brand design.