A few months ago a friend of mine came to me with a request to design a logo for a real estate company that he was starting.
At first, he showed me a design he had created through an online logo creation service. If he liked it, all he had to pay was $40 and it was his.
I thought the logo looked nice enough and (while generic looking), it could work as a functional logo.
Then, I did a quick search for him to see if any one else was using the same design. Here's what I discovered.
Notice any similarities?
Using these online “cheap” logo services is one of those instances of “buyer beware”. While you could be getting a decent looking logo, it may not have been vetted and could be a duplicate.
How to see if your logo is a copy
As a designer, I need to make sure that I'm creating original artwork that fits the needs of the client, while best representing their business or organization. One thing that I need to be aware of is what their competition is doing. So oftentimes, I'll do a scan of what they are doing and how they're presenting themselves so that I can help a client differentiate themselves.
If you've decided to trust your logo to an online logo creation service and you have received your artwork for use – one quick way you can verify to see if you haven't just gotten a “remade” copy of another of their designs is to do an image search through Google.
- Go to Google.com/images
- In the search bar, you'll see a camera icon ( ) – click on that
- Next it will ask you to enter a URL where your image / logo is located OR to upload your logo directly to the site from your computer. I recommend using the upload method as it will present a clear image of your logo. You'll want to make sure it is only a file of your logo (and nothing else).
- Then Google will perform a search of this image throughout the web to see if it can recall anything similar. When the results appear, you should have a good indication whether or not there are any other duplicates of your design. You will also want to select the “visually similar images” link in the results to have an overview of the results (instead of a list view).
If you do spot a similar design, I would recommend contacting your logo creation service to ask them about why your design is not an original and if you can get another one created. You may have agreed in the fine print that your design wasn't going to be original – so do be aware of that.
Even if your design is a copy of another OR visually similar, it may not be that big of an issue to you if the business does not play in your space. However, if it is a competitor, I would certainly get a new design.
I always hope that people first turn to an experienced designer to help them create a unique identity for their business. There are many reasons beyond just the one I mentioned here. (One other biggie is they are more apt to take into consideration your vision, desires for the business and its look.)
While it could save you a few dollars, it may turn out to be more of a hassle in the long-run.
I'm curious if you have ever used an online “cheap” logo creation service and your experience with them.