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Logo designing

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Active Member
Pravin K Member Since: Aug 8, 2018
1 of 5

Hello All,

 

Please help me understand, how do I know whether a logo designed by an upwork freelancer doesn’t have copyright issues with other firms.

 

I’am not sure how valid my question is however I’am afraid about getting a logo design copied by a graphic designer for reference from other existing logos of another registered firm.

Please explain/advise.

 

Many thanks for the guidance,

Pravin

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Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
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2 of 5

Pravin:

This is a good question.

 

The answer is probably a lot more complex than you imagined. You're getting into copyright law and to a certain extant maybe even trademark law, which is related but a whole different matter.

 

But let's start out with the easy part:

This is between you and the freelancer. As explicitly described in its ToS and legal pronouncements, Upwork 100% removes itself from these matters. Upwork does not offer any guarantees or assurances about copyright issues when it comes to work that you hire freelancers to create for you.

 

Now, as for your question:

When you are talking about logos, you're often getting into the area of tradmarks rather than copyright. Trademarks and copyrights can both be registered with the federal government. But registration is quite different, and the importance of registration is quite different. As a practical matter, most copyrighted material is NOT registered. If you write a poem, you own the copyright to that poem. You don't need to register anything to own the copyright and to be able to protect your rights as the copyright owner. Legitimate trademarks ARE registered.

 

A trademarked logo is both a name and the distinctive depiction thereof. So the "Upwork" name and logo, for example, is probably trademarked.

 

If a designer creates a logo for you that reminds you of somebody else's logo... Well, they are are NOT using somebody else's trademark, because the name is different. Are they violating somebody else's copyright?

 

In most cases, they probably aren't. If they make a logo for you that has a large first letter, which is capitalized. And that letter is red. And then the rest of the company's name is green. And the font is Arial Black... And maybe some other company uses the same combination of colors and font... Is this a copyright violation?

 

There are only so many colors and fonts and ways you can put them together. And there are millions of companies. So it is likely that there will be overlap.

 

Similarities like that do not mean you are going to have copyright violations.


But what if the designer lifts a distinctive illustration of a monkey riding a bicycle, an image used by the "Apecycle Inc." bicycle repair shop, and uses it in the logo they design for your company: "Monkey-See Monkey-Do Bike Fix-it Shop".

 

Could there be a copyright issue? Yes.

 

What if your design is made from 3D letters, and another company's is made from 3D letters? A copyright issue? Probably not.

 

What if they're the exact same letters... the same renderings? Same colors and font? Maybe. Maybe not.

 

So it really depends.

 

The truth is that there ARE common software packages as well as common techniques that logo designers use. There is bound to be some overlap. For the most part, you shouldn't have anything to worry about. Using the same name as somebody in your industry is a much bigger concern than using a logo that looks similar to some other logo.

 

If you're a one-person business just getting started, I doubt that any incidental similarities between your logo and somebody else's is going to cause you any problems at all. If you're a large company, then you will simply have your company's legal team handle this question. You certainly won't be taking advice from the Upwork Community Forum, and especially not from someone like me who has absolutely no idea what they're talking about.

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Community Guru
Prashant P Member Since: Sep 29, 2015
3 of 5

To certain extent it also depends on how much you are paying to design the logo.  In general, higher priced designers will try to create something unique.  Those who deisgn logs for $5 would and are more to pick up things from here and there.

 

Once you have made the log and put n your website do a google search on the image. Google will find if that image is used someplace else.

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Pravin K Member Since: Aug 8, 2018
4 of 5

Thank you Prashant and Preston for the great bunch of information. I am more confident now. Smiley Happy

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Nayem T Member Since: Jun 28, 2020
5 of 5

First of all, Check your sellers profile before giving him the job . Then if you give him the job ask him for a screenshot before delivering his work . Then try searching the photo using Google Lense . It may help you a lot .

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