Friday, November 30, 2012

Use of FSU logo costs Ga. school district over $200,000.

It's fairly common to see high schools and youth sports programs using the same logo as college sports teams. Unfortunately, the people who decided to use those logos failed to consider that they are trademarked designs, which means the logos are off limits and can end up causing huge problems.

Most colleges won't go as far as suing for monetary compensation for trademark infringement since that would be a PR nightmare for them. But they will ask schools to stop using their logo. This was a hard and expensive lesson learned by the Rockdale (Ga.) County Board of Education, for using the Florida State Seminoles spear logo. In 2011, the already cash-strapped school district was tasked with removing and replacing everything with the logo on it from the high school and middle school, including uniforms, signage, business cards, branded apparel and even having to rip out the gym floors with the infringing logo on them from both schools. All of this at a projected cost of well over $200,000.

It will probably remain unknown if the decision makers really had no idea that you can't use trademarked logos or if they just thought they would never get caught. Ultimately, the school district would have been far better off by purchasing a logo, which would have only cost a tiny fraction of the $200,000 they ended up having to spend because they used a copyrighted design.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

No! Bad Ravens!

In 1998 a jury ruled in favor of Baltimore, Md. security guard and amateur artist Fred Bouchat, in a lawsuit against the Baltimore Ravens for copyright infringement over the team logo.

Bouchat was asked by a team backer who saw his logo to fax a copy of the drawing to an office shared by team owner Art Modell. Months later, the ravens released a brand-spanking new logo, which, shall we say, looked suspiciously similar.

The Ravens organization denied that anyone associated with the team ever saw the sketch by Bouchat and that the logo was a completely original design by a league artist.

Now, It's hard to decide which is worse. Is it that they stole Bouchat's design or that they tried to deny it when they are so obviously guilty?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

1 logo plagiarized 50 times!

Here you have it. This logo has now officially been plagiarized 50 times, (that I know of so far). I'm sure the next time I do a Google reverse image search it will be 51. And yes, these are all actual designs that were being used. I did not fake any of them.

I created the design in 2003, and it has since become the go-to logo to plagiarize by droves of "designers" who are too lazy to actually put any effort into their work.

Sadly, some people are wrongly convinced that slightly changing an existing logo is not considered copyright infringement. Even worse is the fact that a lot of people know exactly what they are doing but just don't care.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The most plagiarized logo ever???

Take a look at the logos I've collected that are blatant ripoffs of the design I created for PAK Photography in 2003. And this doesn't include the handfull of websites I've found of designers who are trying to take credit for originally creating the logo.

Click image to view larger version.

Friday, July 27, 2012

First-hand proof of why you should avoid crowdsourcing sites for design work.

During my weekly search using Google's reverse image search to find businesses on the web that are plagiarizing my work, I stumbled upon quite a treat that directly confirms what I've been telling people for a long time now. That is that crowdsourcing websites are full to the brim with "designers" that copy and submit existing logos and other design work in order to try and win contests. 

Take a look below at the screen capture I took of a logo that was entered to a contest on Someone copied the logo I designed in 2003 for PAK Photography, slightly edited the icon and tried to pass it off as their own original work.

Click image to enlarge.
Below is a second example I found two days later on a similar corwdsourcing website, Yet another "talented designer" plagiarized my work, this time a logo for Uchenna Bath and Body Products, and submitted it as an original design into one of the contests hosted by the website.
Click image to enlarge.

This is first-hand proof that anyone using these crowdsoucing websites better be prepared to fork out some serious cash for legal fees as well as fines in case they get sued for copyright infringement. And don't forget the expense for getting a new logo designed, reprinting marketing materials, business cards, signage and anything else with the infringing logo on it.

Don't expect any help from the crowdsourcing website after the hammer gets dropped on you. At most, they will give you a refund for the amount that you paid out as the prize for the contest. Their hands are squeaky clean from the whole mess because they can claim that designers participating in their contests aren't employees of the company. 

To top it off, I reported both infringing designs to 99designs and The only action they seem to have taken was to remove the infringing logos. I checked the websites and both designers that plagiarized my work are still listed and competing in contests. Isn't that fantastic?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Oakland Raiders logo concept.

I've always thought that the Oakland Raiders could benefit from a new logo design. Unfortunately, they seem to be one of the few teams left in the NFL that have not bothered doing so. I can't say that I blame them either since the Raiders logo is pure nostalgia. I'm sure that any attempt at officially redesigning it would lead to nationwide protests and incur the full wrath of the internet .

So, here is my version of the Raiders logo. I kept the shield and the oldschool helmet in the design. The real departure in the design is the face which I replaced with a skull. I also created a secondary logo using the sword which could also be used as a standalone element without the Raiders name.

Oakland Raiders Logo Concepts

Raiders logo evolution.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Snake, Heart & Dagger

This is my latest vector illustration. I didn't keep track of the time but I'm guessing it took about 1.5 hours or so. The final illustration below is slightly different than the finished version in the video. After recording the video I edited the mouth of the snake a bit and also pulled the ribbon on the right side away from the heart to match the ribbon on the left side. The video is just under 6 minutes long.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Hillbilly cyclops time lapse illustration video.

This is my first attempt at recording my illustration process. I'll have to experiment with the program a bit to make a bit smoother and not as fast. 

Thursday, April 05, 2012

The power of the internet. It's not necessarily a good thing.

The easy accessability of information, news and images is the greatest thing about the internet. On the other hand, it is also the worst thing about the internet. Anyone anywhere can access images online and use them however the please. This is quite apparent in the image I put together showing some of the plagiarized logos I've found that are based on logos I have designed. I've also managed to catch quite a few of my illustrations being used without my permissions or people trying to take credit for having created them.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Advertising Fail...

What is an advertising fail? That's when you use stock photography to show how well your weight loss program works. This gets an instant zero on the credibility meter.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Food torture...

Okay, so this is what happens when I have too much time on my hands. Some Photoshop craziness...