Thursday, May 22, 2014

Why you should register your logo

Yesterday I did my regularly scheduled online search to find any plagiarism of my work that's taking place. Usually I find a lot of designs and illustrations I have created for my clients being plagiarised. This time I found my own logo being used by a relatively new company called Ad Factory. It seems that they just launched their ad generator app within the past two weeks or so and used the infringing logo on their website and YouTube videos...

I did some research, found the contact information of the company owner, and gave him a call. After some back and forth communication the basic gist of the Ad Factory owners side of this was the following. He talked to his designer who said the logo was a completely original design, and he believes the designer. He doesn't want to change the logo because he likes it. Then, he said the logos aren't the same, and later claimed that they are only a little bit similar in some parts and that similar logos can exist for different businesses. He also threw the word "lawyer" around and something about going to court.

Fortunately, I have the logo registered with the US Copyright Office. So, I e-mailed the owner of Ad Factory the registration number for the logo and a link to the Copyright office website where he could do a search to verify it. Within a few hours the logo was changed. Had I not registered the logo I very well may have ended up in court trying to prove that I am in fact the designer and owner of the logo, which would have wasted a lot of my time and money. Having a logo registered doesn't guarantee that someone won't try and take some sort legal action against your company. But it is some heavy artillery to have on your side in case that you do end up in court.

The internet is pretty much the Wild West these days. Anything that is online is up for grabs for any unscrupulous designer or business owner who won't think twice about copying or stealing existing designs. Consulting a qualified intellectual property attorney about registering your logo is a necessary and important first step in protecting your business.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Pocket folder design.

This is a recently completed pocket folder for one of my clients. It's all custom design which incorporates icons that have been used in other company marketing materials and flow charts.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Tampa Bay Buccaneers logo redesign falls short.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers unveiled the new team primary and secondary logos yesterday and I can't say that I'm a fan of the redesign at all.

The new logos sport a very smooth vector look which loses all of the character that the previous logos possessed with the bold, jagged shading. The skull looks generic, and the outer black outline in the flag logo seems a bit too thin. The flag is also too smooth on the top, bottom and right hand sides. That was definitely handled better in the previous flag.

The ship logo is now a lot more detailed which does not help the design at all. There is something to be said for simplicity, and the bold minimalist style of the previous ship logo was genius. The new logo does not even come close to being as good.

The old logos had some flaws of their own as well. When you take a closer look at the skull, there was something odd happening with the way the teeth were illustrated one way on the top row, and a different way for the bottom set of teeth. The shape of the skull around the cheekbones could have been a bit more refined as well. The only thing I thought the previous secondary logo lacked was a hint of waves towards the front of the ship.

Overall, the redesign just doesn't seem to cut it. Despite the few issues they had, the old logos were far better than the new ones, which now look like cheap vector clipart that you can buy off of any stock image website for a few bucks.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Infographics Posters

This is a set of Myers Briggs personality types infographic poster designed for one of my clients.

The challenge here was to find a way to lay out a lot of text and still keep it looking organized, easy to read, and pleasing to the eye. The design could have easily seemed overcrowded had I made the text large to fit the entire area of the poster. Instead, the text was kept at a readable size of 16.5 points for the smallest text. This allows for a good amount of open space within the design.

Both posters use the same color palette with a background of icons that represent people, which directly correlates to the subject matter of the posters. Even with a lot going on in the background the repeating icons were made transparent to allow for the text to be the main focal point. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Troegenator beer label illustration.

My version of the Troegenator illustration.
I often see designs and illustrations that I think could be far better than they are, and the label illustration for Troegenator Doublebock Beer is one of them. The current artwork being used has a ton of potential but the execution just isn't quite there. So, after whining to myself about it for years now, I finally did my own version.

The new illustration is very stylized, and uses a lot of bold lines and flat areas of color. While the original version of the illustration is quite busy, my version has a bit of a cleaner, more simplified look to it. I used all of the same colors minus the red. I felt that it was a bit too much and looked out of place in the illustration. As they say, "Less is more", "Simpler is better"... I try to stick to that philosophy in everything I design and it has served me well all of these years.

The redesigned illustration looks a lot more professional and I think it would be a winner on the beer label and packaging as well as on branded products like t-shirts.

The current imagery for Troegenator may have served them well for a lot of years now. But I think that Troegs has reached a point where they need to improve the quality of some of their existing label designs.

P.S. The Troegs, Mad Elf label illustration is next. :)

Current Troegenator label.