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Clipart as a company logo??

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Jay HogbenClipart as a company logo??
by on Jan 5, 2009 at 3:46:36 pm

I recently formed a video/web company with a few others using an already existing name and logo. After a month I realized the logo was simply illustrator clipart. I want to drop the logo since it's not original and I am not exactly being "heard." Am I correct in wanting to change or drop the logo?

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Chris BlairRe: Clipart as a company logo??
by on Jan 5, 2009 at 4:58:21 pm

I think that depends on the clipart/logo and how much "equity" there is in the name and look. I've seen logos that use clipart that look great. I've also seen logos using clipart that look cheesy. Kind of depends on the designer and how they incorporate it.

If the name and logo are known in the community and have a good "reputation" so to speak...then I see no compelling reason to change it. Conversely, if the logo and name don't project the image you're going for, then by all means, a fresh look would be in order.

But to me, unless it's a really bad design and doesn't project the kind of image you want, changing your logo isn't going to magically bring more people your way.

My favorite story about logos involves a study done a number of years ago. A research firm took 25 well-known corporate logos and asked people to rate the logos (based on a series of questions) on their look and design. The second test asked people to rate the logos (and company) according to who they felt were the "best" companies.

American Express' logo ranked dead-last in terms of it's look. People literally hated the logo. They thought it was dated and stuffy looking.

Guess where American Express ranked (amoung the same group of people) among the "best" companies? Yup...numero uno.

So people may hate your logo, but I doubt it's going to make or break your company (unless it's REALLY bad).

Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN

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Mike CohenRe: Clipart as a company logo??
by on Jan 5, 2009 at 5:40:15 pm

If it uses clipart which is well known, such as the Windows Paperclip man, then you may eventually get called on it. But there is so much clipart out there, if you are really concerned, use Illustrator to create your own vector graphic in the same design, but that way it is your image.

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Timothy J. AllenRe: Clipart as a company logo??
by on Jan 6, 2009 at 8:05:00 pm

But would you hire a so called "creative" business that uses clipart for their company logo? That seems like an oxymoron.

Incorporating clipart into a logo (as a small part, or as an inspirational kick start) might be ok, but if it's not much different than the original clipart file, I'm not sure it would send the right message.

And after all, that is what a logo should be about, isn't it?


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John BaumchenRe: Clipart as a company logo??
by on Jan 6, 2009 at 8:33:04 pm

Think of it this way, your using some plane jane clip art that the whole world has access to. All you 18 hour days are paying off and your company begins to grow and stand out. Only problem is, you don't own your logo. Maybe your competition decides to cash in on your hard work by using the same logo on material sent to your prospective clients. Hmm......could be a bit confusing.

I'd suggest that if you want a logo, either design one your self or hire a graphic artist, (using a 'work for hire' agreement), to design one for you. That way, you can copyright it, register it as a trademark and own all rights to it.

When I had my own business, one of my competitors actually began using my tag line. Since I didn't register it, couldn't do anything about it.

Imaging what the Nike swash logo is worth today.


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Todd TerryRe: Clipart as a company logo??
by on Jan 6, 2009 at 8:49:06 pm

I think it goes back to what Timothy said... if you are a creative agency, you can use clipart as a logo, but why would you?

Apart from actually using the clip art, I'd be a little concerned about a creative agency who was actually satisfied with doing so... especially for their own logo.

But can you? Yes.


Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.

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