nash61

Anyone know where this logo was stolen from?

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We're somewhat talking about different things here. The NBA and the MLB logos are the same concept, they didn't manipulate the MLB player into a NBA player. (Plus in all honesty, we don't know what happened between the NBA and MLB either when that happened. They could have had permission. Things were way different back then.) What we're talking about is if there was a Cricket league in the US, they took the MLB logo and gave him a cricket bat and a smaller nose.

To the point at hand, sometimes I use logos for inspiration, but its always more "general" inspiration for me as a designer, vary rarely for specific projects. And even then, its more historic logos I'm using as inspiration. Most the time I'm only using existing logos to make sure I don't encroach on the appearance of those already in the marketplace and typically its after the sketching phase or if questions arise during the process. At most I may look at other logos to see how others solved certain problems, but I try to avoid this in the development stage so I make sure I don't accidentally lift similar solutions from other designers.

I would never ever use a part of an existing logo I didn't create as a base for a new logo in ANY part of the process.

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There is no line.

If you start from somebody else's work, there is no amount of changes where it magically becomes your work. It will always belong to the original designer.

The only way to make a design your own is to start from scratch.

GIFS-No-way.gif

There's a big difference between making minor tweaks to a complex logo and starting with a logo as a "jumping off point" that has zero presence in the final product. The latter is a common practice in design.

This is usually the standard response from somebody who is not involved in the business of design.

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As far as I see it if a piece of work is not copyrighted or trade marked and it is put over the internet to be admired unfortunatley unscrupulous individuals will steal it and alter it. Thats the risk any designer takes if they have no patent on it.

I'm afraid that's not a correct characterization - work is automatically copyrighted. Trademarking requires an affirmative step, but that is different. And patents are something else entirely.

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There is no line.

If you start from somebody else's work, there is no amount of changes where it magically becomes your work. It will always belong to the original designer.

The only way to make a design your own is to start from scratch.

GIFS-No-way.gif

There's a big difference between making minor tweaks to a complex logo and starting with a logo as a "jumping off point" that has zero presence in the final product. The latter is a common practice in design.

This is usually the standard response from somebody who is not involved in the business of design.

Are you? Because, from a "business of design" perspective, methodology is wholly irrelevant.

I have a masters degree in marketing, teach both business law & graphic design courses, and have been professionally "involved in the business of design" for almost a decade. In the process, I have encountered my share of Kris Bazen's (disgraced Sluggalo designer) who clumsily aggrandize their methodology in an attempt to contextualize underwhelming designs. Pcdg made a great point about the importance of researching logos not only for inspiration, but to avoid unintentional similarities. Legally, design methodology is irrelevant no matter what. When copyright violation occurs, awards in civil court are based largely on perceived damages, not intent (i.e. "oops, I didn't know" won't get the suit dropped). Conversely, when copyright violation does not occur, methodology obviously remains irrelevant because there was no legal violation, let alone damages.

I encourage my students to use "jumping-off points" for many reasons - dissecting current trends in logo design, finding inspiration for new designs, understanding the role of design in marketing campaigns, etc - however, I also stress the importance of creating an original and legal final product that doesn't infringe on existing designs. This isn't a "business of design" issue as much as a disagreement about the morality/ethics of design methodology among designers. I would never handcuff their creative processes because there is no illegal form of design methodology.

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Lots of good discussion on this...but I had no idea this can contained worms.

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There is no line.

If you start from somebody else's work, there is no amount of changes where it magically becomes your work. It will always belong to the original designer.

The only way to make a design your own is to start from scratch.

GIFS-No-way.gif

There's a big difference between making minor tweaks to a complex logo and starting with a logo as a "jumping off point" that has zero presence in the final product. The latter is a common practice in design.

This is usually the standard response from somebody who is not involved in the business of design.

Are you? Because, from a "business of design" perspective, methodology is wholly irrelevant.

I have a masters degree in marketing, teach both business law & graphic design courses, and have been professionally "involved in the business of design" for almost a decade. In the process, I have encountered my share of Kris Bazen's (disgraced Sluggalo designer) who clumsily aggrandize their methodology in an attempt to contextualize underwhelming designs. Pcdg made a great point about the importance of researching logos not only for inspiration, but to avoid unintentional similarities. Legally, design methodology is irrelevant no matter what. When copyright violation occurs, awards in civil court are based largely on perceived damages, not intent (i.e. "oops, I didn't know" won't get the suit dropped). Conversely, when copyright violation does not occur, methodology obviously remains irrelevant because there was no legal violation, let alone damages.

I encourage my students to use "jumping-off points" for many reasons - dissecting current trends in logo design, finding inspiration for new designs, understanding the role of design in marketing campaigns, etc - however, I also stress the importance of creating an original and legal final product that doesn't infringe on existing designs. This isn't a "business of design" issue as much as a disagreement about the morality/ethics of design methodology among designers. I would never handcuff their creative processes because there is no illegal form of design methodology.

While I may disagree with you overall on using existing work as a jumping off point, you bring up some good points on the method of design. I have peers that won't touch the computer before a sketch is perfect, while I frequently sketch on the computer.

I personally think teaching that it's ok to use someone else's work as a "jumping off" point can lead to plagerism pretty easily. We can agree to disagree.

However, I barely could get to those points because I nearly stopped reading when you called Kris Bazen is "disgraced" and "underwhelming." You throw things like that out there you should at least have a portfolio on your user page. He doesn't need me to defend him but since he's not around here much anymore I will a little. I don't say this as a fanboy or something of his but as someone who literally worked side by side (well back to back in the same office) with him for almost 5 years and his friend: Kris is one of the most talented designers in the sports industry and I've never seen anything but support and encouragement to his fellow designers. He's worked for some of the best companies in the industry and still does. Maybe you had some kind of perceived slight from him but I'll take the time I actually knew and worked with him personally as my evidence of his skills and quality as a designer.

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While I may disagree with you overall on using existing work as a jumping off point, you bring up some good points on the method of design. I have peers that won't touch the computer before a sketch is perfect, while I frequently sketch on the computer.

I personally think teaching that it's ok to use someone else's work as a "jumping off" point can lead to plagerism pretty easily. We can agree to disagree.

However, I barely could get to those points because I nearly stopped reading when you called Kris Bazen is "disgraced" and "underwhelming." You throw things like that out there you should at least have a portfolio on your user page. He doesn't need me to defend him but since he's not around here much anymore I will a little. I don't say this as a fanboy or something of his but as someone who literally worked side by side (well back to back in the same office) with him for almost 5 years and his friend: Kris is one of the most talented designers in the sports industry and I've never seen anything but support and encouragement to his fellow designers. He's worked for some of the best companies in the industry and still does. Maybe you had some kind of perceived slight from him but I'll take the time I actually knew and worked with him personally as my evidence of his skills and quality as a designer.

Obviously, plagiarism is a serious issue, which, again, is why it is crucial to create an original and legal final product. The line between using existing logos in your head and putting those thoughts "on paper" is a split hair at best.

I may have overdid it on Bazen in an attempt to make my point, but I called the Sluggalo design underwhelming, not Bazen himself... however, short of being caught plagiarizing, I can't think of a more disgraceful thing for a designer to have to do than open his sketchbook to the public and blame a client for his own poor design.

I only bring that up because it gets to the heart of this discussion - why methodology means nothing compared to the final product. You can't make bad work better by showing off concept sketches or blaming the client years later. Pulling the 'oh yeah, what have you done?" card doesn't make bad work better (that's a whole other can of worms). All things equal, I'll take a great logo made unconventionally over an awful logo made conventionally.

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As far as I see it if a piece of work is not copyrighted or trade marked and it is put over the internet to be admired unfortunatley unscrupulous individuals will steal it and alter it. Thats the risk any designer takes if they have no patent on it.

I'm afraid that's not a correct characterization - work is automatically copyrighted. Trademarking requires an affirmative step, but that is different. And patents are something else entirely.

I was just about to post this same point. I'm a professional painter (pictures, not houses :P ) and if one of my images shows up on a poster or t-shirt (hasn't happened to me yet, but a few friends have gone thru it) all I need to do is prove that I created it first... the copyright of the original creator is always a given.

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While I may disagree with you overall on using existing work as a jumping off point, you bring up some good points on the method of design. I have peers that won't touch the computer before a sketch is perfect, while I frequently sketch on the computer.

I personally think teaching that it's ok to use someone else's work as a "jumping off" point can lead to plagerism pretty easily. We can agree to disagree.

However, I barely could get to those points because I nearly stopped reading when you called Kris Bazen is "disgraced" and "underwhelming." You throw things like that out there you should at least have a portfolio on your user page. He doesn't need me to defend him but since he's not around here much anymore I will a little. I don't say this as a fanboy or something of his but as someone who literally worked side by side (well back to back in the same office) with him for almost 5 years and his friend: Kris is one of the most talented designers in the sports industry and I've never seen anything but support and encouragement to his fellow designers. He's worked for some of the best companies in the industry and still does. Maybe you had some kind of perceived slight from him but I'll take the time I actually knew and worked with him personally as my evidence of his skills and quality as a designer.

Obviously, plagiarism is a serious issue, which, again, is why it is crucial to create an original and legal final product. The line between using existing logos in your head and putting those thoughts "on paper" is a split hair at best.

I may have overdid it on Bazen in an attempt to make my point, but I called the Sluggalo design underwhelming, not Bazen himself... however, short of being caught plagiarizing, I can't think of a more disgraceful thing for a designer to have to do than open his sketchbook to the public and blame a client for his own poor design.

I only bring that up because it gets to the heart of this discussion - why methodology means nothing compared to the final product. You can't make bad work better by showing off concept sketches or blaming the client years later. Pulling the 'oh yeah, what have you done?" card doesn't make bad work better (that's a whole other can of worms). All things equal, I'll take a great logo made unconventionally over an awful logo made conventionally.

So from the entire article about the completely unique and unprecedented insights from someone that designed a (the perhaps?) hated logo and was facing comments like "the designer should be castrated," you focused on the line that he said "they decided to go in another direction?" That's near the same level as plagerism?

Like I said, I agree with you the method doesn't really matter. I've never said that showing sketches makes something better or a bad logo good. But you'll never convince me it's a good idea to use parts of other logos as placeholders for a client logo. I think "being inspired by" and "using parts" is way more than splitting hairs and it is in no way standard practice in the industry. We'll just have to agree to disagree.

As for your can of worms, it doesn't do anything to the original work, your right. Like your Bazen comment, I probably overdid that too. I just believe if your willing to throw shade on a designer that puts himself out there, and use your experience as a graphic designer as justification, you shouldn't do it anonymously. I like looking at other people's work, and when they say they are a designer but don't have a portfolio I'm a bit disappointed.

Good discussion!

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We'll definitely have to agree to disagree on the major points... some great insight into perspective on methodology from a professional, I appreciate it!

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