Corporate logos are not only effective in establishing your business identity, but are also powerful marketing tools. Logos help the establishment of your business identity that determines your company’s long term success. However, there continues to be a number of logos that look similar to others or have similar design features. If you are wondering how a corporate logo design that is supposed to establish a unique brand identity looks similar to another, read on...

Why do you think a logo design created by one designer looks similar to a logo created by another designer?

Most people point to plagiarism, while some harp on design motivation or coincidence, and some, on inspiration. Now, fact remains, since there are countless logos, possibilities are there that a percentage of them will look similar to another. Whether designs have been copied or inspired from, is a matter of debate. Strangely however, there are several instances of companies, whose logos have been “copied” in the past, not altering their logos.

When logos are copied…

A well established brand’s logo, like Amazon or Apple, is bound to linger with people. These logos are what are called ‘memorable logos’. Customers remember, recall and identify such brands through their logos. Very often, smaller brands will try to grow by staying under the shadow of an eminent brand and thus, copy their logos. For instance, the logos of Quark and Scottish Arts Council are the same except difference in color; similarly, the logos of Sun Microsystems and Columbia Sportswear Company.

Do remember, fake brands are different from brands that use a logo almost similar to a famous brand. Tommy Hilfiger’s logo has often been used by fake, local brands as “Tomy Hillfiger”. One “T” less is often difficult to point out and fake brands have cached in on this fact.

What does inspiration imply?

Inspiration rekindles or sparks creativity that is already there. Inspiration helps designers to think of unique and innovative ideas to develop something original and splendid. However, there should be difference between getting inspired and copying some other designer’s work. Professional designers should produce something new and improved from an original logo.

If a logo looks exactly similar in shape, form or design to another, it cannot be called inspiration. It is simply copying the design. For instance, the Carrier and Ford logos have the same shape and nearly similar blues, with just variations in gradients and fonts.

Does “copying” have benefits?

Recently, Sony Ericsson sued Clearwire for a similar logo and expected damages worth at least $150,000, despite Clearwire claiming to have filed trademark rights for the “swirl logo”. Although Clearwire’s logo looks more like an inspiration than a blatant copy, the matter is still debated.

To answer the question, many of you who had not heard of Clearwire before, will now be searching it on Google. That means, a considerable percentage of traffic will be directed to Clearwire in the next few days, or whenever someone reads this post.

By copying another’s design, smaller brands become the subject of discussion in several articles, be it print or online. Negative publicity is good publicity in this case. Of course, if one is not facing a law suit.

Author's Bio: 

WebGuru India is an established and accredited web design company, based in India providing quality web design and development services along with customized logo designing work to all over the globe. Follow our updated articles and blogs at Twitter.