How low can they go?



Sadly, it's all too common these days to see logo-mills or unscrupulous individuals ripping off legitimate designers' work and selling it as their own, deceiving their own customers in the process. But there's a new weasel afoot, one who takes deceit to dizzying new heights.

LogoGarden—which should probably be spelled "LowGoGarden"—is ripping off some of the most famous logo designs in the world and reselling them, with oh-so-minute modifications, as its own product. It's the most egregious example of logo theft we've seen yet, and while we don't often use this space for railing, it feels right to bring it to your attention. There are reportedly more than 10,000 designs on this site, so it may be worth your time to look for your own work there, and if you find it, to take action. 

In full disclosure, there are in the mix many examples of work from Gardner Design, owned by LogoLounge founder Bill Gardner. Bill has more information on the situation at rockpaperink.com


31 Comments
john spiegel
How do you stop this criminal creativity? Or should I have said non-creativity?!?! Can't we ban together to legally ban this kind of activity. Perhaps ask AIGA, Art Directors Clubs, GD USA and other like professional organizations. to publish and spread the word! Expose this criminal activity!
November 21, 9:56 PM
Bobotron
Even the testimonials are fake. I tried to go to some of those URLs shown on the business cards and none of them worked.
September 8, 9:25 AM
Jerron
Another big weasel to be aware of is 99designs.com. Many times have I seen my logos on there done by other "designers".
September 2, 4:47 PM
Jeff
There is a BUT to this post! I 100% agree with everyones position. The BUT? The BUT are all these websites that provide a $199 design service for that ultimate logo. You can't go wrong with them can you? These sites make my blood BOIL! Growing up in Ohio there was a car painting company called "Earl Schibe" their tagline: "We'll Paint Any Car Any Color for $199. No Ups, No Extras" I find this tagline fitting for all the websites that provide online—DIY logo creation. Go ahead steel the above tagline, change it up a bit to read: "We'll Design Any Logo for Any Company for $199. No Ups. No Extras." "No Ups. No Extras" means they'll design a logo but ain't gonna provide any strategic research, analysis or business rationale as to why the logo has value for a company. You see what I'm getting at here—these sites purely provide aesthetics, a pretty picture, a logo that has zero meaning and value for the business. Granted it's the people that use these sites for their business ventures that are the problem but hey aren't the guilty ones. They don't know any better to seek out a real design professional who can provide the the value of a trademark. They only see it as a logo. Logos don't have value! Logo creation sites demolish all the work AIGA, DMI and other well know design organization do to fight misunderstood perceptions of what design really is and its true value to help a company prosper. Logo creation sites contribute misunderstood perceptions for people who unfortunately use DIY logos sites. And that makes my blood boil!
September 2, 1:24 PM
Amy
I have seen a lot of this lately and not just on this site. It's almost a full time job just to have someone sitting around looking for your work...It's very hard to stop...and its a shame.
September 1, 10:43 PM
donna DeSousa
Hi Charlene, thanks for the advice. They finally took my work off on Thursday afternoon. I had to find my originals and make a document with their logo next to mine and the dates mine were created. But give us all a break. It took me forever to find them all. There were many. I'm happy they are finally off. I think it took over a week. AND, LogoGarden was nasty with their correspondence to RackSpace, claiming I was harassing them. Can you believe that? What a bunch of nuts.
August 27, 9:05 AM
Charlene Edwards
Donna, I attached screen shots of the rip off and screen shots of the logo to prove it was mine. I copied rackspace and the client. Things happened quickly. For some logos i just attached a screenshot of my logo lounge entry. You should not have to do this, but they are not making it easy.
August 26, 1:36 PM
Donna DeSousa
Not sure why this but I already left a comment about LogoGarden stealing 21 of my logo ideas. It was never put up on your comments list. I have contacted all possible avenues and still my work is up on this jackasses site. WTF?????
August 24, 5:16 PM
Charlene Edwards
I finally got them to remove all 8 of my designs. Rackspace, their hosting company was very helpful. If you write them an email also copy Rackspace: abuse@rackspace.com
August 23, 12:34 PM
Steve Gibson
I just love the way the so-called 'expert' John Williams includes hundreds of words on how to design and judge great logos and then contradicts his advice with much of the trash shown on his site. Hilarious stuff.
August 23, 11:01 AM
Michael Kern
I just looked and saw a lot of logos that are familiar ones from LogoLounge. These include logos from Gardner Design. I wonder if enough designers from LogoLounge get together with a lawyer who specializes in trademark and copyright law, if a joint lawsuit with damages could be brought against Logo Garden?
August 22, 3:10 PM
Daren Guillory
Personally, I haven not had any logos stolen, for which I am grateful. But if I did, I would hire an attorney immediately. A cease and desist letter would be too kind in my opinion.
August 21, 4:40 PM
Daren Guillory
I sent LogoGarden an email - they replied (and no, I do not understand): First, I appreciate you bringing this to my attention. To build our vast symbol library, LogoGarden.com contracts with designers nationwide and from around the world. Many of the symbols in question came from a small number of these designers. If any of these symbols do indeed violate copyright laws, our policy is to extract them from our online symbol library immediately and to terminate contracts with the designers who submitted them. As a business practice, all the designers we contracted with signed a "work for hire" contract that guaranteed their work would be original. Given the library's size, although we do our best to ensure originality of our artwork, we can't catch everything. And while sometimes a design conflict may be obvious, other times it's a judgment call. We do our best. We ourselves have issues with our logo symbols being copied, so we appreciate your concern and vigilance. In the future, if you find any symbols that you feel violate artwork you've designed and copyrighted personally, let us know. Thanks for your understanding, John Williams, President, LogoGarden.com Service@LogoGarden.com www.LogoGarden.com
August 21, 4:38 PM
Charlene Whitney Edwards
I received a boiler plate email from him stating that it was his "contributors" that did this and he did not have time to check all the logos. BS I think, the ripoffs were so obvious. So far he removed 1 out of my 5 logos. I think this is going to be a struggle.
August 19, 4:08 PM
Jeff
I hate to keep harping on this, but under the circumstances I believe it's warranted. Until now I had never heard of "LogoGarden" or "John Williams". Regardless, what I don't understand is WHY IN THE WORLD is the guy so brazen as to blatantly steal prominent, well-know work from prominent well-established design firms and even think for a SECOND he can get away with it?! Am I missing something here, or is this pure insanity, only attempted by a warped, criminal mind? I just can't get my head around it. This guy needs to somehow be "blacklisted" by the design community. I just don't see how he can justify his actions and still maintain any sort of credibility – not to mention such unscrupulous actions give a bad name to the logo design community as a whole. I say; "kick da sorry bum out" – he's earned it!
August 19, 2:03 PM
Dylan
Looks like he spent more on the legalese of his disclaimer stuff than he spent on the content for sale in his store. This is no different than stocking a brick and mortar shelf full of hot TV's.
August 19, 11:02 AM
Jeff Fisher LogoMotives
Happy to have LogoLounge giving this issue greater exposure. Over 20 of my logo designs were found on LogoGarden.com - most have been removed after informing their web host Rackspace of the copyright infringements. Designers need to check the UK version of the LogoGarden's homepage, too.
August 19, 10:18 AM
chris
This seems to be an off shoot of generation Y where everything is for free on the web. If it is on the net it can be taken and used. I have been asked by people how they can pay me for logo's they have taken off my portfolio site. We experience it when dealing with less established agencies, when we ask them for the images numbers on photographs and it turns out they are off somebody's blog. Not to sure how to protect work from falling foul of plagiarism in the future but naming and shaming seems to be an equally effective tool in fighting the battle.
August 18, 10:36 PM
Dani Nordin
I keep thinking I want to start a campaign like Dan Savage did with Rick Santorum; he redefined Santorum's last name to something disgusting so people Googling the senator would always find several pages of the definition.
August 18, 9:24 PM
Kevin Hughes
Railing in this instance is perfectly acceptable. This is the most disgusting display of fraud I've seen in a world full of 'logo mills'
August 18, 6:52 PM
Charlene Whitney Edwards
I found 5 of my logos on his site and have requested that he remove them. He actually has a legal advisory page on his site. What? Who is this guy?
August 18, 6:17 PM
Joshua Davis
How is it possible that LogoGarden has not come under legal fire yet? You would think a company as large as the World Wildlife Fund would be all over this. It's good to know someone noticed!
August 18, 6:00 PM
Scott Lewis
I'm glad to see so many designers and sites getting involved in exposing these guys. I REALLY hope LogoLounge can bring their legal resources to bear on LogoGarden. It is difficult for freelancers like me, Jeff and others to pursue legal action due to the cost. I have been a big fan of LogoLounge since the early days of the site, have had several of my logos included in the Best of and Master series (one of them was stolen by LogoGarden) and I'm happy to see you get involved.
August 18, 4:06 PM
Richard Baird
Glad to read Logolounge is getting onboard.
August 18, 3:02 PM
Jon
Let's hope this sad excuse for a human being gets everything he deserves!
August 18, 1:39 PM
Gert van Duinen
It's amazing how far some folks go to run a fraudulent business. Glad to know you caught the bastard. I hope all the noise around LogoGarden is a clear sign to other questionable businesses as well!
August 18, 12:3 PM
Jeff Halmos
Excellent! I just found 3 within the space of about 2 minutes that weren't Gardner logos.
August 18, 10:59 AM
Logo Jes
Hi Jeff, we have found the account that was set up to access our logo database. We also have our legal team working right now to solve this issue. Thanks for your comment! Jes
August 18, 10:53 AM
jeff Halmos
If it's not possible to search LogoLounge without first being a member, and we collectively find more than Gardner Design's logos ripped off, then LogoLounge has an internal breach. My guess it would be fairly easy to find the culprits.
August 18, 10:48 AM
Molly
I agree with Jeff. Things like this clearly happen because there is some idea that the online world is so large it can go unnoticed. Attention needs to be given on finding & fixing these sorts of issues. Thanks for the post.
August 18, 9:36 AM
Don't worry about using "this space for railing", you're doing a GREAT service in exposing this blatant and outrageous attempt at intellectual properties theft. For new logo design firms such as I, who are struggllng and striving to establish an honest and trustworthy reputation, deceit such as this DEMANDS some kind of immediate action! Thank you for everything you do. : )
August 18, 7:10 AM

 

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