The myth of original design

Logo designing has become a fast-paced competition, where logo competitions run rampant left and right.

And yes, companies still do pay hundreds of dollars for that right icon, that right brand, the right graphical representation of their belief, of their company.

But the sad truth is how sure are these companies that the new logo they are so proud of is original? That their new logo doesn’t just come in a different color or gradient than someone else? Fact is many times that is something they can’t be sure of. And who is to blame for this? Of course, the designers.

Design competition prizes range from a measly $10 to a whopping $500, so it’s really big money, and no one can really blame anyone who would want to get a piece of that.

But as artists strive to perfect their art, to express their artistic side, they find out that art doesn’t always win competitions.

So they look for “inspiration” from other designs.

Although some of these “inspirations” are somewhat real, others just merely copy the logo that was being used by a different company.

Just copy, or trace, put in a different color, and viola! a different logo.

Easy money.

Now, multiply that by a hundred times, add in the connectivity of the internet and you’ve got:


20 companies with “swirly men raising their arms in triumph”,
15 companies with “hands holding the wrist forming a square”,
13 with a “bulls-eye”,
50 with shiny orbs with their own company letter,
and the list goes on and on and on and on and on.

Sometimes, someone will come up with a totally unique design, and sure enough, you’ll see that particular design come up on design sites, with a different gradient, and also a different designer.

You can’t actually blame them, it’s a quick buck, it’s easy, and it works.

And real designers with original concepts are rare, I mean, almost any artist can rip off an original design by using their own graphics software.

Some don’t even try to prove it’s theirs, and you can clearly see the watermarks the original designer had left. Some just copy and paste an image, not minding the intellectual proper rights of others, or royalty fees and just incorporate it in their design.

Truth is, this craziness doesn’t just happen in the logo business; it happens all over the internet, whenever designing calls for something original, expect a design or two that is used by a different company, a different website. I know it’s unfair and unjust, but if the design really works, it’s going to be ripped off because that’s what most companies are looking for.

So if you ever design something that is totally original, and really sells, expect it to be copied or used by a different designer.

Just be happy that imitation is the sincerest kind of flattery.