Why do people upload their work to Adobe and other stock sites if they can't be used for intended purposes?

For example, I was talking to a friend of mine who wants a logo designed. I suggest he take inspiration from some of the images on Adobe Stock, after which he questioned why he couldn't just download the licensed image after paying for it.

We went to the terms and conditions and found that, as suspected, these images cannot be used for logos.

However, I find that confusing -- if you can't register/trademark an image for your business that is literally labeled and tagged as a logo on a stock site after you've paid for it, why call it a "logo" or upload it at all?

1 Answer 1


There are a few different ways a logo could be used:

  1. As a central part of the branding of your company. This is probably the way people usually think of logos. But certainly not the only one.

    The default license does not cover this, nor can it really cover. Suppose somebody licenced the logo for some other use the logo and you after that succeed to buy a extended licence release. Then the other person can not be deprived of the license after the fact, this may make you have huge headaches later, both practically and legally.

    That said it is still possible to negotiate an exception. Or like in some cases, be forced to negotiate for it (which is good for the author and stock site) but not your client.

  2. A logo may not be a company branding item as above. But rather used for something mundane like as a seasonal header for your this years company christmas party invitation, the kids lemonade sales stand, one of the kind ad promo or such... In this cases it is used as a logo to make the temporary or limited use item more professional look and feel.

    Careful, you may still end up in trouple down the line, be sure you dont build long term a brand around this graphic.

  3. It may be used as a placeholder for a looks generation phase. It may be used to ask clients what they think about things or in a early art direction phase.

So there are uses. But it could be also simply used as a promotional and a way to asdert copyright on surplus assets in hopes to catch the long tail.

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