As a freelance graphic designer I get requests a lot of the time with people who want me to vector/create a mascot of Pokémon and other game characters. And I’d love to hear whether or not I’m legally allowed to do this.

Here is the Issue I’m having;

This photo of Murkrow https://cdn.bulbagarden.net/upload/thumb/3/33/198Murkrow.png/250px-198Murkrow.png

I made a vectored version of this logo with some changes to suit the style I was going for


I thought I’d run this through you guys to see If its okay for me to continue with this design or to completely scrap it and recreate something loosely based of Murkrow.

  • 2
    We cannot give you legal advice. If your client does not have a license to use these characters, I don't see why this would be legally allowed. I would not touch this contract with a ten foot pole...
    – curious
    Commented Jan 27, 2018 at 22:00
  • I'm no lawyer, but this seems plain and simple: No, you are not allowed to copy copyrighted artwork and sell it to your client. Why should you be allowed? What makes this example special?
    – Wolff
    Commented Jan 28, 2018 at 13:56
  • 4
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's a legal question
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Jan 28, 2018 at 14:33
  • If you're worried about breaking the law, you can always turn down the job. There's plenty of legit work to be had out there. Commented Feb 13, 2018 at 14:51
  • relevant and possible duplicate: /questions/26844/how-to-handle-client-requests-to-violate-copyrights
    – Vincent
    Commented Feb 16, 2018 at 12:26

1 Answer 1


Copying any other artist's work is infringement unless direct permission has been granted.

Only fair use may circumvent this. However a "logo" is almost never a "fair use" situation. Fair use would be for you.. your school project.. to hang on your wall, etc. Never as a paid service or company branding.

The client isn't liable because they may be requesting this. You are liable for actually doing it.

Seriously, how can you claim to be in the business of creating intellectual property but not understand infringement on the intellectual property of others.

Even "basing" something off of the intellectual property of others can be sticky. There's no such thing as "change it by X amount and you are okay". Derivative works can still create infringement claims.

See here: How to handle client requests to violate copyrights?

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