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I've been working on a logo for a local church and I finally created something their board agreed upon. But, when they asked me to do a copyright check I found ONE similar logo in particular that has a copyright that has me concerned. My design: enter image description here

I made my design from scratch and it has an overall similar feel, but a different crop and flame to a copyrighted logo design for a potential grain fumigation company. Meaning that this logo copyright is owned solely by a designer and not a commercial grain fumigation company. The other logo: enter image description here

Should I be concerned even though there are differences and they are in two COMPLETELY different industries (NPO Church and Agricultural)?

marked as duplicate by Luciano, GerardFalla, Ovaryraptor, Billy Kerr, Zach Saucier Mar 13 at 3:24

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    It's not about copyright specifically.. but a logo should be unique. These are so very similar, one must have been influenced by the other, even if subconsciously. – Scott Mar 12 at 5:15
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We're not a legal forum, clearly, and I'm not a lawyer.

I am a multi-decade graphic designer and illustrator, who has lived and died by copyright - I'd say you should stay well clear and redesign - though you've substantially different areas of concern, they, as a commercial enterprise would be well within their rights, and quite sensible, to defend their logo / trademark / copyright - and aggressively at that.

They need to keep its brand identity and value distinct, and the only effective remedy they have at hand if they see you use that logo (especially given you did the research and posted the question here) is legal: they as a commercial entity can bring financial resources to bear that you, and your client, most likely cannot hope to match.

For me anyway, this would be a show-stopping moment where I inform my client it's literally time to go back to the drawing board.

  • Thank you for your input. What I am mainly concerned about is that this copyrighted logo is currently not tied to any company. It is a logo that is for sale by a fellow designer. – Andyfrom93 Mar 11 at 22:03
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    The Grain Fumigation logo is in a portfolio from a crowd source site - the portfolios here are rife with similar designs and icons, logo parts from Shutterstock and the like. The 'Brand Crowd' website itself does not copyright the works on behalf of the artist and I do not think that in this case you would have any issues due to the nature and saturation of these kind of platforms. Although at the bottom of the website it does say 'All individual works are copyright protected by their respective owners & contributors.' The theme itself cannot be copyright but the look and feel could be. – Mark Read Mar 12 at 0:50
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The reality is any kind of logo one can think of has probably already been designed in a number of ways and for sale as stock. Not 100%, but pretty much 90% likely. With this in mind i'd say you're too close and need to come up with something else, which is probably also 90% likely to already exist :)

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I seem to be in the minority, but if you created it from scratch, and it is in a different industry, and the board likes it, I would use it. But I would inform the board that it is similar to another logo that is for sale, and that if there is a complaint you may have to change it, and let them decide.

Every logo using basically stock elements is going to have tons of similar variations out there already.

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