I have a close friend (with a very strong opinion) who asked me to design a logo for his brand new software company. I did all my survey, I asked him what are his views and I presented to him some fresh and strong logos that according to my test-team are professional and able to represent well such a company.

However he liked none of my proposals and he asked me to make custom things (e.g. "why don't you use a head and inside the head a letter", "move the letter up", "change the stroke", "no, move the letter back", "change the typeface", ....). Of course, I told him that I am a designer, not just a user of design softwares and this procedure does not please me, so I suggested to visit other professionals. The result was the same, he liked nothing the new designer proposed him and he finally asked me to help him with Illustrator in order to design the logo by himself.

That was absolutely fine by me, but his idea is the worst idea ever. He chose another very famous company's logo (the company is from another business field, though) because it is a little bit relevant with his company's name, and he just wants to change the name inside the existing logo...

I told him that this is probably illegal (the famous company is not based in our country, so I am not sure if the logo is a trademark here) and , more important, that this is the worst idea for a logo. It is not new, it is not fresh, it is not recognizable as your company, it is not professional, it is just BAD.

He doesn't change his opinion. He is a very dear friend of mine and I want to try once again to explain why this is a bad idea but I have never faced such a case and I don't know how...

Moreover, I would like to explain him why he should listen and trust the professionals and that his opinion and ideas might sound good to him but it is not good for the company's image.

Any idea would help me...

Thanks and sorry for the big text

  • 5
    It sounds like you've done your due diligence. Ultimately this is his company, so he can brand it as he pleases. If the legal argument does not persuade him (is it worth the legal and financial risk to your company "steal" another company's logo?) you're probably not going to convince him on your own. Commented Jul 15, 2015 at 11:12
  • I've never enjoyed working with clients who want bad design, but money is money. On the other hand, it's ok to fire a client. As scribble said, you did your due diligence.
    – JWhiteUX
    Commented Jul 16, 2015 at 2:04

1 Answer 1


As @Scribblemacher said, you've done your due diligence. Here's one more question: if you do this work for him as he requests, might you be caught in the legal back-blast? If so, then you would be justified in either refusing or insisting on getting a signed document saying he'd protect you from any legal harassment from the infringed company (if that would actually give you protection; I'm not a lawyer, and you might want to talk to one).

Even if you think it unlikely you'd be hit by the splatter, you have a right to say what you will or will not do for a client. This work isn't a hobby for you: it is your profession, and you have very clear standards that have developed over time and make your work valuable. Being able to say no to a client, even a "close friend", is an important skill; now may be the time to use it.

  • 1
    This is better suited as a comment, not a full answer. Commented Jul 15, 2015 at 12:33

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