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Using stock images for a logo

Discussion in 'Logo Design & Brand Identity Forum:' started by JayTelford, Dec 19, 2011.

  1. JayTelford

    JayTelford New Member

    Hello all,

    I am not a graphic designer, but I'd just like your advice.

    I recently got a local graphic design company to come up with a logo for my new company. They came up with three designs and I chose the one I thought was best, which I was really happy with - a silhouette with my company name beneath.

    However, I have recently found out that they'd used a stock image which they did some tiny amendments to and put my company's name underneath.

    My question is - is this normal practice?

    If it is, that's absolutely fine. However, if it isn't then maybe I need to say something.



    PS I Don't want to send a link to my logo, just in case the designers frequent this forum. I just wanted to do a bit of investigation first.
  2. Stationery Direct

    Stationery Direct Administrator Staff Member

    No it's not the norm from a professional, I would definitely be concerned about copyright infringement, most stock sites say that images cannot be used for logos. How much have you paid?

    Seeing what you have received and the image you have now found would help to comment further.
  3. richimgd

    richimgd Member

    Yeah I don't think its standard practice for a professional designer or company. Remember a professional charges a professional price. What I mean by this is not something along the lines of a £50 logo (not suggesting this is what you paid but some people do). The difference between a logo that costs tens of pounds or one that costs hundreds of pounds is the level of service you get which can simply be sumerised as skill and time. Neiter of which you are likley to get for paying £50. (again I am not suggesting you paid this, just trying to highlight the differences).

    Some designers charge mere £50 (or less!) for a logo. This does not allow the time and care needed to produce anything of quality and at best you are going to get a stock image with a few modifications. I say at best because even a good stock vector will cost at least £10 which is a fair slice of the low asking price of some of these logos.

    ARRIVALS Well-Known Member

    Any designer who needs to use a stock image for a logo is not a professional and anybody who even thinks about using these people should stay well clear. To then charge someone to use a stock image is disgusting. I mean my dog could pick a typeface to stick under an image.

    A logo is a bread and butter job for every professional designer, it's what we learn to do before anything else, assuming you've come from a design related education. It says a lot about a designer who cant think of an idea and produce a nice logo for any business. Even if you asked for a silhouette, any designer worth their salt would be able to produce their own.

    You could have bought the image yourself and put your name under it. Assuming they have paid for the image, all you've done is re-reimbursed them for it, as well as paid them for a few hours work on top. If they've used a free one, you've been robbed.
  5. JayTelford

    JayTelford New Member

    Thanks to everyone for your responses.

    The reason I'm suspicious is because a friend of mine used the image for a poster she made. I naturally assumed she'd taken it from my website, but she said it was a free stock image.

    She compared the two logos and she thinks that the graphic design company used the stock image as a start, made a few tiny amendments and concentrated on the typeface for the text.

    The logo can be seen on my Facebook page at (check the black-on-white version of the logo in the pictures section).

    I've found something that to my untrained eye looks very similar here: Drum Kit Silhouette Vinyl Sticker Decal Music Car | eBay

    The company I worked with are well-regarded and have done great work for some large organisations in the area, so I'm kind of surprised that they'd cut a corner. I paid them £400 for the logo; plus extra for web design, business card design etc.

    I'd prefer not to mention their name on here as I just want to investigate and I don't want them to think I'm going behind their back. I'm generally happy with the work they've done for me and I think the website and business cards look great but I can't help feeling a bit cheated if they've taken the bulk of the logo from a free stock image.
  6. Stationery Direct

    Stationery Direct Administrator Staff Member

    VERY naughty, for £400 I would expect much better than that, those 2 images look identical to me...unless all drum kits look exactly the same.
  7. Rapidrat

    Rapidrat Member

    Thats mortifying....I'd be horrified if I paid money just to be given a stick image logo.... If you're happy with it then that is all that matters but otherwise the principle is that it's not overly unique to you, it's just another stock file anyone can use :/. That's really quite dissapointing.
  8. richimgd

    richimgd Member

    I think its fair to say its the ebay drum kit image is the same as your logo just with a few minor modifications. I was going to explain but its easier uploading this image.

    edit: oops I got the stock image and logo mixed up, but you get the idea.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 20, 2011
  9. Stationery Direct

    Stationery Direct Administrator Staff Member

    Yeah you've been well and truly ripped off there, whoever originally created that image will have copyright which could give you infringement problems down the line. I would expect this from a £50 logo designer, not for £400, disgraceful!! Who is the designer?
  10. JayTelford

    JayTelford New Member

    I don't want to name them as it's not really fair. Like I said, they're normally a good company and I'm sure they've just slipped up on this one.

    I'll have a word with them. Thanks for your advice.
  11. Stationery Direct

    Stationery Direct Administrator Staff Member

    Slipped up? Seriously, they know what they are doing!!

    ARRIVALS Well-Known Member

    £400 for a stock photo'd logo is absolutely disgusting. I'm not sure you realise how bad that is and how much you have been ripped off. They may well have just slipped up this time, but for a professional design company, there should be no lazy slip ups like this.

    That picture cost them £2.00, and would have taken them 2 hours max to edit the bits they did then add your name. Even at £30 per hour which is above average, that would be a job worth £62. You can't be happy about £400 surely?
  13. richimgd

    richimgd Member

    Although I do agree, there is as you know more to designing a logo than that as there is likely research and potentially several other design concepts being sent to the client before the logo arrived at the design we are seeing. What the company should have done is established the client liked that type of drum kit layout and then done more to make it unique or better, redraw a totally unique drum kit as the problem is it is now clear that the graphic they used is based on a fairly popular and reproduced stock image, in fact it more or less is that stock image. The whole process involved was most likely a lot more than 2 hours worth of design work so its not like the client has paid £400 for £62 worth of work in my opinion, far from it I recon. I'm not saying the client has got a good deal though, I'm just trying to look at this from a different angle.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2011

    ARRIVALS Well-Known Member

    Any company lazy enough to take a stock image and use it for a logo, is lazy enough not to even bother with research or design process.
  15. Toppers

    Toppers Member

    I've just read through this thread and... WOW!
  16. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    Sorry to hear about your experience. I'd strongly recommend you get in touch with them and demand a FULL refund, then name and shame them. From what I've seen (and their unethical practice) I would not consider this company to be offering professional graphic design, and I wouldn't want anyone else to fall prey to them.

    They've also given you something that I wouldn't consider to be a logo. They haven't even bothered to adjust the text to make it read better (a clear sign of an amateur).

    I recently wrote a little guide on how to spot a bad logo that hopefully might be of help: How to spot a bad logo design - Paul Murray, Graphic Designer.

    If you need any more advice regarding getting a refund, I'm sure everyone on here would be willing to chip in and offer their opinion to back up your argument. Get your money back, then hire a professional from this forum :icon_smile:
  17. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member

    It would appear that the difference between 'oops - sorry!' and 'pfft! - f*ck it' is about £350 of YOUR money.

  18. Ian Bonner

    Ian Bonner Member

    To be honest I would make a point of naming them. You say they are normally a good company, but is this because they have not been 'found out' before?! I would have no problem if I was you in not using them again and letting everyone know exactly who they are. This could have got you in a lot of trouble and they obviously didn't care much about the consequences where you were involved so why should you care about them?

    It's a bad thing what they've done and others should know about it.

    Just my tuppence...

    ARRIVALS Well-Known Member

    Agreed, name and shame.
  20. paul_hutton

    paul_hutton Member

    I think they are taking the tinkle why should they benefit for someone else's work, you want your logo to be unique and memorable.
    This company sound like they have no imagination and can't really come up with their own designs

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