Copying a logo in Illustrator - How do I make this text look better?

starfox

New Member
Hello all!
This is my first time ever using Adobe Illustrator, and my current project is proving to be a fun and (slightly) challenging project - I'm growing to like this software!

Some context:
Nintendo released a "Starfox - Light Years Beyond" cap in 1993, which was only obtainable via a promotion with a certain brand of cereal.
Currently it's very difficult to get one, and ones in "bad" condition go for well over $60, sometimes over $250!
I decided to get a personal one made (costs about $13 on AliExpress), and set about to make the logo (in fact, this specific logo only existed on this cap as far as I am aware).

Untitled.jpg

(Left and Right are retail caps, the center is the recreation by myself)

Everything went along fine, until I tried to write the text "Light Years Beyond" - As you can see, it's very wonky.
The text on the original cap was never in good quality, and I wanted to improve it a bit..

Do you guys have any ideas how I can correct the text to look a bit better? (Yes, all the letters are separate, none of them are grouped together.)
 

Wardy

Well-Known Member
Looking good so far!

You need to search for 'type on a path illustrator tutorial'. From memory, you first create your stroke with the pen tool where you want the text to go, then
click on the beginning of the stroke with the type on a path tool. Something like that. And use a better font!
 

hankscorpio

Moderator
Staff member
It's actually way off - the letters are far too thick.

Strangely - you can download vector images of this logo


What you do with it personally is up to you.
But it is copyrighted and under that realm with Nintendo. So just be careful.
 

starfox

New Member
It's actually way off - the letters are far too thick.

Strangely - you can download vector images of this logo


What you do with it personally is up to you.
But it is copyrighted and under that realm with Nintendo. So just be careful.
Feedback much appreciated! I did take the center logo from another creator and slightly tweaked it to fit - It was sort of a placeholder as of yet.
I'll try messing about with the more accurate logo, change colors and all that.

Here's how the logo looks so far:
STARFOX FRONT FINAL - Copy.png
And don't worry about the copyright aspect, I'm creating this purely for personal reasons ;)
I just want a Starfox Light Years Beyond cap without having to pay $70~300 for it!
 

sprout

Active Member
I just want a Starfox Light Years Beyond cap without having to pay $70~300 for it!
I’d be vey careful with that, if you are using someone else’s legally-owned, copyright, brand capital to create an item of merchandise that the said company already sell (albeit at an inflated cost), it becomes counterfeit goods and you could well fall foul of the law in a very painful way. I am no lawyer, but I would be very surprised if you weren’t able to be sued by them if they caught you. I don’t know if the law is broken only if you sell it. Either way, whatever the nuance of the law, it is ethically and morally dubious at best.
 

starfox

New Member
I’d be vey careful with that, if you are using someone else’s legally-owned, copyright, brand capital to create an item of merchandise that the said company already sell (albeit at an inflated cost), it becomes counterfeit goods and you could well fall foul of the law in a very painful way. I am no lawyer, but I would be very surprised if you weren’t able to be sued by them if they caught you. I don’t know if the law is broken only if you sell it. Either way, whatever the nuance of the law, it is ethically and morally dubious at best.
I understand your concern, Nintendo is very finnicky when it comes to copyright ;)
However, in this case I think it's fine, as I'm really only using it for personal use and I am recreating the logo (almost) from scratch. (never mind the fact that they haven't touched this design at all in 28 years..)

I'd say it's similar to buying a Redbull sticker online then sticking it on your car - Redbull isn't going to see that and sue you "because they never sponsored you".

Now if I were to produce en masse, and sell, these caps, that would be a serious legal issue..

Here's how the logo is so far! I think this will be the final version.

FINAL.png
 

sprout

Active Member
Depending where you are in the world, although there are copyright exceptions for personal use, they have usually specific purposes. In the UK, these are:

1 Non-commercial research and private study
2 Text and data mining for non-commercial research
3 Criticism, review and reporting current events
4 Teaching
5 Helping disabled people
6 Time-shifting
7 Parody, caricature and pastiche

When it comes to the grey areas, there are no hard-and-fast rules and it is often down to courts to decide, but in the UK, this is determined by a factor called ‘Fair Dealing’. The UK government site states:
-------------
Fair dealing
Certain exceptions only apply if the use of the work is a ‘fair dealing’. For example, the exceptions relating to research and private study, criticism or review, or news reporting.

‘Fair dealing’ is a legal term used to establish whether a use of copyright material is lawful or whether it infringes copyright. There is no statutory definition of fair dealing - it will always be a matter of fact, degree and impression in each case. The question to be asked is: how would a fair-minded and honest person have dealt with the work?

Factors that have been identified by the courts as relevant in determining whether a particular dealing with a work is fair include:

does using the work affect the market for the original work? If a use of a work acts as a substitute for it, causing the owner to lose revenue, then it is not likely to be fair
is the amount of the work taken reasonable and appropriate? Was it necessary to use the amount that was taken? Usually only part of a work may be used
The relative importance of any one factor will vary according to the case in hand and the type of dealing in question.
-------------
In the States, it is similar, I believe, and called ‘Fair Use’. I’d double check the laws in your country.

This is the UK.gov site page on copyright exceptions. If it were me, I’d do a bit of research for my own peace of mind. Technically, by posting it online, you have broken the personal use clause anyway, as you have made an unofficial copy, public.

I know I am being pedantic and that chances of there being consequences are minuscule, but better to know where the line is so you know whether you have / can / will cross it unwittingly.
 

starfox

New Member
Depending where you are in the world, although there are copyright exceptions for personal use, they have usually specific purposes. In the UK, these are:

1 Non-commercial research and private study
2 Text and data mining for non-commercial research
3 Criticism, review and reporting current events
4 Teaching
5 Helping disabled people
6 Time-shifting
7 Parody, caricature and pastiche

When it comes to the grey areas, there are no hard-and-fast rules and it is often down to courts to decide, but in the UK, this is determined by a factor called ‘Fair Dealing’. The UK government site states:
-------------
Fair dealing
Certain exceptions only apply if the use of the work is a ‘fair dealing’. For example, the exceptions relating to research and private study, criticism or review, or news reporting.

‘Fair dealing’ is a legal term used to establish whether a use of copyright material is lawful or whether it infringes copyright. There is no statutory definition of fair dealing - it will always be a matter of fact, degree and impression in each case. The question to be asked is: how would a fair-minded and honest person have dealt with the work?

Factors that have been identified by the courts as relevant in determining whether a particular dealing with a work is fair include:

does using the work affect the market for the original work? If a use of a work acts as a substitute for it, causing the owner to lose revenue, then it is not likely to be fair
is the amount of the work taken reasonable and appropriate? Was it necessary to use the amount that was taken? Usually only part of a work may be used
The relative importance of any one factor will vary according to the case in hand and the type of dealing in question.
-------------
In the States, it is similar, I believe, and called ‘Fair Use’. I’d double check the laws in your country.

This is the UK.gov site page on copyright exceptions. If it were me, I’d do a bit of research for my own peace of mind. Technically, by posting it online, you have broken the personal use clause anyway, as you have made an unofficial copy, public.

I know I am being pedantic and that chances of there being consequences are minuscule, but better to know where the line is so you know whether you have / can / will cross it unwittingly.
Your concern is appreciated :)

But I think it really boils down to the fact that:

1. I am not producing this for commercial purposes
2. The logo was recreated, mostly, by myself
3. Nintendo hasn't used this logo in over 28 years
4. The "revenue" amount is very small - Absolutely nothing that anybody at the legal team would be concerned about.

In any case, recreating and releasing a logo by itself shouldn't be an issue, there are millions of unofficial copies floating around.

I wonder whether this would technically count as "research/private study"?
 

sprout

Active Member
1. I am not producing this for commercial purposes
Agreed, but is not exactly ‘fair dealing’ either

2. The logo was recreated, mostly, by myself
That’s the point. Copyright means ‘copy’ by any method.

3. Nintendo hasn't used this logo in over 28 years
Copyright usually extends to 70 years after the death of the original creator.

4. The "revenue" amount is very small - Absolutely nothing that anybody at the legal team would be concerned about.
That is why you will probably be OK. My comments were not about whether you are likely to get sued over it, more the actual legality, ethics and morality of it.

In any case, recreating and releasing a logo by itself shouldn't be an issue, there are millions of unofficial copies floating around.
That’s not the point. If everyone around you is looting shops, it doesn't make it right for you to loot (I know, a pretty extreme example by comparison!).

I wonder whether this would technically count as "research/private study"?
Nope. You can’t argue that you needed to use it to learn Illustrator. There are plenty of things out there, outside of copyright you could use to do that. By your own admission, you are doing it to save some money and not buy a hat.

Anyway, it’s your call. Your risk. Your moral compass. I was only flagging up points of the law – which are there for good reason, by the way – to protect people like you and I, who do create original works.

Also, I digress, your original question (quite rightly on this forum) was about the drawing of it and as I am not the moral police, I shall leave you to wrestle with your own conscience on that one!!
 

starfox

New Member
Agreed, but is not exactly ‘fair dealing’ either


That’s the point. Copyright means ‘copy’ by any method.


Copyright usually extends to 70 years after the death of the original creator.


That is why you will probably be OK. My comments were not about whether you are likely to get sued over it, more the actual legality, ethics and morality of it.


That’s not the point. If everyone around you is looting shops, it doesn't make it right for you to loot (I know, a pretty extreme example by comparison!).


Nope. You can’t argue that you needed to use it to learn Illustrator. There are plenty of things out there, outside of copyright you could use to do that. By your own admission, you are doing it to save some money and not buy a hat.

Anyway, it’s your call. Your risk. Your moral compass. I was only flagging up points of the law – which are there for good reason, by the way – to protect people like you and I, who do create original works.

Also, I digress, your original question (quite rightly on this forum) was about the drawing of it and as I am not the moral police, I shall leave you to wrestle with your own conscience on that one!!

Copyright has always been a very iffy issue when it comes to fanmade content - fandubs, fan made 3d renders, and then the progression into actual physical content!
The line between "personal freedom" and "copyright infringement" is always a bit of a chin-scratcher (although in most cases, said copyright holder never really considers it "worth legally pursuing".)

I'm having a bigger opponent to wrestle than my guilt though - It seems that this logo is too difficult to embroider!
Most of the sellers I contacted have rejected it because it's "too complicated to embroider", and the few that say they can do it are putting prices much higher than their initial estimate (The lowest is over $24 for one cap). I'll have to see if this little project of mine will ever come into fruition!
 

starfox

New Member
Still a lot cheaper than the $300 for an actual one!
If... If you put it that way.... It sounds very cheap :ROFLMAO:
It's a bummer because the sellers, at first, put forward estimates like $13 - Then they see the image and up the price to $20 - then they see the actual design and refuse to do it. I even adjusted the design to conform with what a seller told me, and still they said it's too complicated.. Sigh. The hunt goes on.
 

hankscorpio

Moderator
Staff member
Worst case scenario - you get a cease and desist order.
In that case - just don't wear it in public - I certainly wouldn't regardless of legal implications.
 

starfox

New Member
Worst case scenario - you get a cease and desist order.
In that case - just don't wear it in public - I certainly wouldn't regardless of legal implications.
Imagine if I get a cease and desist order for wearing a certain hat in public :oops: That would be a first, wouldn't it?
 
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