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Last weekend, after shopping on busy streets of California, I seated myself in a close by cafeteria. While sipping my hot coffee, I noticed the numerous, captivating logos all around and asked myself what these brands must have been without logos. Undoubtedly, a logo for a business is like an intelligent cover is to a good book, but at the same time it needs to be influential enough to set you apart in your market and let people know what’s “inside”.

However, in this era of brand competition, where everyone wants to leave a mark of uniqueness, I feel it’s becoming more and more difficult for the designers to execute original logo designs. I do not know if I am being rude for blaming the designers for creating looking alike logos, but the images below will definitely prove my point to you.

1: Quark logo vs. Scottish Arts Logo:

As for this image, you can see Quark has clearly copied the Scottish Arts logo and it is unfortunate that the logo mark for a brand closely associated with designing itself was a copied logo.


2: Applied Materials vs. Planned Parenthood:

Without any doubt the resemblance here cannot be ignored except the difference here is merely three lines against two.

3: Sun Microsystems vs. Columbia Sportswear Company:

This identity mark of Sun Microsystems certainly cannot be considered original, accept that the diamond shape of the logo has been filled in with the alphabet “U”.

4: Laszlo vs. Etelos:

Although the designer of Laszlo logo has made changes to the shading and other minor elements of the logo but the molecular design make the logos look similar.

5: Monodonation vs. Elizabeth Arden

Giant of cosmetic industry, Elizabeth Arden copying the logo to launch the new fragrance by Britney Spears is a shameful act of violating design ethics.

6:Unilever vs. Swiat Zdrowia

Although, here it is not clear who is responsible for copying the logo but still it shows that changing the shape does not bring much difference.

7: Belfast City vs. South Hams Food and Drink

Using the same effect of enclosing a heart in the box, make both the logos an evident replica.

8: Star Sports vs. being one of the best online news sites in Malta has a swooshy start logo, an exact look alike of Star Sports logo

9: Carrier vs. Ford:

The shiny, metallic blue oval of Ford and Carrier, make both the logos look identical.

10: National Film Board vs. Virtual Global Taskforce:

The designer of Virtual Global Taskforce has used the same concept of National Film Board logo, merging a human figure with an eye but making slight changes to posture and color is not showing any evident difference between the logos.

I’ve heard many designers defending themselves saying “We as designers try to create new and interesting logos and identities, but sometimes clients make that difficult for us. “

However, I think taking inspiration from objects, instances and experiences, which already exist, is not wrong but in the end it is a designer’s job to make use of his creative talent and produce a concept which is fresh and different, originality is therefore a key ingredient to becoming a successful graphic designer.

What say..How will you people describe these logos, inspiration or duplication?
(I listed these logos with the courtesy of Logoblog and Logodesignlove.)

Author Charlie B. Johnson

has written Posts 388 .

  1. Joshanna On September 1st, 2008 at 11:27 pm

    Hey, thnks for sharing these logos with us but i don’t agree that designers are finished with exclusive ideas. V still see amazing work around but i will rank these logos as duplication not inspiration.

  1. Sana On September 4th, 2008 at 2:57 am

    Interesting article. Btw, the Sun micro systems logo doesn’t just have ‘U’ written all over it but no matter from which side you look at the logo it seems like the word ‘sun’ is written. Try looking at it carefully ;)

  1. Cory On September 7th, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    Interesting list. Quite a shame if you ask me. I’m not sure that the Planned Parenthood and Applied Materials are close enough to warrant being called a rip. The mark isn’t that close, and the Applied Materials mark is an “A” instead of a “P”. Not sure what others think about that one.

  1. Justin On September 15th, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    You realize that those aren’t just “U”s in the Sun logo, right? It’s a clever (and pretty original) play that spells “SUN” over and over.

  1. erica On September 15th, 2008 at 6:28 pm

    you really need to learn how to write a more interesting article instead of just posting pictures and being like ‘hey! they look the same!’

  1. VQ On September 16th, 2008 at 9:10 am

    Nice article. I have to disagree on most of these assessments though.

    1. Although Quark should definitely have checked this out beforehand, I doubt this was an out and out copy. This is a really simply shape, and a form I’ve seen in place of a “Q” many times.

    2. In this case, I think the forms differences (number of lines, corner and end shapes, length) paired with the fact that it’s really just a stylized “a” are enough justification for this not being intellectual piggybacking.

    3. Sun’s logo is clearly different than Columbia’s. Justin explained it quite well.

    9. I don’t think the shiny blue oval is enough to even show inspiration on the part of one of the designers. An oval is a pretty common shape, and blue a pretty common color. And as far as the shine is concerned, who the heck isn’t shining their logos up these days?

    Sorry to be a pain, these are just my opinions. Thanks again for the post.

  1. Clint On September 21st, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    I think many of these are just examples of companies/designers that didn’t do their research well enough before going out with a logo. There are literally thousands of logos created daily, and it is more than likely that once in a while two people create two logos that look alike without ever seeing each others work.

  1. irish On January 18th, 2009 at 5:58 am

    wow, thanks for sharing the ideas. plz do visit my blog and your opinion will be very appreciated. Thnx, looking forward to be your friend

  1. DTG Magazine On February 1st, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    When is a logo NOT a logo? What does it have to do in order to BE a logo? Or, does it just matter how much money the owner of the logo has to throw at it in order for it to become instantly recognizable???

    Anyone here ever heard of Paul Rand?

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