1) A discovery of a logo in the LogoWorks company portfolio which is a direct rip from a logo by Mark Fox - LOGOWORKS.com or LOGOWORST.com?
2) HOW forum members look closely at LogoWorks and come up with more, which are included in LOGOWORKS.COM RIP-OFFS.
3) 'The Prepared Mind' becomes the top blog/podcaster during the saga, coining the phrase 'LogoWorks or LogoJERKS?'
4) CMO, LogoWorks steps in and starts posting on the HOW mag forum. The exchange quickly deteriorates. "Now you went and pissed our designers off."
5) LogoWorks "Vonnie boy should start checking his mailbox in the next day or two. I learned in one of my communications law classes that the only defense for libel is... drum role, you guessed it... the truth."
6) Interview with a LogoWorks designer "I know for a fact that a regular practice is to find a logo that already exists and merely change it a bit and send it off.."
7) LogoWorks states they are putting better checks and balances into play, but "our sheer volume (over 30,000 customers) makes this issue particularly challenging for us" will indeed be an interesting challenge. I imagine many people around the internet will be watching to see what exactly gets put into place as it seems a near on impossible task to accomplish given their business model (see Robert Wurth's article LogoWorks: Who is to Blame? for a rounded look at the problem).
This is quickly becoming theatre of the absurd. I was checking out Arteis/LogoWorks' other venture - marketed under LogoMaker and Insta Logo (a basic rehash of the Logo Yes deal) - Flash driven clip art generator that claims to 'create logos within minutes'). As their web site claims -
"You donít need to have any professional design experience or special software to be your own logo creator. It takes just a few minutes using InstaLogo's logo maker tool to create the perfect logo!"
All for $99. Whatever.
The ownership states that InstaLogo is owned and operated by ARTEIS INC., a Delaware corporation. Copyright 2004 Arteis, Inc. And as we all know - Arteis is the owner of LogoWorks. (According to the Utah Department of Commerce web site, LogoWorks is a DBA of Arteis Inc. It's an umbrella corporation so technically, I believe it's all the same stuff.)
Well, Looking through their samples I found this selection:
Now this one was definately familiar. In fact, it was the icon that *my studio* had developed for one of our client's - Meridian Construction - back in 2000. The logo is still featured on our web site on one of our archival pages.
Imagine how honored I feel - a logo that my company developed for our clients being sold as a template logo by LogoWorks for $99.
Side note: Steve Douglas has also crafted a letter which we've place on Creative Latitude Dear Ms. Bounds as a protest to her article 'Keeping Quality High In an Online Service Biz' about LogoWorks on the Wall Street Journal web site. Gwendolyn Bounds is a Staff Reporter of The Wall Street Journal.
What Matt from the HOW forum has been up to:
Ladies and gentlemen, I have something to contribute. I went to the LogoWorks website today and initiated a live chat with one of the LogoWorks representatives. The representative goes by "Dale" and I'm, of course, represented by "you". Here is the log, which I saved:
Please wait for a site operator to respond. Chat Information. You are now chatting with 'Dale'
Dale: Hi, how can I help you?
you: Yes, it has recently come to my attention that there is massive building evidence against LogoWorks of ripping off pre-existing and copyrighted logo designs from outside sources.
you: Are you in a position to comment on this matter or do I need to take this higher up?
Dale: I am not in a position to comment I would contact Noelle Bates our PR Director at 801-922-1904
you: Is it possible to reach Noelle Bates alternatively via e-mail?
Dale: Noelle at lw.com
you: Okay. Thank you for your time, Dale. I appreciate it.
you: Good day to you.
Dale: Where did you hear of this? I would like to give her a heads up on your emails so she can research what you are hearing
you: I first ran across it through a Graphic Design forum at Graphic Design Forum
you: There was a thread created there recently that discovered several old logos that LogoWorks is allegedly copying.
you: The list has been growing about every day since the thread started.
you: A few have disturbingly similar resemblances, others can be passed off as coincidence.
Dale: I can assure you we have never intentionally copied any logo.
you: Can you tell me a little about the processes that [LogoWorks'] designers go through in creating logos for their clients?
Dale: I would contact Noelle she could give you a very detailed description.
you: Thank you.
you: Another question, please. Should I need to refer back to you in my research, is there an e-mail address that I might contact you at?
Dale: Please refer directly to Noelle.
you: Very well.
you: Thank you,
Dale. Your help has been greatly appreciated.
you: Have a great day.
Chat Information. Chat session has been terminated by the site operator.
Matt then proceeded to compose my e-mail for Noelle, the PR Director:
I had a live chat via the LogoWorks website with one of your representatives (who went by "Dale") regarding alleged logo theft being commited by your company. He directed me to you for my inquiry.
It has recently come to my attention that there is evidence against LogoWorks of ripping off pre-existing and copyrighted logo designs from outside sources.
For example, here is a link to a logo that has allegedly been copied and represented by LogoWorks. The bottom is the LogoWorks version, and the top is the original.
Here's another original (left) and the LogoWorks copy (right).
And one more disturbingly similar logo. The first is the LogoWorks version, the second is the original.
There are numerous other examples, but this is just to start off.
I wish to know what your company's official statement is on this matter, and what is going to be done about the plagiarism if proved to be true.
Thank you for your time and I look forward to your response.
Mattrrh from the HOW forum:
I just received this from Laura after I e-mailed her this morning my dislike of LW and their tactics of stealing other's property.
Thank you for your email. I appreciate your feedback. I have no knowledge of this problem with LogoWorks. I have only read good things about them in places like the Wall Street Journal and worked with them on the Entrepreneur project. I did no background check on them. But if you have some information about bad business practices I would certainly appreciate if you sent it to me. I donít wish to give credibility to bad businesses. Thanks.
Jeff Fisher of Jeff Fisher LogoMotives has been very busy. He's crafted letters to Forbes as well as one of the other judges for the ugly logo contest - Nancy Michaels - and sent her an email about this whole situation to see what she might have to say about it. He's also contacted the University & College Designers Association and knowing Jeff, I'm sure there is a whole range more I do not know about.
Bruce from the HOW forum: I've e-mailed a link to this thread to Ron Arnholm (designer of the Legacy fonts) at the University of Georgia. I've also alerted Peter Lawrence of the Corporate Design Foundation, as well as the Portfolio Center and The Creative Circus. He has also emailed a friend who is a patent & trademark attorney with Kilpatrick Stockton, one of the country's leading P&amp;amp;T lawfirms.
Jeff from Roseburg, Oregon of Adventures In Blogging! has e-mailed a letter to the link at the WSJ that Jeff Fisher provided and to the reporter who did the initial story on LogoWorks.
Update from Von: I got an email back from E&Y Global. íThey seem to agree the mark is stepping on toes. It's more then a mere exact lift it's capitalizing on their 'Brand' more then their specific 'Logo'.í
Blogs coming out against LogoWorks:
Around the internet:
And now work beckons ...