Saturday, August 27, 2005
For the most recent and probably the best resource regarding the response from LogoWorks, click here. MY thoughts on their public response? And the actions of their compatriots? One word: PATHETIC!
Now we just sit and wait. If nothing else becomes of this, public awareness and perception has been raised. And a certain logo "mill" now knows that they are being constantly scrutinized.
Friday, August 26, 2005
Monday, August 22, 2005
Click HERE for the link.
Another letter submitted was written by Steve Douglas of The Logo Factory.
Click HERE for the link.
On another front, Cat from Katz-i International Web & Graphic Design is doing a great job of keeping on top of the information as it becomes available and compiling it for easy reference on her blog site. Check it out.
Von reported that a reporter from the Wall Street Journal has contacted him for a follow-up article, this is finally getting the exposure that's warranted. Von also composed the following letter that he's been sending out to major media markets. It will be interesting to see how the media approaches this discovery, considering all of the high praise they've been piling on LogoWorks lately.
To Whom it may concern,
I am writing you regarding the recent opinion article written by Rhonda Abrams titled 'Logos help companies make their mark'. She also has it posted on her web site: http://www.planningshop.com/content/LogoWorksSample.html
As a veteran graphic designer of 19 years and owner of my own design firm I felt obligated to comment regarding Rhonda Abrams blatant Thumbs Up™ for LogoWorks.com. Your readers, small business owners, start-ups and the like should reconsider the overt praise Rhonda heaped upon LogoWorks.com and their services.
In her opening paragraph, she uses examples of such mega brands as 'Golden Arches', 'Swoosh', and 'Bull's-eye' as if this is the same level of design excellence and effectiveness that one should associate with the methodology and end-product of a hack-design service like LogoWorks.com. I cannot come to any other conclusion based on Rhonda Abrams association other then the fact she is sadly misinformed.
LogoWorks.com has a track record of stealing designs other designers have done and then re-selling them to their own client base, as if LogoWorks.com created it. This is hardly professional and certainly does not live up to the ethical standards any business should operate by. Not only that, but our industry is labeled 'Creative Arts' which implies the work being done has the element of creativity to it. A good design firm will produce strong concept-based design solutions, but a hack-design service like LogoWorks.com produces marginal work at best which many times isn't even original but rather plagiarized and sold to unsuspecting small business owners.
Allow your readers to judge for themselves and I am sure they'll recognize a few of the more high exposure ones.
(All image files found on the link above are being hosted on BadDesignKills.com server. This is to ensure that LogoWorks.com does not remove the images before the public at large has the opportunity to view the stolen artwork.)
The link of plagiarized work shows just those found in the last few days alone on LogoWorks.com web site. I doubt Rhonda Abrams would approve of such behavior or label it as good marketing. The list also means the clients who hired LogoWorks.com now stand to suffer the consequence of being sold plagiarized logos thus, LogoWorks.com is now a legal liability rather then a low-cost asset. Yes the logo was cheap to buy initially, but being forced by a Cease and Desist letter to have the logo redesigned because it was illegally (and unethically) plagiarized suddenly makes their low budget logo not much of a bargain after all. And what do they do now? Can they trust the integrity of LogoWorks.com?
Yet another core problem of a service like LogoWorks.com is it pays its designers between $25 - $50 for a logo design. Can Rhonda Abrams honestly think that this level of pay to the designer for a logo design is reasonable, considering the countless hours that go into well-crafted concept based design? How many custom marketing strategies would Rhonda Abrams personally develop for $25 let alone $299? I bet she values her talent more then LogoWorks.com values the designers and clients their business model and services victimize.
If your readers want to clarify LogoWorks.com own rates of pay to designers they need to look no further then this link:
I am not surprised that Rhonda Abrams has so openly endorsed LogoWorks.com, after all she was a judge in a recent contest sponsored by LogoWorks.com called 'Entrepreneur Magazines Ugliest Logo Contest'. The runners-up to this contest are a visual testimony to mediocre design produced by online hack-shops like LogoWorks.com. Some were not even improvements but rather merely 'Polishing The Turd' if you will. You can read and view them at: http://www.entrepreneur.com/logocontest/slideshow
Furthermore, Rhonda Abrams benefits directly from LogoWorks.com by way of their Affiliate program which you can read more about at: http://www.logoworks.com/affiliates.html
If you visit Rhonda Abrams own web site you'll find the affiliate links back to LogoWorks.com web sites so essentially you have a self-proclaimed marketing guru applauding a business as if she values it from a non-bias point of view and wishes to share it from the goodness of her heart. Her article was written in such a way as to suggest LogoWorks.com is a great find she discovered rather then a business partner being used to bolster her own uninformed opinions.
Does LogoWorks.com offer inexpensive logos? Sure. Are they well crafted concept based design solutions that are unique and creative? No. But if you are a small business looking to start out on a very firm foundation with your identity and brand you need to view your company logo as an investment rather then an expense. Any small-business owner (myself included) will tell you growth doesn't come easy, it's a lot of hard work where success isn't achieved looking for cheap alternatives. You must take the time and do your homework in order to provide the level of service and product your clients will want to use over and over. The same is true in any small-business owner's pursuit of a well crafted logo.
The majority of work in the design industry is for small businesses, which are the backbone of our economy so virtually all design firms, large or small, work with small-business owners. Will they cost more then LogoWorks.com? Yes. But the same marketing principles at work for big corporations managed and designed by large ad agencies and design firms are the very same marketing principles offered and applied to small businesses by legitimate local design firms. None of this specialized and detailed attention is offered from services like LogoWorks.com which spits out a mark in 72 hours then moves on to the the next visual victim so as to keep the volume growing, the profits high and their venture capital funders happy all the while diluting and devaluing good solid creative.
A legitimate local design firm, large or small, will look out for your total business interests by suggesting marketing strategies to help improve your effectiveness in advertising. Building a long lasting professional and personal relationship helps any business succeed in the marketplace. A good design firm is an asset not a liability and I consider many of my own clients friends.
Have you the small business owner looked for a legit design firm? Did you contact the local chapter of the AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts) and ask for references on good designers locally? You should and you can. http://www.portland.aiga.org/ Of course if you do, Rhonda Abrams won't get her cut from your using the LogoWorks.com affiliate link on her site but you can can count on this – hiring a far superior design solution will equip your business for complete brand-image success rather then put it at risk for potentially putting forth a bad first impression.
There are many legitimate long-standing, award-winning and ethical design firms that offer small business owners a far superior logo and brand solution then LogoWorks.com will ever be able to provide and they will work with you to develop the right concept-based visual solution and total brand image and not simply a down-and-dirty, one-size-fits-all logo.
Design is marketing and the value of a solid, well-crafted and long-term corporate identity system is immeasurable yet, unfortunately, Rhonda Abrams degrades and devalues the importance of well thought out design but hopefully my response to her article shines some light on the not so wonderful work produced by LogoWorks.com and should you choose to use a service like this to create such an important and vital aspect of your business be advised: you get what you pay for so... Buyer beware!
Sunday, August 21, 2005
All image files linked below are being hosted on BadDesignKills.com server. This is to ensure that LogoWorks.com does not remove the images before the public at large has the opportunity to view the stolen artwork.
The below examples show the original logo and define its source and then the rip-off logo created by LogoWorks.com. We have done this for no other reason then to educate the public in regards to online hack-design service.”
Click HERE for direct link.
Here is another link to a blog maintained my Cat Morley of Katz-i International Web & Graphic Design and a founding member of Creative Latitude. She's compiled a healthy list of related links and resources. Be sure to check it out. Needless to say, over the course of a weekend, Von no longer stands alone against the proverbial Goliath. Designers worldwide are joining the fray in record numbers. I'll keep you posted.
Saturday, August 20, 2005
In response to the Wall Street Journal article, Chris Gee of The Prepared Mind wrote...
An open letter to the Wall Street Journal
Dear Wall Street Journal Editors,
My name is Christopher A. Gee and I am owner of an interaction design firm called Cube Interactive, LLC. I also run a design industry blog called ThePreparedMind.com for which I write regularly and record weekly podcasts.
I read your June 15th, 2005 article about the firm LogoWorks entitled “Firm Offers Design Talent For Logos at Bargain Prices”. It was a wonderfully written and upbeat article about a unique enterprise that utilizes the Internet to connect independent designers with small businesses in order to supply low-cost logos.
It gives me great pain to inform you that your reporters did not do enough homework with respect to LogoWorks. There is, by now, a great deal of evidence to support the notion that they have sold logos (or at the very least, represent them as their own work from their website) that were created by other designers, not LogoWorks or LogoWorks’ designers.
Please do not take my word for it. Compare this logo from LogoWorks’ site for client “Dutton Auto Body Shop”:
To the logo designed by designer Mark Fox as is shown on page 133 of the book “The New American Logo”:
There are plenty of other examples and I have been chronicling them on my blog, as have many other designers on other blogs.
I have always respected the Wall Street Journal and felt that it is a respectable publication. Please take care to address this issue within your pages so that a company that deals in VERY questionable business dealings will not be able to simply skate by without anyone calling these matters into question.
Thank you very much for your time.
Christopher A. Gee
Chris has expressed that everyone in the graphic design industry should pick up the charge and do the same. My own letter is in the works, I implore you to do the same. How gratifying would it be to see real-life ramifications brought about because of this? Think of the impact this would have, and the message it would inherently send.
Friday, August 19, 2005
The Prepared Mind
The Prepared Mind is a great blogsite, created especially for the design community. It's maintained by designer Chris Gee, and is a fountainhead of useful information. While you're there, check out the podcasts he's been producing, they're pure gold to the design professional.
Sunday, August 14, 2005
Saturday, August 13, 2005
From the website:
Illustration Friday is meant to challenge participants creatively. We believe that every person has a little creative bone in their body. Illustration Friday just gives a no-pressure, fun excuse to use it. No clients looking for a particular thing. No one judging the outcome of the work. It's a chance to experiment and explore and play with visual art. Curious about collage? Try it here. Never even picked up a colored pencil? Why not now? Just have time for a doodle? That's okay, we'd love to see it. You don't have to be an illustrator or an artist to participate. Just pick up a pencil, for the love of pete.
I haven't participated yet, in fact I just signed up, but I plan to. Sounds like a great creative release. Be sure to check out all of the great links and work. There is some true talent there.