A client has altered the logo i designed for them.....

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by anim8or, Nov 4, 2008.

  1. anim8or macrumors 65816


    Aug 16, 2006
    Scotland, UK
    Hey all,

    I designed a logo for a client a few months back, he was really happy with it, i was paid, we have been in touch since with little alterations and i have been very receptive to any changes that he has asked for.....

    Anyway, i just checked the website for the client as it went live a day or two ago and have seen that the client or whoever designed the site has changed the colour of the logo without consulting me....

    I feel a little down about it as i would have made any changes to the logo for him, free of charge if he was so inclined to ask me....

    Should i be pissed off or just accept that its his logo now, he paid for it he can use it as he wishes.

    What do i do about my folio when i show the logo and links to the site where they have changed it!!!!
  2. TheHoff macrumors 6502

    Oct 22, 2008
    Accept it! If he paid, it is his to do with as he wishes.

    I do understand where you're coming from; it is disappointing to see something you've done altered. Did they alter it badly? You can always offer to send a cleaner version and also a note saying you're happy to make any changes for him.

    I'd keep your better version on your 'internal' portfolio. It is always necessary to have an offline portfolio with things like this saved. Websites go offline, people hire new designers, etc, so you should always have a resume / vitae / portfolio with those originals kept in storage and not link out to the live site.
  3. iGary Guest


    May 26, 2004
    Randy's House
  4. anim8or thread starter macrumors 65816


    Aug 16, 2006
    Scotland, UK
    None..... I was commissioned to design the logo and that was that.

    I am not angry or do i want anything form this guy, only that he consulted me before changing the design!
  5. dornoforpyros macrumors 68040


    Oct 19, 2004
    Calgary, AB
    Without seeing the specific logo it's hard to make a call here, but it would depend on how much the logo has changed and the specifics of the logo itself.

    Did you provide multiple versions of the logo? EG: Reversal (One for dark backgrounds and one for light backgrounds), or a b&w version?

    The reason I ask is it's not uncommon for designers to provide a logo in these manners to better suit the application. And occasionally if a web designer does not have a proper reversed version of the logo we'll just mock it up ourselves, not with the intention of changing the original work, but simply to display the logo as clearly and effectively as possible.

    As for your portfolio it's quite simple, display the version you designed and don't provide a link to the clients website if it makes you that uncomfortable.

    But if the change is a minor one (eg black txt to white or vise versa) than I wouldn't worry about it and just except that logos can be flexible.
  6. Kwill macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2003
    Color alterations are sometimes necessary to maintain visibility on different background colors. Was this the case or does it appear to be a random color change? The Web page designer may have had to make changes to get the layout approved.
  7. G4DP macrumors 65816

    Mar 28, 2007
    I don't know about the USA but over here in the UK, i'm pretty sure, even though the client has paid, the designer still hold all copyright to any work done, unless specified at the time of payment.

    If your client doesn't specify that the want all coyright control, then they have no right to alter the work provided.

    As another poster has mentioned, without seeing the logo and said changes it's difficult to give you a decent answer.
  8. pw030180 macrumors newbie

    Feb 13, 2008
    As you were hired to design the logo for your client, there is no copyright on that front as once he/she settled the invoice with you they also assumed all rights in the design to freely amend as they so wish. In your capacity as designer all rights you had in the design were assigned over to your client upon completion of the project. If, however, they obtained a license on the design (ie you retained ownership, whilst they licensed the design from you) you as licnesor would remain the owner and they as licensee would not be allowed to alter or modify the design without your consent. This applies to IP both in the UK and US.
  9. liptonlover macrumors 6502a

    Mar 13, 2008
    It would have been nice if they contacted you, but depending on how the new logo looks with the site, maybe it was just to go with the theme. It may have looked out of place when they decided to change the general theme of the site, so they simply changed the color.
  10. jerryrock macrumors 6502


    Sep 11, 2007
    Amsterdam, NY
    In general logos are not protected by Copyright Law. A logo could be registered as a trademark by the owning company, not the designer.

    A trademark protects words, phrases, symbols, or designs identifying the source of the goods or services of one party and distinguishing them from those of others.

    The OP was hired by the company to design the logo and was paid for the work. The company owns the logo and can change it as they see fit.

    One of the first lessons I learned as a graphic designer was to "let go" of the work once the employer was satisfied with the design and I was paid for my work.

    If you want to be considered for future projects from this company, let it go.....

  11. Nicolecat macrumors 6502a


    Apr 2, 2008
    When i contract logo work I make sure to hold self promotional rights...to use in portfolios or whatnot.
    So, I think there definitely should have been a line of communication if down the road you were to use the logo in your port, and someone recognized part of it and your work was questioned based solely on their knowledge of the current logo...random, I know.

    But I would definitely think long and hard before doing future work for them...it was simply bad business practice on their part to keep you out of the loop.

    Also, definitely think of coming up with a legal statement to put on receipts or bills or work. Stating reasonable guidelines that you feel comfortable with as a designer. Technically it is your name attached to the work...and if they change it, there should be good reason.
  12. anim8or thread starter macrumors 65816


    Aug 16, 2006
    Scotland, UK
    Thanks all for the advice, i havent contacted the client or anything like taht, i just wanted to know where i stood in regards to the design being changed.

    There was no discussion as to who owns what after payment was received, but if anyone has followed my other threads then they will know that i dont really get to talk to my clients!

    After discussing this with my 'middleman' he has sided with me and has agreed to state some guidelines as to the ownership of any future designs....

    If anyone could point me in the correct direction as to where i can research design copyrights and diclaimers, etc then i would appreciate it...

    On a slight tangent, i just found out that a brochure i had designed through my middleman has been credited to the company i designed it for on the rear cover of the brochure - " brochure designed by 'company name' " to be exact...... is this not out of order??? I designed it, they havent changed anything but are crediting themselves....

    Anyone with photoshop these days, eh!
  13. iGav macrumors G3

    Mar 9, 2002
    Nope. Under the UK Copyright Act at least, the author is assumed as the owner of the copyright, unless the works were created whilst the author was in the course of employment, in which case the employer assumes such ownership.

    Given this to be the law in the UK currently, copyright must therefore be assigned by the author to the person that has commissioned the works, one would expect this to be agreed in a contract prior to the commencement of any works, that upon completion and payment, all rights relating to the works transfer to the commissioner.

    Unless this is stipulated and agreed by all parties, then all rights pertaining to the copyright of a logo remain with its author, except in very specific circumstances, usually when a said logo incorporates an existing trademark for example.

    Given that you then state the following... "There was no discussion as to who owns what after payment was received", you still own the copyright to the logo.

    You could potentially be a real bastard if you wanted too. ;)

    Personally, I would consider writing a letter to your client, stating that you as author transfer all rights relating to the logo to the client, etc.

    Adding a paragraph that you maintain the right to use the logo for the purpose of self-promotion, and then specify in what medium that such rights pertain. Print, web... whatever.

    It may be worth requesting that the client returns a copy of the letter duly signed. ;)

    This fella doesn't happen to wear a stetson by any chance does he? or maybe has spurs on his boots? and perhaps a horse standing in his driveway instead of a car? ;)
  14. ecwyatt macrumors member

    Oct 10, 2005
    I couldn't agree more. For such a miniscule item as color change I would let it go. To prevent any future problems from arrising with this or any other client I would require a contract be signed, which clearly states you retain the copyright unless paid a certain fee. For help on contracts I would look into joining the Graphic Artist Guild which has a nice hand book with sample contracts and offeres legal help, Or the AIGA which offers sample agreements.

    Contracts may seem too "corporate" for some but they layout exactly what is expected from both parties. If you do create a Standard contract I would also higher a lawyer to review the contract. It might sound pricey but it will help you out in the long term, and you can pad your fee to include such expenses.
  15. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040


    Oct 12, 2005
    Welcome to the design industry. This is what clients do and they do it well.

    Your rights depend of what licencing you had on the original design, if the client legally owns the design... well they can do what they want with it unfortunately.

    And remember (this has kept me a sane desiger) art is an extension of yourself while design is the extension of a brand/product.
  16. Shownarou macrumors regular

    Sep 15, 2008
    Newton, IA
    I think it all depends on how your design looks now. I would always before hand make sure you're the one making all changes to the design if need arises. In a case such as this, if the design has changed and you feel it hinders your reputation as a designer, I would definitely say something. If someone changed a design that I created for them, and it was still seen as my creation ie- not completely licensed to them for whatever they see fit, then I wouldn't want other "potential clients" seeing it and getting a bad vibe off of said design.
  17. anim8or thread starter macrumors 65816


    Aug 16, 2006
    Scotland, UK
    This is my point exactly, i do feel that the changes that they made hinder the design and its i would no t put my name to it in its current form.

    I have contacted the client via email in regards to the change but have not had any response.

    I am at a loss really. I guess i will not be linking to their site from any of my folio pages, etc!!
  18. huntercr macrumors 65816

    Jun 6, 2006
    Why not ask them if its ok to take a snapshot of their site to keep for your portfolio, and then correct it back to the original yourself?

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