Welcome To Signs101.com: Largest Forum for Signmaking Professionals

Signs101.com: Largest Forum for Signmaking Professionals is the LARGEST online community & discussion forum for professional sign-makers and graphic designers.


  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Accidental Logos and what to do after the fact

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by inthesignbiz, Aug 23, 2010.

  1. Say I have a customer come in for some magnetic signs.
    They say they want a backhoe in the center and their colors
    are yellow and green.

    I come with a nice design for them that they like.
    They get thier mags and go.

    Shortly after that, the newspaper, phonebook, or some such other
    calls and asks for this guys logo.

    I didn't realize that it was going to be a logo.
    Now what?

    This has happened more than once.

    How do I ensure that we don't leave money on the table?

    Is the design the property of the customer or is it still mine once it
    leaves if not otherwise specified?
  2. Malkin

    Malkin Very Active Member

    Feb 11, 2009
    Augusta, ME
    This happens all the time. I would also like to know how others handle (or prevent) it.

  3. Williams Signs

    Williams Signs Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    This is at the bottom of everything I send out the door. I have had to enforce it before with copyright lawyer. It is your intellectual property until it is paid for and released.

    All designs, layout formats, or artwork appearing on any form of advertising or other articles produced by Williams Sign Shop or any of its authorized contractors or suppliers, are and remain the copyrighted property of Williams Sign Shop unless otherwise specified in writing. Reproduction in any form is unlawful. All new signs are guaranteed for one year against chipping or peeling. This warranty does not apply to materials supplied by customer. No guarantee will extend beyond one year whether expressed or implied.
  4. iSign

    iSign Major Contributor

    Nov 29, 2003
    Kahului, Maui
    let it go...

    Illusion is correct, but you have to tell them in advance, or you just look like a jerk if you whine about it.. and you will look like more of one if you fight it...

    ...but if you make it clear up front... then & only then should you enforce the right to be paid additional money to transfer over more liberal usage rights, or unrestricted usage rights
  5. JasperST

    JasperST Member

    May 14, 2010
    If they just want some clip art I'll add it on for a fee. If they want to then use that as a logo, it's fine with me, I have no invested interest. If they want me to send them artwork, we get back to the fee thingy, which equals what I charge for logos.
  6. Pat Whatley

    Pat Whatley Major Contributor

    Sep 29, 2003
    Wetumpka, AL
    You didn't charge them for the artwork the first time....you've already left the money on the table.

    I just send it the first time. If it's just lettering and a piece of clip art I tossed together I'm not going to try and hold it hostage.

    After the first time (or two) I tell the customer that I've got to start charging them for the time it takes to stop what I'm doing, convert the file to whatever format is needed, email it off, and answer 20 questions from the printer who needed the art. I usually tell them it will cost $25 each time for this service OR I can put the file on a CD for them in every major digital format, along with PMS color numbers, for $50 and they can send to to everybody they want to.

    Logo design is a whole different process with a lot more thought and care.
  7. BlueFishDesigns

    BlueFishDesigns Very Active Member

    Aug 21, 2006
    Huntsville, AL
    If you put clipart in a layout, that's not a logo; at least to us it's not. To them it is. If they want to adopt it as a logo, send it to the customer in a .jpg and let the other companies charge him for cleaning it up. Don't start sending it to every company he deals with; he'll then expect you to do that every single time from now until the mayan calander runs out. Tell him you'll email it to him to have. Wouldn't it be illegal to put it on a cd and sell it to him?

    If you create something custom, tell them that you will be happy to give the artwork to them on a cd in several formats for an additional fee. This is in addition to the design fee. Hopefully you didn't create something custom for them without a design fee. The additional charge is for the cd and the time putting the files on it. The $25 or so for the cd he will save time and again on setup fees from other companies.

    But sometimes a simple, 5-min layout - no images or fancy stuff - the customer will want to adopt as a logo, too. In that type of situation, there probably wasn't a separate design fee involved. In that case, I would still follow my 2nd paragraph.
  8. JasperST

    JasperST Member

    May 14, 2010
    That's a good point, put it on a CD. That way you can exchange money for art instead of sending them the art and hoping for payment.
Similar Threads - Accidental Logos fact
  1. Moseye
  2. Andy D

Share This Page