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Artwork and sales question

Discussion in 'Sales, Marketing, Pricing Etc.' started by Stacey K, May 30, 2019.

  1. Stacey K

    Stacey K Getting Back in the Game

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    I made some cute shirts for a local bar and restaurant and then posted them on my Facebook page. The bar is selling them but now I have people asking me to buy them. My assumption is they want just the design and not the business name. Three of the designs are original and one is more or less a stock or copied from a photo. My assumption is that I should not be selling these shirts with the same design...right? Seems a bit shady. I could offer to change up the artwork a bit?
     
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  2. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    That would be wrong on so many levels, it ain't funny. Even changing them up a bit, is wrong in my book.

    Think about it...... if you came here to ask what we think, you must already be thinking it's not a the right thing to do. :rolleyes:
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
  3. Stacey K

    Stacey K Getting Back in the Game

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    Exactly. I'll refer them to the bar if they would like to purchase. Thanks!
     
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  4. TimToad

    TimToad Very Active Member

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    Are the design elements for the bar/restaurant integral to the branding you created for them?

    If so, I'd tread carefully on using it for anything else. If what you created could now be construed as part of their "logo", they could consider it infringement if they suddenly start seeing a bunch of plug n'play parts of the "logo" you created for them incorporated into branding for other commercial interests.

    Play it safe and just come up with other unique design elements for others. Who knows, you might create a whole new revenue stream for yourself.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. Stacey K

    Stacey K Getting Back in the Game

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    Not exactly a real unique design on the back...there's probably 25 more like it on Etsy LOL. The front is his logo. And you are right...I could definitely create more like this and sell them right at my shop - these are all over the place these days.
     

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  6. Z SIGNS

    Z SIGNS Very Active Member

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    Nothing wrong with selling them.It's your design right?
     
  7. Stacey K

    Stacey K Getting Back in the Game

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    Well, I designed them for the bar. They came to me with the sayings they found on line and asked me to put some clipart on them.
     
  8. clarizeyale

    clarizeyale Member

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    Unless you have a written agreement with the bar stating that these designs are exclusive to them (or in your correspondence with them), then you are technically in the right to use the designs (sans their logo) as you please.

    I believe you don't have to tell them but I guess you could let them know because of your relationship with the bar and settle on an agreement and create new/similar designs that aren't exactly like the ones you made.

    I'm currently learning all this as an illustrator and it alllll boils downnn to the agreeement made... (clearly, I'm having a fun time with a client who doesn't understand agreements and licensing T_T)
     
  9. bannertime

    bannertime "You guys do banners, right?"

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    Depends on how much you value the bar as a customer. If you do value them, then you wouldn't sell a competing product. Besides, if they sell a lot, and they reorder from you, you still make money. If you don't care much for the bar and feel you could make more selling them yourselves and you're willing to put up with a potential negative review, then have at it. Option three is to ask them if it's okay.
     
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  10. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    So, I take it, you people are saying if someone comes to you with a saying or motto and you put it down on paper, it's NOW yours to do with whatever you feel like doing ?? Wherever ya can make a buck, it's alright ?? Sounds wrong in my book. Word like that gets out around town, see how many people come to you repeatedly.

    Two people work on a project for an end result. It becomes a job, is paid for and the deal is closed, but you think you can re-open it and start selling these things on your own..... I'd bust ya right in the mouth for that kinda cowardly underhandedness. Then, hide behind some kinda art-teest rule that it doesn't actually belong to them. Talk about a handshake on a deal......

    Where is your integrity...... ?? And this is not meant towards the OP, but the many people who say, just do what ya want.
     
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  11. Pixels Are Bad Mmmkay?

    Pixels Are Bad Mmmkay? Very Active Member

    Personally, we would never do this. When a customer pays us to design and print shirts for them, it's still their design whether we technically own the art files or not. If we like a design or want to support a cause, we won't even print a shirt for ourselves without asking the customer if it's okay to do so first. In particular, if it's for a fundraising event I wouldn't even ask, I'd just buy one at their resale cost to support the cause. Reselling anything you designed for someone else is a bad and unethical business practice and I don't even consider it a matter of opinion, but to some people, it obviously is a matter of opinion. :rolleyes:
     
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  12. ColorCrest

    ColorCrest Active Member

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    Many times, especially for apparel, certain stock art / photo agencies require something along the line of an "enhanced" license fee for their assets to be used on merchandise. Be aware.
     
  13. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

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    I'd just hit up your customer, and come up with an amicable solution, like for every referral, you get a drink, 5 in a day gets a good top shelf drink.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. Z SIGNS

    Z SIGNS Very Active Member

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    If you just got paid a million bucks to redo the the NIKE logo and you wanted make millions of that same design for something else..Yes that would be wrong and could get you into trouble.That's not the case here. It's 2 paddles in the shape of an x with a name in a capsule. Nothing to worry about. You won't go to jail
     
  15. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    It doesnt matter if it’s legal, right or wrong. Its in bad taste.
    Everybody on facebook says they want stuff, but tell them its $20 and they all go away.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. Deco Indy

    Deco Indy New Member

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    I think you should just let them have the design and hope for a reorder from them. In the future, maybe have a solution for this situation in the original deal with the client.

    Legal or not legal isn't really the question. It's really about reputation. If you wreck it, it takes a helluva long time to rebuild. So you might miss a few sales. If you are a good artist and business person, people will find you and word will spread.

    Best of luck!
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. signbrad

    signbrad Member

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    Many buyers of graphic art are misinformed when it comes to intellectual property rights. Others are confused by terminology. Clients often ask me to put a "logo" on their sign when what they really want is just a piece of clipart—an image or graphic that will enhance the appearance of their sign work.
    Sometimes—if the job is worth it—I will create custom artwork for a client. Since most clients expect to have ownership of artwork I have charged them for, I don't make an issue of copyright, trying to hang onto the image rights to a piece of original artwork to be able to reuse it later for something else. Too much potential for ill will, in my opinion.
    But the fact remains that custom artwork is owned by the original artist unless the copyright is transferred. In the US, a transfer of copyright must be done in writing. A written agreement between artist and client at the beginning is the best arrangement, especially if the artist wants to repurpose the artwork later, or even if the artist just wants to include the artwork in a portfolio. This avoids client misunderstandings.

    Another—stickier—problem arises when we use a piece of clipart in a design and the client then wants to use the design, including the clipart portion, as a logo. In many cases, to use clipart as part of a logo design is copyright infringement. This is not easy to explain to a client after the fact. Some will feel like they have been misled when this happens.

    Most clipart offered by clipart and image providers like istockphoto or adobestock is not really sold—it is licensed. When we buy clipart we do not actually own it and we usually don't have unfettered use of it. The license agreement may have limits on how the image may be used or how many times it may be duplicated, or other limitations (istockphoto specifically forbids the use of their images in a logo design or branding scheme). And the license will certainly not be exclusive. Others can license the same image.

    A proper logo serves to identify a business, or to identify the products or services of a business. Most people who want a logo design naturally expect that they will have ownership of the design and will be able to do with it whatever they choose without limits. This is not unreasonable. Also, those clients who understand a little about trademark protection will believe that they have the right to prevent or stop others from using their logo. They will assume that they will be able to apply for a trademark registration and have a reasonable expectation of having it approved. But if their logo contains copyright-protected components, they will not be able to do any of these things legally. And even if they have no intention of using it as a trademark, a client who buys a "logo" that includes a clipart image may be shocked and confused to learn that their competitors have "logos" with the same image.
    What good is a company's logo if the company can't own it? A litigation-prone client might even feel they have been duped and sue the designer, especially if the client has invested time and money in marketing materials that include the so-called logo.

    A logo should be an original design, not a piece of copyrighted clipart with a business name pasted onto it. Creating original design work is not always easy, to be sure, especially considering the sheer quantity of design work that is being produced these days. And the proliferation of "logo maker" sites makes matters worse. These companies are claiming to give people logos inexpensively. They rely on the public's ignorance and on the unwillingness of the buyer to read the user agreement where it usually states that the "logo" buyer does not have exclusive rights to the image. Obviously, a logo design that cannot be legally owned by a company has limited value, and it certainly cannot function as a design trademark, and the US Patent and Trademark Office will not grant a registration for it.
    ...................

    This is a good point. I have seen restrictions in end-user agreements that apply specifically to printing on apparel. Sometimes it's just a limit on the number of impressions allowed. Whatever the case, the agreement should be adhered to.

    In addition, I would expect that most agreements would not allow you to transfer a license to someone else without permission.
    For example, I may legally obtain a license for an image for printing a thousand shirts. But would it be legal for me sell (or give) the image to someone else and then THEY print, or pay someone else to print, a thousand shirts? If they did not obtain their own end user license, would they not be infringing? By our actions, we could be inadvertently causing someone else to unknowingly infringe a copyright. The advantage of giving them only original design work in the first place is that they can legally do whatever they want.

    Of course, this issue of "sharing" intellectual property is nothing new to us in the sign business. We know that a font, for example, is protected by copyright (though a typestyle is not in the United States). If we buy a font license, it's an infringement to give (or sell) a copy of the font to someone else. They need to get their own license.

    Brad in Kansas City
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2019
  18. Stacey K

    Stacey K Getting Back in the Game

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    I didn't expect so many replies LOL! Update -- I agree that reselling these even without the bar logo is not right. I am not going to resell these shirts or make designs that are "close". I sent the people that asked me for shirts to the bar and I received another "rush" order from the bar this weekend for more shirts. I also ended up getting some additional inquiries for other types of shirts for a family reunion, coach gifts and softball jersery's that were a direct result of my FB post. The bar also posted the shirts on their FB page and tagged me as a thank you. So, if I had been a bit more patient, I would see that there is no reason to make a quick buck as more bucks came my way as a result. As my Dad would say, I wouldn't make a good doctor because I don't have many patients...LOL (horrible joke, I know)
     
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  19. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    I just like happy endings.
     
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  20. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    signbrad....... all that is well and good, but to get anyone to read all of that is next to impossible, let alone for a customer...... and you're just at the tip of the iceberg. with that little bit of reading. While everything you said is true, most people will just turn, walk out and go to the guy across the street who'll do it without any questions asked. Does that make it right, NO, not by any means, but the customer could give 2¢ about what's right or not, especially when the mighty dollar is talking.

    It boils down to your personal integrity and ethics. While most know these rules and policies, it is up to us as a group to uphold the laws in place. It then becomes a right or wrong issue from your heart, which is what most everyone in this place preaches anyway.

    Y'all see how well it played out for the OP................... :thumb:
     
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