Your logo is copied

“Wait, I’ve seen this logo before. Why does it seem so familiar to me?”

After a few years in Design you eventually find out that everything has been done before. I figured out where some popular logos might have come from. When does copying become stealing? Is it even that bad?

Source “Airbnb” | Source “Azuma Drive-In”
Source “Beats” | Source “Stadt Brühl” (PDF)

You’ve been copying all along

Design solves problems while adding uniqueness to the end result. That is called creativity. We are bombarded with visual messages all day. Maybe you saw a great design featured on some blog. A few months later you come up with something similar. You might just not remember why you came up with such a solution. When creating, we are recycling impressions all the time without realizing it.

Source “” | Source “Metrocraft Publishing”
Source “OMV” | Source “CTV”

Does copying mean stealing?

Some websites like calling out brands for ripping-off or stealing a design. In many cases there is no differentiation between stealing and copying. I’d like to state how I distinguish between these two terms.

Stealing means replicating a design end-to-end. The company wants to profit from the attributes the design communicates. Stealing is sewing a Nike logo on sweaters to sell them for double the price. Design is an approach that is tailored to each instance it is applied, thereby making it hard to imitate. Stealing often involves a discrepancy between communicated message and content. Self-image and public image are not congruent. Thats why premium brands can’t be imitated easily. Stealing is an insidious attempt at not being discovered.

Copying is different. It’s the way we learn. Think about how babies grow-up and learn new skills: they imitate their parents. Thousands of years ago some iconic Roman sculptures were created by casting exact copies of Greek statues. By copying we are acknowlodging the past and building upon existing knowledge. I taught myself how to program by copying code from other websites and playing around with it. Copying means being influenced by an idea and applying it in a different form and context. It pays tribute to the originator and always challenges the appropriate use for itself.

Source “Von Holzen und Hügin”
Source “Carhartt” | Source “Carlo Cisventi”

→ Read full article

Go to the original article on




Not publishing on Medium anymore • Visit

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

Escape routes from dead end Design careers

Creating Lazy Load Shimmer Effects for Images with Framer Motion

An app layout with an open left sidebar, containing 3 images laid out in a column, showing a loading state

How to Draw Vector People in Adobe Illustrator

CSS Grid for Designers

PSD Repo Weekly Freebies #97

How content revolutionised the way we do product design

UX Design Immersive: Project 2— Jeffrey’s Toys

Intrapreneurship: 6 steps to become an entrepreneur inside your company

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Ferdinand Vogler

Ferdinand Vogler

Not publishing on Medium anymore • Visit

More from Medium

Creative Ideas to Help Your Brand Stand Out

Logo design: why is it important to have a unique logo and why is it not? —

Creating a Brand Story (Make People Care About Your Business)

Brand Takeaways From Multiverse Of Madness Memes