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Plagiarism in Branding and Logo Design

Press release November 30, 2012 Multimedia

They say that ‘plagiarism is the highest form of flattery’, Look at these logos for examples of blatant design ‘cribbing’.

Rio 2016 logo vs TellurideRio 2016 vs Telluride

The Rio 2016 Logo has obvious similarities to the Telluride Foundation, a Colorado charity. Fred Gelli, from a Brazilian design agency said that they had never seen the Telluride logo before it was pointed out to him.

brasil-carnaval-2004 logo

But they surely saw another logo from a little closer to home - the Salvador Carnival logo. Hmm, very similar. I wonder if anyone pointed this out to Mr Gelli?

Unilever vs Swiat Zdrowia

Unilver vs Swiat Zdrowia

Here is the truly wonderful and quite brilliant Unilever logo. This has obviously been ripped off by Swiat Zdrowia, a Polish drugs company. They have only altered the shape and the colour but it is too blatant and Unilever are one of the world's biggest companies. It's going to be hard to hide from this.

scottish arts versus quarkScottish Arts Council vs Quark

Quark is a huge software company supplying desktop publishing for years to graphic designers so you would think they would know better than to blatantly steal the logo of a small government office. These are too close to be a co-incidence; in fact they are so similar you would be forgiven for thinking that Quark was a division of the Scottish Arts Council.

obama- romney bumper stickerBarack Obama vs Mitt Romney

Reports have it that one of the reasons that Mitt Romney failed in his recent presidential campaign was that he wasn’t unique enough, even down to his Bumper sticker (loved by the Americans, not so popular over here in the UK). Here’s an example that backs up that claim, although we think that Romneys version, (above right) has better colouring. The blue and red are more colourful and vibrant, less incipid than Obama’s – even the message is more poignant – but what lets it down is the layout - a blatant hijacking of Obama's!

apple vs samsung

But copying of ideas is not just restricted to logo design and branding. It also exists in product design, as seen here with the Samsung ‘wannabe iPhone’ Smartphone.

Lady Gaga is renowned all over the world for being unique in her appearance and creative styling. But she was obviously not a Kylie fan back in 2007, using exactly the same font and similar styling to Kylie’s ‘Hearts’ CD cover. Pigeon holed into the same box, these two artists are surely too similar for this to have gone un-notcied. How did Lady Gaga think she could get away with it?

lady-gaga-vs-kylieLady Gaga has also been criticised for following in Madonna’s footsteps but brand Madonna is by no means unique. She has built her multimillion career by manipulating her visual brand and following in the footsteps of the Hollywood greats that have gone before her. She breaks the rules of visual copyright, yet gets away with it. She goes against everything mentioned in this blog post. madonna rip off visual branding

Check out this article and you’ll be amazed at how much Madonna has copied from elsewhere. The Madonna brand is copied and pasted from others:  Madonna is the queen of plagiarism

Being unique is what sets you apart from everyone else in your industry and is what makes your customers remember you. Copying from elsewhere can bring you attention for all the wrong reasons such as those we have mentioned here. Even if Madonna can get away with it, it's unlikely you will.