Our minds on media.

Musings on the effects of media on cognition.

Rip Off Artists

Daring Fireball really got me started. Boy-o, you start looking into this stuff and it pops up like the word abattoir. ((True story. I was writing last night and decided to use the word abattoir. But I couldn’t spell it. So I Google “monty python architect sketch” because I remembered them using it. I found the script and there it was: a-b-a-t-t-o-i-r. But then this morning I saw it AGAIN on Back to Iraq 3.0. How’s that work?)) But I’m not talking about slaughter houses—I’m talking about shops that churn out logos. I guess I’m talking about slaughter houses in reverse. Anyway, it looks like Logomaid ripped off Simplebits and there’s a big confab going on at Flickr about it.

My two cents is that you get what you pay for and that the important thing to recognize is not so much that an artist was ripped off (that’s gotta happen, like what, a hundred times a day) but that he was ripped off badly. The resulting logo isn’t worth anything. It has far too little negative space, poor contrast, and is too complex. Not to mention, it’s meaningless where simplebits has good reason to use the brackets. ((Simplebits does a lot of work with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and CSS is written in brackets.))

The worrisome thing is that if you start poking around the web, you find lots of examples and not all of them chopshops doing the ripping. My favorite tactic for dealing with it, has to be Panic’s. Keep a sense of humor, realize that litigation will cost far more than a logo could ever make you, that IP decisions are not always fair or sensible, and let the sun shine on the matter.

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