When you are trying to establish your design brand, your logo is key. You, therefore, don’t want anyone else to pinch your amazing logo design. Knowing how to copyright a logo and how to trademark it is an integral step when it comes to setting up your design brand, and we’re here to help you do it.
Your logo can be the first thing that potential new customers see. Even before your art and designs. A memorable logo is one that will stand out and stick in their minds. It is an invaluable business asset and knowing how to copyright a logo so it remains your property is one of the best ways of standing out in the design marketplace.
Why is it so important to copyright a logo?
According to the Copyright Service; “A logo that includes artistic or design elements, (i.e. not just the name on its own), is legally regarded as being a work of artistic creation and therefore will be protected under copyright law.”
This means that once your logo is copyrighted, it is protected as an artistic work. If anyone else uses your logo unauthorized, it would be an infringement. No one else can use it without your permission.
Can I trademark my logo?
Trademarking your logo will also ensure security for your design brand’s individuality. You can trademark your logo, a combination of words, shapes, specific colors, images, and even phrases under protection law. Your trademark needs to be distinctive and original.
In a lot of cases, it might be a good idea to get both copyright AND a trademark to protect your logo.
It all starts with you creating the design for your logo.
How to create a logo
Before you think about how to copyright a logo, you first need to create a logo. This must be synonymous with your brand as it is the first step in creating a brand identity. With a well-designed and well thought out logo, potential new clients and customers can instantly know who you are and what you are offering them.
Think about how you want it to look
- Do you want it to include your name?
- Your initials?
- The brand name?
- A slogan?
- Or maybe just design based on your style?
There are 3 main types of logos:
- Font based logos – these consist of the name of your design brand, or your name, which are given a stylish and recognizable twist
- Literal logos – these logos literally illustrate what the brand does and what it is all about
- Graphic symbols – normally not anything to do with the brand, but more a symbol that when recognized is instantly linked to the brand
If you are looking for tips and ideas on how to get started, then there are plenty of amazing and free design platforms online that you can use to create your logo.
Do’s and don’ts of logo design:
- DO make it functional and easy to reproduce on different products. This is important if you want to use it on several different items (labels, business cards, hangers etc.)
- DO look to competitors for inspiration, but be sure you keep your design unique
- DO use original art or designs in your logo as it will stand out more
- DO consider the name of your brand and how this could affect the overall look of the logo
- DON’T create a logo based on what is trendy right now. You want it to remain relevant and current for years to come
- DON’T lose sight of your artistic mission and your message when it comes to the design
Your logo is an instant visual representation of who you are and what your art brand is all about. It gives potential customers an immediate first impression of your brand, so it is important that you get it right. Focus on the message and mission statement of your brand. Try and convey this in your logo.
Once your logo is perfected it is time to understand how to copyright a logo.
How to copyright a logo
You have your logo. It looks perfect and does exactly what you want it to do. Now that you have spent all this time creating it, it is time to consider how to copyright a logo so it remains yours and yours alone.
Remember, you cannot copyright names, familiar symbols, calendars, names, or designs. To qualify for copyright protection, your new logo must be creative and properly designed so that it can be copyrighted as an artwork.
What is copyright?
This is the legal term that defines your ownership of something. It is used to protect the owner’s intellectual property against infringement; a piece of work, a design, an invention, etc. It protects your work from being used by someone else without your direct permission. You have already worked hard designing the perfect logo that embodies your brand, that it would be extremely disheartening if someone else spotted it, liked the look of it, and started using it themselves.
What is the difference to trademark?
It can be easy to confuse copyright from trademark.
- Copyright – the owner has exclusive rights to protect their work from being reproduced
- Trademark – distinguishes a symbol, word, name, product, or service from its competitor
To copyright your logo, you need to use the copyright symbol. This familiar symbol of the letter “c” contained in a circle is the universal symbol for copyright. Include the symbol or word within your logo or right next to it.
To trademark your logo, you need to register it and pay a fee. The price you pay for registering is relevant to:
- The type of application you require
- Each additional class you require
REMEMBER: It is vitally important that you check and see if your logo is already trademarked or copyrighted. Of course, if you have created a bespoke and unique logo that is about your design or art brand, then it is very unlikely that it already exists. It is always worth double-checking. You can do this by searching the trademarks database.
Now that you have a fully protected logo, it’s time to put it to good use! Open your own online store with Contrado and push your brand (and your logo) to the next level.