Stock Art, Clip Art, Internet Images, Copyrighted Art and Sculpture – OK?

Question: Is it acceptable to use clip art or stock art in my logo submissions?

Answer: No – Never. 

Question: What if the Client paid a fee to "own" them?

Answer: Read the stock art site's EULA. Most do not allow use of such images in a trademark or logo. Always check the EULA. Contact Admin at Support for help to find out the truth. If there is a rare exception, Admin will make a public announcement.

Reasons: 1) You do not have 100% ownership of the images. 2) In many countries it would be illegal for you to use the images. 3) You can cause the client much legal trouble and financial loss by doing this unethical practice. 4) Doing so will result in your account being terminated.  5) It is unethical and unfair in a competition environment.

Question: Is it acceptable to use FREE clip art or stock art in my logo submissions?

Answer: No – Never. 

Reasons: 1) It is unethical and unfair in a competition environment. 2) The rules say you can't. 3) Doing so will result in your account being terminated. 

Question: Is it acceptable to use "public domain" images available on the internet or elsewhere in my logo submissions?

Answer: No – Never. This is mainly due to the fact that other designers may use such works in another logo in the future and the client's brand power would be diluted.

Reasons: 1) It's not yours. 2) Other designers may have used the same image to make a existing design and you could cause legal issues for the client.

Question: Is it acceptable to use reference images of artwork or sculpture to make derivative works in my logo submissions?

Answer: Maybe – you need to confirm with the client that the image is 100% their possession. For example, it is not a print of an original work, but an actual original work which they own 100%. Or the sculpture has no rights retained by the original artist. 

Reasons: Some artists will retain visual reproduction rights for some artworks. We leave it to the client to do their homework but not all think about this during their research for their logo.

Question: Can I used images provided by the client?

Answer: Maybe. If the client says they own the image, you may use the image in your logo submissions without worry. The client has accepted responsibility. But if the image looks suspicious, clarify with the client whether the image is from a stock art site or similar source. Some clients misunderstand stock art ownership rules. 

The client may mistakenly provide you with images that are copyrighted by other companies that have strict usage guides. If you suspect this, you should clarify that with the client and or contact Support.

If the client says the image is for "reference only" then you may use the image for inspiration only. You may not trace it, or derive any portion, to create a logo.

Reasons: Images the client provides may be subject to copyright and therefore illegal to use.