Today, we had the opportunity to listen to the owner of a local graphic design firm. Bill Gardner, of Gardner Design spoke at an AIGA event at the Naked City Gallery. We had a great time and learned all about copyright, trademark, registrations, etc, and were reminded the rights and wrongs of design. You can’t hide anything sh!t these days!
We were educated on the differences of a copyright and a registration. You can slap the copyright “C” on anything and say it’s yours. Copyrighting is free and immediate, and takes little to no effort to accomplish. If you have only copyrighted something and find out later that someone has ripped off your logo, it is much harder to prove whose design it was first. Registering something is a little bit different. It will cost you around a thousand dollars and take about a year to complete. The best part, is that if your logo is registered and someone rips you off, they are fined a pretty hefty amount for stealing your design, especially if they are making money off of it.
Something else thing we learned, was a way to search through Google. If you click on “Search by image”, it will pull up other versions and similar images. This can help you find out if there are other people out there that are using your design and calling it theirs. Did you know that? We didn’t!
Bottom line of Gardner’s presentation: DON’T STEAL!
Be original! It may be easier to get paid for someone else design, but that will catch up with you eventually, and you could be fined thousands of dollars. Plus, when you create something that is your own, you get the satisfaction of telling everyone that that is YOUR design!