How Much Can You Legally Change A Company's Logo Design?

A good logo design is one that is meaningful and represents an identity.
Here is a guide on how much you can legally change a company’s logo design!

Is there a certain way to create a great logo? After all, a bad logo is an unattractive idea in business. However, that doesn't mean you can take a logo belonging to another company that you find interesting and turn it into a logo for your business.

Is there a rule that says you can take a logo and change it a few percent to make it look different? Well, some sources mention that you can take a logo and change it by about 20 or 25 percent, then claim it as yours. But it's not an absolute thing because the answer will be different.


Can You Legally Change A Company's Logo Design?

Logo design is a part of art. Is it legal to steal another company's logo? However, art isn't something that can be easily claimed, even when you decide to change the color, fonts, or several parts.

Does changing some parts of the logo make yours different? The rule regarding design changes is about 20 to 25 percent, depending on who you ask. Different sources will produce different answers. It's just a myth. No percentage can be applied to this.

Some logo designers may never think of doing something like this, especially if the designer is experienced. They also know what not to do when designing a logo for a business. Companies must have known and studied their trademark rights, especially if other parties want to claim a logo. This case may not be easy.

Imagine you see another nice trademark logo, pick it up, and change only a few parts. Your logo ends up looking a little different, but the original owner's company knows you've stolen their logo idea. What happens next may be conflict, sarcasm on social media, or even legal action.

As a business owner, reputation is an important thing that you must keep well. Consumers will not be attracted to companies that have many conflicts; it seems unwise because they have claimed a logo belonging to another company.

Changing a competitor's logo is also a bad idea. It shows how unprofessional you are as a business owner. When you see logos milling about on social media, television, or brochures, you will get a lot of things. Starting from the logo icon, the use of fonts, and the colors applied. A good logo should have a timeless impression; it should always look modern even though times have changed.

Each logo has a different concept, including the type. Although the shape of the logo is circular, a purely self-designed logo will not have any resemblance to the logos of other companies.

A logo is a business reputation that consumers recognize. It's very frustrating when another company's logo copies yours. A trademarked logo can bring legal action against a copycat business, including terminating a business that you feel has harmed you.

It's better not to deal with copying other companies logos so that you avoid the bad effects. Additionally, if you want to have a gorgeous logo like the famous one, you can use it as your inspiration, but don't copy it.


How to Get a Fantastic Logo Without Copying Others?

As you know, a logo is a piece of art. Making a logo requires high creativity. As with art in general, you will need inspiration to produce new works of art.

What makes a logo look good is its level of uniqueness, as well as how well it represents the company's identity. You don't have to copy a famous company's logo to create a good one; after all, you can use it as inspiration. But how?

1. Not Copying, but Looking for Inspiration

It's natural to take inspiration from other well-known logos, but don't even think about duplicating them. Plagiarism is a condition where you copy a logo element from another design without changing it.

Copying another logo can also change some designs to get a simpler shape. This is a less wise way to go because consumers will think your business is less innovative.

On the other hand, creativity is part of the art of making a logo. Creativity is the ability to come up with new and unique elements, even if you are inspired by an existing logo. An attractive logo is not just because of its shape.

Some logos that you find attractive today may also be influenced by the popularity of their business products. However, what makes an attractive logo lies in its uniqueness, which makes it different from other companies' businesses.


2. Emphasize The Design

Focusing on the design of a logo is different from focusing on the image of a logo. When you are looking at a logo that you like the most, you will think about the concept and the combination of several artistic elements in it.

When you think creatively, there is no intention to trace the image but to produce an image with different elements that will produce uniqueness. What you want is to get a strong logo visual like your logo inspiration source.

To achieve optimal results, all you have to do is look at the style options carefully. What are the taglines or words that make an impression on your heart when you see the source logo, including knowing the type of font, color combination, and style of the illustration?

A logo must be able to tell a story. That's what you should apply to your logo. Color and shape must be related to each other to get maximum results. Let's take an example. Now you can take a look at The Lord of the Rings logo. What do you think about it?

The logo of this famous film has a strong impression in terms of adventure, friendship, and magic in the story. The letters have variations in height, low and small. The color also conveys the impression of strength and courage.

This logo is certainly successful, along with the success of the film in all corners of the world. Even the general public remembers this logo well because it has a strong impression with a simple design.


3. Diversify Your Logo

Are you planning to use just one logo for inspiration? I'm afraid it will lead to more plagiarism. In essence, the more you diversify your sources, the easier it will be to avoid plagiarizing a certain logo.

There are also well-known brands that make the mistake of being inspired by another well-established logo, but they tend to copy the logo, so they have a serious issue. To avoid this gray area, you need to look for some inspiration.

Don't just focus on one logo because it can produce a design that's too similar. You can see the logos of other companies operating outside your industry. Try something new so that yours is unique and different.

When you have found a suitable concept, then choose reference materials from several points of view  that are almost the same as the topic. That way, many references come to influence your company logo design.


4. Sketching Without Looking at the Source

This is not a tracing lesson. It is not recommended that you create images while looking at the reference. Anyway, make a good sketch to make an initial draft by hand. Don't make it while looking at the main source, as that could affect the sketch.

Drawing while looking at the reference will result in a similar shape because it is an instinct. The key is to sketch as best you can, not looking at the source of the image, and sketch when you have gathered what you want to include in the drawing.


5. Creating a New Context

You may think of an idea that will lead to a similar concept with other designers. It doesn't matter; two or more designers may have thought of the same idea or concept. That's how the creative process works.

The most important thing is the context as a reference. The context that you create must be able to produce a different concept from the others. If you are worried that the public will think your logo design is unoriginal, you can change the main elements or any aspect that you think looks similar to other company logos.

In creating a logo, you must be able to add elements in the form of an impression or patent identity into the design. Decide where you can include colors or elements that can look visually appealing.


6. Straightforward and uncomplicated

A simple logo is the key to a successful design. Simplicity wrapped in a company logo sometimes gives a better impression because it does not cause ambiguity and is easier to understand. Also, don't make a logo that is too detailed.

A logo that is too detailed seems excessive, and a logo must be displayed in several places, such as business cards, office uniforms, company letterheads, and several other places.

Unlike the case, if it is installed on a large billboard, the detailed logo is good because there is a large space to display all the information about your company.

A detailed logo is a bad idea if displayed in a small space, including smartphone screens or other small items. It's like throwing away certain elements because they're invisible. You don't need to make a detailed logo; as a replacement, just make a good but simple logo.


7. It perfectly represents the brand

A logo is an important identification for a company. The right logo is a logo that contains various elements of the company so that consumers can immediately know what type of industry you are in.

Just by looking at the logo, the public is expected to directly conclude that your company offers quality products and services. The logo image must also represent the industry well. Don't choose irrelevant images. For example,

  • Cosmetics industry but chose a logo image in the form of a book.
  • The coffee industry chose a logo icon in the form of an animal.
  • The restaurant chose a logo image in the form of a spoon.

    A logo must be able to represent the brand and be used for various important company items. A logo is a medium that will build cooperation with consumers to become an effective method of introduction for potential customers.

    Be creative in creating a logo. For example, the wood industry is more effective at using wood images as its icons but still provides the best and most unique concept.

    Even if you have a good main element or image, if it's not related to your business, then it's useless. The purpose of the logo is to explain to consumers what you are offering to the public. People who see your logo for the first time should be able to jump to conclusions about your brand.

    Although it is not easy, it is not impossible. The failure of a logo can be seen in the absence of any information at all with random and ambiguous images.

    Some logos use words, but some only use icons. You have to decide which one you want to use for the company. Each type of logo has advantages and disadvantages. Be sure to choose the best logo according to the needs of the company. A good logo does not always need a description. One example is the Apple logo, which is simple but classy.


    8. Adapt the logo to the market.

    A good logo should be able to set the brand's mood well. Brands that have a target market of young people should be able to choose a logo icon that is modern and contemporary. This is called the "mood" of a logo. Make sure to create a logo that matches your brand's theme.

    Image and artistic style are two of the goals of branding, including using the best icons that have been recognized by the world. In addition, you should also choose a theme that your target market likes as a way of more effective communication.


    9. Straight To The Point

    A logo with an attractive image does look good visually, but how can the logo build your company's image?

    Did the icon successfully grab the customer's attention and make them understand what you meant? The reason is what is in your mind does not necessarily appear in the minds of the audience.

    Some logos still provide ambiguous icons, so the audience is confused about understanding them. You shouldn't do that because a good logo will create more answers than questions.

    You can create a logo right away. In addition, use images that are simple and easily recognizable. A small and short description is also needed if this is your first time creating a logo. You can combine a simple description with an icon to let your audience know what you have to offer. Creating a logo is about defining several things creatively, including choosing colors and typography.


    10. Accepting Criticism

    The next important step is to be open to criticism. Receiving objective feedback or criticism is one of the important steps to producing an outstanding logo.

    You must have heard that the designer of a logo may be satisfied with one of his works, so he doesn't see any flaws or mistakes. In contrast, if the intended audience is other people, they can see the shortcomings of the logo you created and assess the possibility of its resemblance to other logos.

    If you want to produce a good logo design, then go about it with optimal steps. You can also observe various logos to avoid design similarities. The more unique a logo is, the more its credibility will be recognized by the public. We need criticism to be better, including in making a logo. You can create a great logo by spotting mistakes and admitting them, then realizing which elements need replacing.

    Some well-known brands have also experienced logo evolution several times until they finally found the best logo that could represent their company perfectly. Just look at the Apple logo. This company has undergone several changes to use the logo we know today. So are Starbucks and KFC.

    There is nothing wrong with changing the concept. This is precisely what is needed to improve the company's image. A logo plays an important role in making a company more trustworthy and credible.

    However, it is not recommended to create a logo by looking at the logos of other companies and changing only a few parts of them. It will only cause problems for the sustainability of your business in the future.


    Final Words

    You may like the logos of other companies that have developed successful businesses, but that doesn't mean you can pick them up and change some parts of them. Even the opinion about changing the logo about 20 to 25 percent of another logo is a myth; it's just a subjective assumption.

    As a wise company owner, you should not copy another company's logo. As a solution, you can make some logos as inspiration. Creating a logo that can represent a company's image is not easy, but you can do it when you dare to take a serious step and not carelessly create a logo.

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