Some personal posts, cool links and other interesting stuff.
Borrowed interest–not a new concept in the world of advertising and marketing, but many times an effective one. It can work well with topical issues like global warming or people like the Paris Hilton celebutant crowd for advertising applications. Often times the effect is short-lived and peters out about as fast as it came in.
Using borrowed interest in a logo design can help the viewer understand an abstract concept like deep sea welding or urban farming. There are often some great designs created for these types of logos and are considered a tremendous challenge for a designer.
Then there’s borrowed branding, or in this case–trademark infringement.
It seems that All Citi Pawn, in Brooklyn, NY has been sued for trademark infringement by CitiGroup. They claim that the logo design in question has a few too many similar elements with the well-established international trademark. You know, like the color scheme and type style–pretty much everything except the little red arch. To be fair, All Citi Pawn has a sort of ‘v-shape’ over it, according to ACP manager Bob Kay.
Citigroup has not taken this lightly and in the suit is seeking all of the business’ profits since it adopted the All Citi name. Ouch.
I guess you could take the stance that CitiGroup is being a thug, but are they really? There has been a lot of money invested in building their brand and their trademark needs to be protected.
I find it interesting that some would say,
What’s the big deal, they’re a big company and it’s just a pawn shop?
So taking that into consideration, at what point does your business get big enough to let these things slide? A million dollars, two million–a billion? I wish I knew.
Unfortunately, it is small businesses that often overlook the need to have a logo professionally designed when starting out. There are a lot of start-up costs that seem far more important to consider and often the logo design is the last priority.
Now I’m just speculating, but in the case of All Citi Pawn it appears that the designer or sign company that put together their logo may have had rather limited knowledge of proper trademark laws. Taking the risk of being included in a lawsuit is not something a seasoned logo professional would even consider.
So in the end, spending a little more for a professionally designed logo really could save you money.