“Tell yourself at every step in the design process that someone has undoubtedly already thought of this and what can you do to really set it apart. In design, and particularly logo design, the pessimistic axiom that “everything has already been done” is becoming more and more true, and it is only the virtuous designer who can continue to stand out in a sea of sameness.”


“Everything has already been done…” is not what a new client wants to hear. They, understandably, want their brand to stand out. The design we produce for them is a vital part of this so of course it should be entirely original!


It might not be what a client would like to hear, but it is the truth, and in this hyper-connected world of ours it only takes a simple Google image drag and drop to tell us we are not alone. You don’t need to accuse anybody of plagiarism, just acknowledge that there is an awful lot of brand design already in circulation, and that the chances of creating something that is actually unique – in the relative limitations of the form, is slimmer with every passing year.


That isn’t the end of the story though. Actually we’d say it’s the start.


Firstly, we all offer different products/services in different parts of the world.


For example, Apple are a multinational corporation who sell consumer electronics and software (just in case you hadn’t been paying attention), while Apfelkind are a small child friendly café in a leafy suburb of Bonn. The logos of both feature an apple and were similar enough for Apple to send a legal, cease and desist request to the café – claiming that consumers might, somehow, confuse the two. No one outside of Apple’s enthusiastic legal team agreed and Apfelkind are now allowed to use their apple logo. It looks a little similar to the Apple logo, yes, but it is undoubtedly individualistic and works within its own sphere.


Second, beautiful logo design is very important but we believe that good design is only effective if it actually works too. Standing out from the crowd is only one element of a successful logo. We’d argue that it must also communicate something about the brand, and that this communication between logo and what a brand stands for really is unique.


Visually, there is a good chance your logo and associated brand design looks like another logo somewhere else in the world but we, being ‘virtuous designers’ ourselves, will make sure it not only stands out within your ecosystem but that it reaches the right audience with the right message too.


By Oliver Brown