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  • Client asking to copy iconic sign

    I've been dealing with a difficult client, who, after being presented with 10 logos, has asked for me to "copy" a design she found on google images. The image she wants copied is the iconic "Welcome to Vegas" sign, which has been copied a million times, but still makes me uncomfortable. I'm trying to redirect her. I've made something similar but not completely identical, but I haven't presented it to her yet. I've already done 10 logos that are inspired by this sign but are clearly different concepts, and she likes none of them. Thoughts?

    http://graphicdesign.stackexchange.c...las-vegas-sign
    Last edited by PanToshi; 09-01-2016, 03:21 PM. Reason: fix link

  • #2
    Hi Thevividco and welcome to GDF.

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    • #3
      According to various sources, neither the designer of the sign nor the city ever copyrighted or trademarked the ''Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas'' sign.

      However.
      You cannot copy someone else's design. I'm not sure what your link is (I'm not in a place where I can view it,) but you can't verbatim trace it. If your design is inspired by the original sign, that is one thing. If it is a copy of someone else's work found on google, that is quite another.

      Just for giggles here is a link to what happens if a trademark is infringed:
      https://www.uspto.gov/page/about-trademark-infringement
      Last edited by PrintDriver; 09-01-2016, 04:09 PM.

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      • #4
        I should probably have added, I'm not a trademark attorney.
        Your client should consult one if they plan on trademarking something like that.

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        • #5
          Ten logos is A LOT to present to a client, I give them one option, maybe two. A couple rounds of revisions, if needed, and bam itís done.

          How much time did you spend with your client at the beginning to learn more about her business? How much research did you put into developing a concept? If you didnít do these things, go back to the beginning before you open your computer, before you put pencil to paper, and do this. Clients donít know this part of logo design, so itís up to you to guide the process. Right now your client is guiding you and thatís not a good place to be when it comes to designing logos. Youíre going to be their keyboard bitch until you take over. Donít know what your relationship with the client is like, and it may be too late to reverse the relationship. If so, just do what can to get it done and consider this a lesson learned how NOT to design logos for a client.

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          • #6
            If that sign is copyright, then local city here called Rotorua has breached it too. This sign is considered a tourist attraction here.

            Even so, the fact that your client wouldn't be able to copyright their logo should be good enough reason not to use this.
            It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like "What about lunch?" Ė Winnie the Pooh

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            • #7
              No one ever photographs the back of that Las Vegas sign, so here it is compliments of Google Street View. What interests me is that the sign has actually become a tourist attraction with its own highway pull-out and landscaping. In the Google photo, the tourists snapping photos of themselves in front of the sign are visible. Of all the tacky signs in Las Vegas, of which there are no shortages, I guess this one became famous because it used to be the first thing people saw when driving in from the south -- at least until the city grew southward along the strip and started swallowing it up.



              Coincidentally, I drove through Las Vegas last week on the way back from southern California. I didn't even stop -- just drove straight through on the freeway. I've never liked that city.

              As for a client wanting to copy this sign, well, there's no accounting for someone's taste. Why anyone would want to hang their visual identity on the back of something else unrelated and better known is also a mystery. For me this client would be of the kind best avoided. On those occasions when it does happen, though, the best way I've found of dealing with the problem is to give them what they want as quickly as possible, charge them the same as if they'd asked something good, then immediately cash the check while wearing a big smile.
              Last edited by B; 09-05-2016, 12:38 PM.

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