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Ethical handling of logo files?

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  • Ethical handling of logo files?

    I work for a production facility and am responsible for laying out artwork pre-production. Recently a customer sent their logo as an image file and we found we would need a vector file. I recognized the logo and found that another branch of this company had ordered from us the past and sent a vector logo. It seems silly to ask this new customer for a vector file of something we already have, but it seems inappropriate to just use a file we have sent from another company. Should I confirm with them that they are connected with this other company? Whats the most appropriate way to handle this?

  • #2
    Hi Laurad and welcome to GDF.

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    • #3
      You say another branch of the same company ordered from you before but you aren't sure they are the same company?

      You can contact your new person directly and say you need the logo as a vector file, and that you ''have the same logo from a different company branch already vectorized, will that work?'' sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't as branches or divisions can have slightly different logos.

      If you have doubts about the new client being a branch of the former company, just ask for a vectorized logo, although that presents a slighlty larger ethical problem....

      The second route might be better anyway as some companies large enough to have branches or divisions do tweek their logo every year or two and getting the most up to date vector is always a good idea. I've had that bite me more than once.
      Last edited by PrintDriver; 05-16-2017, 12:42 PM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Laurad View Post
        Whats the most appropriate way to handle this?
        First, apply your own judgement as to whether the image they submitted and the vector artwork you already had on file match up well enough in terms of proportions and proximity. If to your eye, they are the same mark, use the vector version and provide them an opportunity to review it.

        There really aren't any "ethics" in play here. It's either right or it's not. What might be unethical is to be less than forthcoming about what you're doing. Tell them you were already in possession of a vector file, where you got it, and that you'll need their confirmation as to whether or not it's suitable.
        Last edited by HotButton; 05-16-2017, 12:48 PM.
        I'd rather be killed than come to your party, but if you don't invite me, I'll kill myself.

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        • #5
          I agree with HotButton. If it's the same logo, use it. Whether it originated from this part of the company or that part makes no real difference as long as the logo is the same. You said, "nearly identical, however, so I'm not quite sure what that means.

          For what it's worth, I've found that companies so unknowledgeable about logos as to send a jpeged raster file are not companies that are especially picky about their logos. I've also found that asking them to send a vector file usually confuses them, delays the project and creates a hassle best avoided by simply redrawing the dang thing.

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          • #6
            I don't base my opinion of a company's branding policy on one employee or, more often, intern not knowing they should send vector files. I have some pretty heavily brand-managed clients that occasionally send their own logo as jpgs even though they know better. We don't redraw anything without being specifically contracted to do so, even though it might be ''faster.'' We do the phone calls and the hoop jumping until eventually someone coughs up the vector version. Bonus if it has Pantone colors applied. I'm happy with a page out of a branding guide on that front.

            As far as ''nearly identical'' goes, like I said, I've been burned by clients that slightly tweek a logo and last year's version is not identical to the latest and greatest this-year's-version. It might only be a minuscule change that only the designer would see, but if there are branding police involved, you will get gigged and might lose money, depending on the scope of the job and how important that update is (been there, have the t-shirt). This tweeking happens far more often than one might suspect.
            If in the same situation as this OP, verify by proof.
            Last edited by PrintDriver; 05-16-2017, 08:50 PM.

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