It was about 5 months ago when I brought up the topic of ‘fake logo designs‘. Basically the point was that many logo designers are placing ‘fake’ logos, for made up companies, in their portfolio.
It isn’t the fact that the logo is ‘fake’ but rather the company and whether that these fictional designs are actually a measure of the designers skill and /or experience.
I would like to quote Steve from Logo Factory on his view of fake logo designs as his opinion is exactly where I stand.
All in all, the idea of creating pretend company logos isn’t terribly offensive – all designers at the beginning of their careers have to indulge – but does it give an accurate representation of a designer’s ability to deal with real-world client demands and actual company requirements? I’d say no. I guess at the end of the day, sites like Logopond and Logosauce are great for visual eye-candy, they’re not particularly helpful in seeing how designers attack real branding and logo development issues, nor how a designer can problem solve some of the more mundane and banal design problems that are presented in the ‘real’ world.
Personally, I think that using fake logos and other types of fake work is fine for demonstrating creativity and technical skill. And it’s only fair that they’re disclosed as such in a portfolio.
But if they are used in a portfolio then the designer better have something else that backs up their business and communication sense because that’s what fake work lacks the real world give and take relationship with a client.
Adding onto Briana’s quote of “something else that backs up their business”, here are some other values one should keep in mind when hiring a designer.
- Experience & Proven Success
- Their Design Process
- Awards Won
- Strength of Portfolio
- Time Frame
- The Questions Asked
In regards to disclosing fake logo designs in portfolios, I would have to commend Logopond (a logo inspiration gallery) for putting in place a new system for differentiating fun and client work – which comes after many others speaking up about this topic of fake logos. If you notice on each LogoPond members showcase page, there are now new icons that help you differentiate what is client work or not.
Below you can see what each icon means along with a screenshot of where you can find these icons.
Take note of the red circles, highlighting where you can find each icon.
Below you will find a screenshot of the upload screen of where the designer can choose the “logo status”. At present, it seems that it is not compulsory to choose what the status is, however, I believe it should be, to ensure that the system actually works. I’d like to know what you think?
I also believe that this system should be put into use across other inspiration galleries and I will be doing so from now on for all new submissions on my own logo inspiration gallery, Logo of the Day.
Logo of the Day & Fictional Logos
Take August West’s response to a conceptual logo:
Not a fan of the “working backwards” logos.
It’s too simple to base an idea for a company around a logo. I find it much more difficult to base a logo around a company’s particular needs. I could come up with random, cute logos for companies that don’t exist all day long. Just my humble opinion.
Although I agree with August on most parts, the main point of the LOTD inspiration gallery, is to give exposure & inspiration to other designers. For this reason, we do showcase a conceptual logo from time to time.
Update: August 2009
We are no longer accepting fake logo designs on LOTD.
By doing so it gives exposure to the designers, thus bringing in potential clients for them. And it works too… we’ve received numerous “thank you” emails from designers, stating that they have received paying clients from their exposure. The site has also brought in many clients & traffic for myself and book sales for Jeff Fisher whilst giving inspiration to other designers… so it really is beneficial for all involved.
The most recent success story coming out from Logo of the Day was the recent sale of the Logo of the Month logo, Coffee Cup (as seen above) that was sold via the ‘stock logo’ IncSpring website.
Below you can see the purchaser’s comment left on LOTD:
Well, I just saw this logo last night here and thought about it all night. I fell in love with it immediately. I have been searching for a logo for my coffeehouse for about two years now and just bought it from the link above today. I, and those I asked today, thought it was evocative, trendy, elegant, and fun! I’m so happy I ran across this site and saw that logo on a whim!
I congratulated them on their new purchase, in which they wittily replied:
Thanks a Latte 🙂 and all hail the Internets!
So yeah, I am all for fake logos… as long as they are rightly identified as so.