When you pay money for a graphic designer to design a logo for your company, who owns the logo design copyright? This is a commonly asked question that can be answered easily, particularly when thinking ahead in your communications.
How does it usually work?
In most cases, a logo design is like photography. Most often, you will pay a fee to use a logo. If you wish to hold the rights to the logo, there can be an additional cost of ownership.
Some logo designers will give the copyright in return for a review or for a case study on their services. In the meantime, others may transfer the rights automatically or charge more money for this service.
Because it can vary so much, always discuss the situation with your designer.
Why is it important to discuss?
Many entrepreneurs, business owners and individuals forget to question the copyright of logo design. In the worst circumstances, it can leave people without the rights to share or distribute their own logo.
Not determining the usage can be an enormous error for any business. It is something that you must discuss with your graphic designer.
Be clear from the start
When requesting a logo design, make it clear from the beginning that you would like to own the copyright. The agreement should state this, with a simple transfer of copyright form being used to transfer the copyright over to you.
Most designers will be more than happy to give you the copyright. However, it is important to make this clear to avoid any misunderstandings or unexpected costs in the future.
By being clear from the start, you can avoid any designer taking advantage or charging unfair amounts for you to own the copyright to your own logo.
What are the benefits of owning the copyright?
The most common reason to require the copyright is if you wish to trademark a logo. Without copyright, you cannot continue the process of trademarking.
By owning the copyright to your own logo, you have permission to do what you would like with it. Whether it’s amendments, changing the ownership rights to somebody else or applying for a trademark. You are more flexible when you own the copyright of the logo.
When having a logo designed, be certain to mention your requirements and what you would like in terms of copyright. This helps to avoid any disappointments further down the line.
By knowing where you stand with copyright, you are able to make sure you can use your own logo however you wish. This will also ensure you do not find yourself in any difficult or time-consuming processes when it comes to your logo.
Have a look at my design process where you can find that I am always transferring the copyright to my clients.