No, We WON’T Make You a Trademarked Design
We’ve had a few requests recently, to have embroidery or vinyl work done, involving trademarked designs or copyrighted logos. We don’t do that kind of work. We cannot and will not. Any and all of those logos require having a license from the corporations that own the designs. We don’t hold any of those licenses.
Yes, we do all of our digitizing in-house. We could very easily set up any kind of logo, using artwork found on the internet. Oh, so easily! Just find a picture, pull it into the digitizing program and digitize away. Piece of cake! What’s the problem?
Hold on to your horses there, fella! Using free clipart, of a generic figure or open source artwork, is one thing. Incorporating that type of artwork into a larger design with stock lettering is fine. We can do that. We also have a catalog from Dakota Collectibles that contains over 20,000 embroidered designs. Surely, there is something in there that can be used to make a logo or design for your personal use. Our list of lettering styles is extensive, also. (Seriously-SO MANY FONTS!) We are experts at assisting our customers come up with their own individual designs.
Don’t Be “Joe the Jerk”
Think of it this way. You worked your butt off creating a beautiful oasis in your backyard. You have taken pictures of your beautiful landscaping. You uploaded them to your Facebook page, your blog, your Instagram, your website, etc. You put your blood, sweat and tears into that oasis and have the blisters to show for it. Some random person, surfing the ‘net, says “WOW! Those are just what I need to promote MY landscaping business. I don’t want to actually do the work, but I could.” They copy them and put them on THEIR website, inferring that the work was done by them. You may never know that they have used your pictures. Joe Matserats from Schenectady, New York is using your pictures to sell his services. Seriously, Joe? What a jerk! Build your own darn oasis, fer Pete’s sake.
This is why Disney, Harley-Davidson, ALL of the sports franchises, movie studios, and any and all of the auto manufacturers can and will send a cease-and-desist letter to small businesses or Etsy sellers. Using a trademarked logo is illegal. You are stealing someone else’s hard work.
It’ll Be Our Little Secret
“I won’t tell anybody you made it.” Or, “But, it’s only one shirt/jacket/patch, etc.” To be blunt, then why would we want to do your project?
Word-of-mouth is the best advertising there ever was. Think of all those Yelp or Google reviews that go viral. Our reputation is how we build our business. Being known for quality work, great customer service and honesty is what we work so hard for. Copying a trademarked logo is just bad business.
“But I see people selling that kind of stuff all over the place.”
Yeah, we know, we see them, too. It happens all the time. It goes unpunished and unnoticed more often than not. There’s little chance that most corporations will even notice we’re doing it. Does that mean we should do it?
We don’t know about you, but our shop is our main source of earning a living and we cannot afford astronomical infringement fines and/ or being shut down. Sometimes it just takes thinking outside the box and a great designer. Any ethical small business owner should be able to guide you towards something personalized that will be exclusive, since it is designed especially for you.
In our opinion, we’d rather buy an original work than a copy or a bootleg. SO, if you want to make an apron with a cupcake on it, don’t just google “cupcake” and copy any image you find. DRAW YOUR OWN VERSION. Or take a photo. Make it unique.
Here’s an example of how we made an original design
The customer wanted us to copy a Super Bowl 50 commemorative patch on the back of a hoody. BIG NO-NO! We had a tough time convincing him that this was a trademark infringement. He is a big fan of Von Miller (who isn’t, really?) and wanted to celebrate his idol. We made a few suggestions for how he could honor Von’s accomplishments in the big game instead. This is what we finally came up with. We feel that his hoody serves both of our purposes. What do you think?