Lawyers and logos

The old Cellar Fella masthead

The Craggy Range logo

Yesterday I was asked by someone at Kiwi dream-snatchers and winemakers extraordinaire Craggy Range to remove my masthead and change my logo. I think this is a bit sad, for several reasons. 1) it took me ages to do on Photoshop, because I’m not very good at Photoshop; 2) I like it; 3) I also like the wines of Craggy Range, and the part of the world where they’re made; 4) I really didn’t see what impact my logo, for all that it did fairly closely resemble theirs, could possibly have on them. They looked alike, but very far from identical; 5) I couldn’t possibly say no. I had, after all, plagiarised their graphic design work, and without asking their permission or anything.

Worst of all, the email arrived in the middle of dinner. “Whilst imitation is the greatest form of flattery the adapted use of our logo for your own uses is not really appropriate in our view,” they wrote. “Therefore I am asking that you change your logo to something that less resembles the Craggy Range logo.”

I duly spent several seconds thinking of another of my favourite wines that prominently features letters like C and F, and whose work I could pay tribute to in future, or at least as long as it takes for them to notice and tell me to stop. A couple of hours photoshopping later, and the new Cellar Fella masthead is ready, renewed, refreshed and rejuvenated, the Daniel Craig to the old one’s Pierce Brosnan. Enjoy. Unless you’re a lawyer, in which case there’s nothing to see here, please move on.

Feel free to leave your feedback on the new one, particularly when it comes to whether I should remove the hyphen, about which I am quite unsure.

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5 responses to “Lawyers and logos

  1. I actualy like your new logo more as it has more color and has a fresh clean feel to it . Also it is doutful that any one cane say it looks to much like their logo! Good job Cella Fella.

    • Cheers. In case you’re unsure, this was my inspiration – I think this time the similarity’s not so great that it would excite a lawyer. Though there are literally hundreds of Bordeaux chateaux whose wines I’ve never tasted, including most of the really famous ones, so I’m not the greatest authority on these matters, of those which I’ve tried more than once it’s probably my favourite.

  2. I have to say that just a few weeks ago when the Craggy Range people came up in my Twitter feed for a moment I thought someone had stolen your design. Pleased to hear that all is good now though – in Germany, I am sure, they’d sent in a lawyer SWAT team to take down the logo personally.

  3. My brother worked for Hallmark Cards. I my self also am an artist and it is a fact that you can use a logo a face or just about any thing and change it just alittle and it becomes yours. Another trick is to put a small circle with an R in it and the lawyers cant touch you. I hope this helps to set you at ease. GOOD DAY!

  4. Seems like they did it nicely though; not heavy-handed. Would you still buy Craggy Range after this episode? New design is good (although I did like the old one).

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