If a designer designs a logo for you on contract, under the law
that is considered a "work for hire" and upon payment the designer
signs over ownership to the logo ...the logo may net the designer $1000, but 3 years from now it may grow
in value to $1 million
Not really, the COMPANY may be worth a million but it`s not the logo that created the value. I can`t tell you how many (clothing) "designers" come to me who think they`ve got a marketable business just because they`ve come up with a cutsey name and a logo.
No, I`m talking about the value of the logo -- $1 million being some percentage of the overall value of the company.
What of the value of logos of companies that flopped? It`s the company that creates the value. The opposite is also true; how many great valuable companies there have been with lousy logos?
And how many companies are there that would have flopped had they not generated profit from merchandise sporting the company`s logo? And what of companies that rebrand an existing product under a different logo and charge two or three times more because now it`s an "upscale" product, even though it has no discernable difference from the original product? Toyota did this with Lexus, Honda does it with Infinity. The clothing industry is absolutely notorious for this -- the same exact shirt from the same exact factory, sewn according to the same exact pattern might fetch $8 with a K-mart tag in it, but if it`s got a Tommy Hilfiger logo on it you can expect to pay 20 times more. In all these cases, it is most definitely the logo that creates the value of the company`s product. And the designer should be compensated appropriately.
Btw, I work under "work for hire". I create the patterns (engineering blueprints) for those sketches. I`m thrilled if somebody makes a success of it; I don`t feel entitled to any further remuneration because if I`m good, they`ll continue to use my services. Likewise, my fee schedule is directly proportional to the names of companies I`ve helped to become successful.
I`m not arguing against the practice of doing works for hire. It`s the basis of my own business and I`m fine with that. I`m saying that it is not the only kind of contract available, and in some cases, other kinds of contracts serve the designer`s interest better.
There are other kinds of
contracts in which the person creating something on commission retains
ownership of the finished work and essentially leases it to the
commissioner. Lease payments are called "royalties" and they are
generally some percentage of the work`s value over time. Writers and
photographers do this as a matter of course,
There`s a huge difference btwn a writer and a graphic artist. With an author, it is the work itself -a book- that is the value. If it`s lousy book, no one will read it.
But people will buy a lousy car or a lousy shirt simply because it has some particular logo on it. Why do you think companies spend tens of billions of dollars every year to promote their brands? EDIT: This strategy worked for GM for decades, and is failing now only because people cannot get the credit they need to purchase vehicles with GM-owned logos on them.
Besides, this is a commercial agreement. A publisher agrees to market the product (a book, a logo is not a product) from which they will DIRECTLY derive revenue. The book is the impetus for revenue. With graphic arts, it doesn`t matter how great a logo is; if the product the logo represents is lousy, no one will buy it.
Completely untrue; see above.
Iow, the logo itself is not a commercially marketable product that has autonomous finite value unto itself.
Logos are appraised, valued, bought and sold every single day. A logo does have autonomous finite value unto itself, just like any creative work. This is the whole nature of intellectual property law.
A logo, not being a product, cannot be licensed and transfered btwn entities. It bears no relationship to stocks and bonds (defined finite value, transferable). A winning logo is not a winning lottery ticket. Most of the value of a logo, whether good or bad, is borrowed from the veracity of the company upon which it rests.
Logos are licensed and transferred between entities every day. What are you talking about?
Here`s the deal, since you seem to want to be hostile toward me with regard to the value of the work I do:
Disney paid $15 million to buy this company not for its product, but for its brand. Disney could easily have duplicated their simple business model, recreated their product, built up its own subscriber database, and all the rest -- and given Disney`s resources, they could have done a much better job in a much shorter time frame. But because H.S. & J.B. (founder`s initials) already had an established brand it makes more sense for Disney to buy the brand because in doing so, Disney`s value magnifies the value of the existing brand without having to make investments in doing everything from scratch.
And, now that Disney owns the logo I did for HS & JB, it is free to slap it on anything under the sun -- anything under the sun -- and reap profit from the value the logo brings to whatever it pastes it on to. It is also free to lease the logo to other companies so they can slap it on various products and accept royalty payments based on the value the logo creates. Disney could even, if it wanted, spin off a whole division producing movies, television programs, television channels, music, consumer products, chains of stores -- all of it branded under the logo I created. This is why I said in my original post: God knows what the logo is worth now that Disney owns it.
Intellectual property is exceedingly valuable, whether you like it or not. My mistake was that I did not lock in my proper compensation via some contract. But my mistake does not mean that my work is without value. Indeed, it is clearly worth millions to Disney.
RabbitMountain11/4/2008 3:27 PM