IS MY LOGO UNIQUE?
There is no sure fire way of finding out whether the logo you just designed or had design by a graphic designer is unique but there are ways of researching which my produce some results.
GOOGLE IMAGE SEARCH
Does google image search work? Probably one of the least effective is google image search but it can produce some results and can sometime determine whether your logo design has already seen the light of day.
STEPS TO USING GOOGLE IMAGE SEARCH:
- First you must have a jpeg or png of the logo icon
- Visit google.com
- click images located on the top right navigation near the sign-in button
- In the search bar on GOOGLE images click the camera icon
- Either past a url link to the image or click upload an image to use a file from your computer
After following the steps above google image search will provide it’s best guess as to what the icon or logo represents and sometimes it is spot on.
NO RESULTS, WHAT’S NEXT
When google image search produces no result, you might want to continue your research but where can you turn next?
Tin Eye is an image search that functions very similar to Google Images and has 15.1 million images index. The website also offers Corporate and Enterprise image tracking for companies who want to keep track of where their images show up on the internet.
STEPS TO USING TIN EYE
- Visit tineye.com
- Type in an image URL or upload an image file from your computer
- Tin Eye will search it’s index, if the image is being used somewhere and is within their index it will show in the image search.
As Google Images it does have it’s cons… If the image isn’t indexed with Tiny Eye it won’t show up but remember this doesn’t mean your off the hook and your logo design is unique. However, if the image is indexed with Tin Eye it will show you everywhere the image or icon shows up on the internet and also could show you who or what it is associated with.
UNITED STATES PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE
USPTO is where you go to file a trademark for your corporate identity, logo and company name alike. The website all though somewhat confusing does have a trademark search for names and a logo / icon that has been register for a trademark.
The system goes by design search codes that represent a type of image or logo design which can be found at the USPTO website. Personally I wish the system allowed for uploading a png or jpg and produced search results similar to the google image or Tin Eye.
There are many agency out there that offer trademark search services such as Legal Zoom or Trade Markia that will do the research for you and determine if your design has been used or trademarked. This method most likely will be the most effective but it comes with a fee and the price all depends on the agency.
This is where the internet and it’s vast community comes into play. Hit the message boards such as Logo Pond or Linked In and ask the message to search for you, chance are somewhere has seen the logo before. You can also post your logo on Brand Crowd and ask for the logo to be critiqued, someone might recognize it as being associated with another name or company.
Most important thing is to do your research, the internet is a large database of useful information and a large community of individual willing to assist with any knowledge they might have. As always design simple, clean, eye-catch, timeless and unique logo design.