Everyone loves free stuff. After all it’s free right? Well, sometimes these freebies can end up being extremely costly. Take graphic design for example. Logo designers can easily find dozens upon dozens of graphic design brushes and symbols on the internet absolutely free. They’re great. They’re fun. They make the creative process easy and save designers time. With so many advantages, it may seem like a no-brainer to use free graphic design symbols when designing professionally, right?
Wrong. In fact free graphic design symbols and brushes come with potentially career ending risks that many designers ignore, overlook or underestimate. And that is the risk of trademark infringement.
Don’t Design a Nightmare Scenario for Yourself
Trademark infringement. These are the two words that keep every graphic designer up at night. It is a scenario no designer wishes to be confronted with because even such a simple allegation can bring a designers career down tumbling.
Graphic Design Brushes – Limit Your Use
Free design brushes are NOT trademarked; meaning that anyone can use them in their designs. This is why graphic design brushes should be avoided. However, if needed, these should be used scarcely and only as a supporting element. Don’t heavily depend on them. Instead, only use them for giving slight touches or adding effects in a logo. Your overall design should be unique in every sense. Graphic design brushes can be used to provide the finishing touches (if you will) to further compliment your design.
Graphic Design Symbols – Avoid at All Cost
Brushes are one thing. Graphic design symbols are another. These should never be used. Period. Graphic design symbols come free with any licensed graphic software thereby creating a false impression among some designers that the symbols are licensed as well. This is not the case. Every graphic design software comes with the same free symbols by default. Using them is an open invitation to copyright infringement.
So What Should Logo Designers Do?
What you should be doing in the first place is to come up with your own designs, symbols and your own brushes. This will give your design drafts the one element every designer strives to achieve – uniqueness. Avoid free brushes and symbols all together. Using them can lead to a bad habit of taking short cuts and utilizing and manipulating existing design patterns to your advantage.
Graphic designers must always remember that there is no place for free symbols and brushes in professional graphic design. Designers are encouraged to browse samples, experiment with certain brushes and symbols and then come up with their own unique ones to compliment their work. Being unique is worth its weight in goal and should be second to none.