Creating a unique logo design is an excellent way to distinguish your company from the competition. It can be frustrating to discover that your logo is too similar to another and that potential customers and clients might get confused and put off from establishing a relationship with your brand.
However, it can be difficult to determine whether your logo is truly unique, simply due to the sheer volume of logo designs.
Here’s how to find out if your logo is unique:
There is no comprehensive and fail-proof way to ensure that your logo is completely unique; however, the suggestions above significantly increase your odds of setting your branding apart from the competition. When investigating, you should also determine if your logo vaguely resembles another or if they are so identical that you risk losing or confusing potential customers.
1. Do a Google Reverse Image Search
One of the quickest and easiest ways to check the uniqueness of your logo is to do a reverse image search on Google. To do this, place your logo on a solid coloured background and drag the image into the Google search bar.
Google will then show you visually similar images. Here, you’ll be able to see any logos uploaded to the Internet that are similar to yours.
You should also isolate icons from typography if your logo has images and words. It can be difficult for Google’s algorithm to find similar images if the text is involved, decreasing your chances of discovering similar images.
2. Look on Crunchbase and AngelList
You can look up similar businesses and brands on Crunchbase and AngelList, which are platforms that feature businesses of all sizes, from startups to large Fortune 500 companies. Companies with similar target markets and values are most likely to have similar logos, so by searching for your competition, you can also look at their logos and see if they are too close to yours.
These aren’t the only websites you can use to find other companies, but they are easily navigable and extensive. However, you can also use a simple Google search to find similar companies. Alternatively, you could even use the Yellow pages.
3. Search the Internet Using Word Associations and Keywords
Come up with a list of words and categories related to your logo. These words should include descriptions of the logo’s physical design and the company that the logo is meant to promote. Be as specific as possible, but include more general terms if you want a comprehensive search. Then, use these keywords to search various websites to try and find similar logos.
You can start with Google, but you should search other websites, especially design-specific platforms. I recommend conducting searches on the following sites:
Looking through these websites using tailored keywords is a great starting point for finding logos that look similar to yours. If you aren’t able to find an image that looks like your logo, it is likely truly unique!
4. Hire a Professional To Do a Trademark Search
One of the most expensive but thorough ways to ensure that your logo is unique is to hire a professional to search for a trademark. Your best bet for this task is an attorney specialising in trademarks and patents.
This is the most thorough method when it comes to ensuring that you aren’t infringing on another business with your logo design. The above methods only check for other logos on the Internet, but millions of logos might not have an internet presence. A professional can find these logos and ensure they aren’t too similar to yours.
Here are my recommendations for picking the right trademark attorney:
Hiring a trademark attorney can be costly, but it is a great way to ensure that a thorough search is conducted and that you find any logos that might be similar. Hiring a professional can help establish peace of mind if you’re worried about legal infringement.
5. Conduct a Logo Search on an Online Government Portal
Suppose you don’t want to hire someone to do your trademark search and would rather do it yourself. In that case, the Patents, Trademarks, Copyright, and Designs section of the UK government website contains a database of registered trademarks and pending applications, including logos.
You can search this database by trademark number, owner, keyword, phrase, or image using the online search system. The “search by image option will probably be most useful, but you can also use keywords to help you seek out any logos that may be similar to yours.
There’s also an option to search for trademark applications that were accepted recently, within the last week. However, keep in mind that there are separate online journals for UK trademarks and Guernsey trademarks.
This can be time-consuming, and you may miss a logo similar to yours within the massive database, but it’s a good starting point. You can narrow down your search to the industry your business is in to make the process a little easier.
At Sanders Design, we believe that a good branding package should take all of these factors into account. However, if you choose to design your logo yourself, be aware that someone else may have already had the same idea and used a similar design for their company or startup.
To set yourself apart from the competition and increase memorability, you’ll need to ensure that your logo is unique.
Doing so can also help you avoid any legal consequences regarding copyright infringement. The methods outlined above will help you find out whether your logo is truly unique.