Above you see a logo I created using a stock image that I found online. It took me about 5 minutes start to finish.
Many people may not know the difference between a custom logo design and a stock logo upon looking at it, but those differences are vast. The biggest one being that when you purchase a stock logo, you don’t truly own that logo. That same logo can be sold to hundreds or even thousands of other businesses. You have purchased a license to use that logo, and that comes with restrictions.
Stock logos are similar to stock photographs. Websites that sell photography and illustrations for a one-time payment are known as royalty free stock websites. When purchasing imagery from a website like Shutterstock all assets are under a royalty free copyright license. You are given the right to use the asset you purchased without having to pay fees for how many times you use the imagery. But it’s important to read the fine print. Stock logos or images often have restrictions based on how many people will potentially see it. If you purchase a stock logo, and it’s seen by millions of people, other people won’t want to purchase that same stock logo.
The biggest issue with stock logos and stock imagery is the licensing is usually non exclusive. You can purchase a logo just as you would a stock photo online but that same logo is representing another business with a different name. Many business owners fall into buying stock logos or stock imagery because they are a cheaper option instead of paying a professional for a custom logo design.
I personally would advise all business owners to avoid purchasing a stock logo or creating a logo that contains stock imagery. If image is important to you, spending the extra money on a custom logo design is well worth it. I would also do my research when purchasing a logo to make sure that you’re not purchasing a logo that already exists. One thing that you can do to see if your logo is a stock logo or contains a stock image is to use Google’s image search. Try it out and see what happens.
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