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LogoGarden secures $2M in funding

Question: What do you get if you plagiarise the work of hundreds of designers and sell their intellectual property for personal gain?

Benjamin Franklin

Answer: $2,000,000 in financing from FCA Venture Partners.

Via @justcreative.

LogoGarden tactics:

WWF’s panda logo, yours for $69
How low can they go?
Love Thy Logo
LogoGate 2011

Update: 27 December 2011
LogoGarden founder John Williams responded with this comment.

Benjamin Franklin image via Thinkstock

Logo Design Love: A Guide to Creating Iconic Brand Identities

27 appreciated comments

  1. Truly appalling, unfortunately people don’t invest that much in something that’s going to fail. I personally don’t see it as a threat to designers, I think it should help to reduce the barrage of silly e-mails from people asking for $100 logos.

  2. What a joke. Makes you wonder whether these investors actually look into the companies they’re investing in.

  3. FT

    No doubt they’ll change any illegal practices.

  4. Unfortunately I think it’s the fault of small business who don’t have the funds to get a bespoke logo designed in the first instance OR designers who don’t have the time or skill to do the work themselves. They ultimately fund this company which in-turn encourages investors to part with their money because they see this company as a cash machine. It’s wrong but what can we do about it? What a XXXXed up world we live in.

  5. These investors probably had no idea what they’re investing in. All they see is potential, which in this case is unfounded.

  6. Derek

    More money to sue for I guess.

  7. Katzefrau

    If the investors “had no idea what they were getting into”, then they deserve what they get. LogoGarden has been the recipient of numerous cease and desist actions. It doesnt take much effort to discover that they are in the least dishonest hacks.

  8. Matt Fouty

    Keep fighting the good fight David! This business model doesn’t work in our industry, so it’ll fail sooner or later.

  9. Paul

    @SamJones:
    I don’t think investors look any further than the possible return they’ll get…

  10. VDM

    @Matt Fouty
    It’s inevitable that it will fail, but it still kills me that this guy will pocket a big chunk of that investment, essentially rewarding his very public crimes.

    I recommend phoning or writing FCA and voicing your displeasure. I’m sure they know the story by now, but the more people that do it, the better.

  11. VDM

    I’m suspicious there’s more to it than just that. Any legit financial review of that site would conclude there is no company, just one guy stealing logos and trying to sell them. Add in the fact that LG is getting a lot of legal threats, it’s very unlikely the investors would ever get their money back.

    What would not surprise me is that the entire transaction is corporate fraud. The guy in charge of Logo Garden keeps the money, dissolves the business, and under the table pays off the one investor who recommended him. FCA simply writes it off as a bad investment, both parties are happy. Some people make a career off of sham companies like this, never actually producing anything.

  12. This is truly terrible. How can this be???

  13. John Spiegel

    It’s bad investments like this, by greedy investors like FCA Venture Partners that put this country into the financial mess we are all experiencing!
    The design community will only benefit from this stupid investment when John Williams and his greedy backers are finally prosecuted!

  14. Neil Brown

    Need to call up my old teacher who told me “Cheats never prosper.” and tell him he is wrong.

    I agree with Paul in that the investors are probably only looking at their returns. They probably don’t care about the quality of the work however if LG gets slapped with a bunch of lawsuits they may reconsider where they put their money.

    Totally agree David – there always HAS been a market for the low end design, just as their is a market for low end anything and there will always be a market for high end design. Sad to see the low end reaping the rewards though I do not think this is the last we will hear of LG.

  15. It is concerning. I work hard to create original logos. I don’t want some barely legal venture to semi-steal my work and profit from it. This investment hurts the design community.

  16. Investors are just looking for the “next big thing”, you only just need to look at the money that crowdsourcing sites bring in from business looking to do it on the cheap…it’s crazy!

  17. Honestly I think that firms who spend that money, surely know where to get…
    So sad.

  18. These kinds of companies are probably doing you a favour. Any client who thinks a logo farm is likely to provide them with an identity of much value is a client you probably shouldn’t want. Let them learn the hard way…

  19. I’m pretty offended by this quote in the article “Businesses and independent professionals who need graphic design services will receive…high quality branding”
    Riiiiight. Sad day.

  20. VDM

    Last few commentators kind of missing the point. The value of low cost or crowdsourced design sites are another matter entirely.

    This guy isn’t a cheap designer, he is a brazen criminal who is openly stealing artwork and not stopping even when caught. That a major investment company could reward his behavior is insane.

  21. Jason Rahn

    Here is a thought:

    What if the LogoGarden logo showed up on another site for sale?
    Hmmm….

  22. Mike

    I was wondering if the bill SOPA will allow sites like LogoGarden to be removed from the internet? Also, I guess SOPA will block sites like 99designs and other crown sourcing sites. SOPA may not be that bad for designers after all…

  23. John Williams

    LogoGarden.com has strict policies and procedures to avoid using other people’s work. We invite graphic designers to alert us to any specific symbols they believe were copied from their own work by emailing us at service@logogarden.com. Despite this consistent open door policy, a few designers are still on the warpath.

    What makes some designers behave so badly? I believe it’s fear. These people feel their livelihoods are threatened — not by a few symbols, but by LogoGarden’s successful, technology-enabled business model. Fear drives the overheated rhetoric and bad behavior — which does not excuse either.

    You can read more of my thoughts and perspective on my blog: http://www.logogarden.com/blog

    John Williams
    Founder and President, LogoGarden.com
    service@logogarden.com

  24. IGNORE JOHN WILLIAMS POSTS! Here’s a recent blog about just how strict his policies and procedures are. It appears instead of stealing and recreating carbon copies of OTHER ARTISTS works, his cronies now derivatize them.

    John, that’s still STEALING!

    I would recommend contacting his investors at FCA Venture Partners repeatedly and letting them know what they’re getting in to. Send them links to the numerous blog posts about this joke of a human being and his morally corrupt company. If they show the same level of ignorance as Johnny-boy, then we should drag their name through the mud publicly as well. Until the laws can be updated in our favor the best we can do is make A LOT of NOISE! John Williams has decided NOT to listen to our collective voice and has even managed to make major gains thanks to his illegal use of OUR artwork, it’s time to burry him!

    Contact Matt King and John Burch of FCA Venture Partners as they will serve on the Board of Directors of LogoGarden. “FCA is the management arm of Clayton Associates”. And this link will take you to an article that explains the investment they THINK they are making.

    Contact info for FCA Venture Partners:

    Andrew Bouldin
    615-293-4819
    bouldina@claytonassociates.com

    Matt King
    kingm@claytonassociates.com

    John Burch
    burchj@claytonassociates.com

    Clayton Associates main office:
    5121 Maryland Way, Suite 300 | Brentwood, TN 37027
    Phone: 615.320.3070
    Fax: 615.963.3847

    MAKE SOME NOISE!!!

  25. Here’s a link to a blog post I made, it contains my email to FCA Venture Partners as well as a link back to this article. I’m doing my part, now it’s time for the rest of the community to chime in.

    http://blogfromthebeard.blogspot.com/2011/12/return-of-despicable-john-williams-and.html

  26. John Spiegel

    John Williams has got “moxie”! But no talent!
    Well not really…His talent is in giving his clients a big snow job!
    They are getting what they are paying for…cheap rip-offs! They don’t realize there are numerous other companies with the same or similar logos!
    There is no distinction! Only stinking ripoffs!
    Just as Chris (above) says, he’s still steeling no matter what he chooses to
    call it! We need to bombard his investors with the real facts about the graphic design business…and what a poor investment they are involved in!

  27. Art

    hahaha, yet another uber professional corporate identity maker and marketing genius.

    All you need to do is watch their video, and die from laughing.

    “What do I know about making a logo?
    You know everything you need to know, you know your business…” honestly, poor souls that would ever fall for such lies. How often do we meet business owners, that surprise us they’re actually making profit, let alone knowing anything/everything about their business.

    These kind of sites do not worry me at all.
    Good luck to them and their victims (clients)


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