You have just come up with a great idea for a logo design — cool! However, you find out later that your design looks very much like another logo — not cool.

The fact is, even if you think that your design is original, there is a big chance that somewhere, someone else has also come up with a similar idea. This is because of the thousands, if not millions, of logo designs already out there.

Logos that Look Alike
Even the biggest names in the world carry similar-looking logos. Here are several examples:

  • Ford and Carrier. The logos of this popular car and aircon manufacturers are both blue and oval-shaped, with white-colored text and outline. Even their font style looks similar!
  • Human Rights First and Ubuntu. Despite the fact that the Human Rights First logo is set on a blue, square-shaped background — it features a circle formed by human figures holding hands — just like Ubuntu’s.
  • National Film Board and Virtual Global Taskforce. Both depict a human figure with the head doubling as the center of an all-seeing eye. The only difference is that the National Film Board logo is green, while the Virtual Global Taskforce logo is blue.
  • Beats by Dre and the Stadt Bruhl logo. The b-shaped, circular logo of Beats by Dre came out only recently. However, it bears a striking resemblance to the Stadt Bruhl logo, which was introduced by Anton Stankowski way back in the 1970s.
  • Nebraska ETV Network and NBC. These companies’ logos are practically twins — square in shape, white triangles in the middle. The only difference is that the Nebraska ETV Network logo is all red in color, whereas half of the NBC logo is blue.
  • LA Clippers and LA Lakers. Yes, they are both basketball teams, and yes, they are both from Los Angeles — but do they have to look almost exactly the same? Aside from the colors, there doesn’t seem to be much difference between the logos’ texts set against whooshing basketballs.

How Can You Avoid Them?
Similarities in culture, tradition, location, and other factors may be the underlying reason behind look-alike logos. A town that is known for a famous mountain, for example, could have a lot of businesses with triangular-shaped logos. The key is in making sure that your logo can stand out among similar-looking ones.

From the very start of the design process, remind yourself that somebody, somewhere, may have already thought of the same thing. Now, what can you do to set your logo apart? Perhaps you need to do more research about your potential customers and modify your design based on your findings. Definitely you need to check the logos of your competitors and see how you can make yours unique and interesting. Be prepared to put in a lot of time and effort!