wheel - 5:42 pm on Jan 16, 2013 (gmt 0)
Yes, agree strongly with webwork.
I am very specific with my requirements. I have emails requiring that graphics be created from scratch, I know the designer actually draws this stuff by hand. And he's local. And I confirm it again every time I use him. Last time he gave me a design with some complicated graphics, I questioned it. He responded that it was in fact clipart he used, but it was only there temporarily until I gave approval. Once I approved of the design, the clipart was replaced with a hand drawn version.
By contrast, I have a friend who claims to have spent $50K on his 'custom' site. He wasn't happy when I pointed out one of his graphics as an example of clipart that everyone in the industry was using - I'd had a designer send me the exact image a month prior. He was led to believe the images were custom created by the offshore design company. They weren't. At best the design company had subscribed to a service and was allowed to use it - but my friend did not have the papers to prove this. And as webwork notes, that leaves him exposed to problems with the design owner.
The inspiration is another valid point. My first corporate logo was one I really liked. It combined my location and my industry in one clear graphic. Two years later, I'm looking at the letterhead of a supplier in our industry and sure enough, I'm looking at a variation of my logo. Close enough that if the tables would have been reversed, they would've received a letter from me. It wasn't identical, or even a derivative, but it was close enough for gov't work. That resulted in a new logo done by my local designer with specific directions not to get inspired by someone else's logo.
IIRC, the second logo done by the local designer was actually cheaper than the first one I had done that was ripped off.