Find Logo Thieves with Google's Image Search
You may have heard about LogoGarden.com, a site that lets its users combine their company names with pre-fab images to form a logo. In the summer of 2011, graphic designer Jeff Fisher learned from a sharp-eyed friend that LogoGarden was illegally selling elements of more than two dozen logos Fisher had created. After a lot of effort, including filing a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) complaint with LogoGarden's Web-hosting service, Fisher's stolen logos were removed from LogoGarden.
Fisher was fortunate that his friend spotted LogoGarden's crime. What if your friends aren't so observant? Luckily, we can all use Google's Search by Image tool to scour the Web.
Like most things Google, Search by Image has a very simple user interface that masks a truckload of computing complexity. To find out if one of your logo designs has been swiped, you just make Google aware of your logo in one of three ways:
1. Drag a copy of the logo file onto the search field.
2. Click the camera icon and choose "Upload an image," then navigate to your logo file.
3. If your logo file is already on the Web, copy its URL, click on the camera icon, and paste the link.
Then click the "Search Images" button and let Google do its thing.
Jeff Fisher used Google's Search by Image to take his stolen logo hunt beyond LogoGarden.com. Based on this experience, he suggests several refinements:
• If your logo contains a recognizable illustration, remove any text and upload just that graphic to Search by Image.
• If your logo is in color, convert it to black and white and upload that version to Search by Image.
• Experiment with different file types, including JPEG and TIFF.