Logo image licensing

Explorer ,
Apr 12, 2017

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It's standard policy that you can't use a stock image for your logo or trademark. Understood.

But it's bugged me for a long time that there are loads of images on Adobe stock that are clearly marked as a logo. I can't see what purpose they would serve for anything else. In fact if you search for "logo" you get nearly 1.5 MILLION results.

So my question is ...what are the rules governing a stock graphic that is clearly intended to be used in a logo? Why would Adobe accept them if they are restricted from being used for their intended purpose?

I'm currently researching ideas for a water-based logo. There are lots of great splash and droplet vectors that are labelled as logos. Can I use them or not?  It's baffling.

Thanks.

People have logo templates on Adobe Stock. Images that look like a logo, are named a logo, and have text such as, "Insert your brand name here" on them.

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Logo image licensing

Explorer ,
Apr 12, 2017

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It's standard policy that you can't use a stock image for your logo or trademark. Understood.

But it's bugged me for a long time that there are loads of images on Adobe stock that are clearly marked as a logo. I can't see what purpose they would serve for anything else. In fact if you search for "logo" you get nearly 1.5 MILLION results.

So my question is ...what are the rules governing a stock graphic that is clearly intended to be used in a logo? Why would Adobe accept them if they are restricted from being used for their intended purpose?

I'm currently researching ideas for a water-based logo. There are lots of great splash and droplet vectors that are labelled as logos. Can I use them or not?  It's baffling.

Thanks.

People have logo templates on Adobe Stock. Images that look like a logo, are named a logo, and have text such as, "Insert your brand name here" on them.

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Apr 12, 2017 3
Adobe Employee ,
Apr 12, 2017

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Hi SooBrett,

Please refer the legal terms of use for Adobe stock images:

http://www.adobe.com/content/dam/acom/en/legal/servicetou/Adobe_Stock_Terms-en_US-20161015_2200.pdf

Hope this helps you understand where and how you can use the images.

Feel free to update the thread for any query.

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Apr 12, 2017 0
Explorer ,
Apr 12, 2017

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Hi Kanikas

Yes, I already saw under the restrictions that you cannot "Incorporate the work into a trademark or service mark". 

That means logo, right? 

I'll try rephrasing my questions:

1: Why are you offering 1.5 million logo graphics if nobody can legally use them?

2: Are there different rules if an image is actually tagged as a logo?

It's the anomaly that I'm questioning!

Thanks.

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Apr 12, 2017 5
Adobe Employee ,
Apr 12, 2017

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You need to have complete ownership of the image you use for your company logo since logos are intended to be registered and protected to prevent other companies or organizations from using the same image. Because Adobe Stock only grants a right to use images and does not transfer the ownership, these images cannot be used in or as a logo.On Stock website, we have images and not logos that can be used.

Refer: Common Questions, Adobe Stock

You may also Contact Customer Care for help.

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Apr 12, 2017 0
Explorer ,
Apr 12, 2017

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Thanks again, but this still doesn't answer my questions, which are perfectly reasonable.

You say "On Stock website, we have images and not logos that can be used."

Not logos?  This is a screenshot of the first page of a search for "logos":

Screen Shot 2017-04-12 at 15.03.28 • Droplr  It's pretty obvious that those are all logos or logo elements. I can't think what else I would use them for.

1: Why are you offering 1.5 MILLION logo graphics if nobody can legally use them?

2: What do you think people do use the logo images for, if they can't use them in their logos?

3: Does the restriction apply if you only want to use an element of an image in your logo?

It's totally baffling. I can see others have asked the question but nobody has given a satisfactory explanation.

Thanks.

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Apr 12, 2017 8
Adobe Employee ,
Apr 12, 2017

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Hi Sue,

I understand your concern and agree with your questions.

But, I would like to make you understand that we are not offering any Logos to our customers, we are just offering them images that they can work on. Adobe Stock nowhere lists that the images can be used for creating logos.

Also, when you search the term logo, the results populate up but that is only because the contributor has put the keyword as "logo" while submitting their image.

But I while go ahead and take up your concern with the Stock team.

Regards,

Sheena

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Apr 12, 2017 2
Explorer ,
May 04, 2017

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Hi Sheena

Thanks for you answer and I'm sorry for my long silence, I've been hectic.

I think I may need to clarify what I'm asking. I don't want to purchase a ready-made logo. Of course not, that goes against everything I stand for. I'm referring to elements to modify and use as part of a logo design. Suppose say, I purchased a vector of a water drop and then changed the colour and modified the shape to fit my concept ...would that be permitted?

I have over 200 image download credits on Adobe Stock. I can't stop the subscription because I'd lose them all ...and I can't download hundreds of images when I can't predict what I'll need in the future!!  So I keep paying the sub and hoping that I'll find images to fit my requirements.

What I need at the moment is to save some time by using some graphical elements in a design, rather than create from scratch ...but they will barely be recognisable by the time I'm finished.

Take this image I've picked out at random: blue water droplets - image | Adobe Stock

That is CLEARLY intended to be used as the basis for a logo design, wouldn't you agree?

Perhaps Adobe should clarify this point about logo designs to the people submitting images and remove the "logo" keyword from use? It gives me the impression that nobody is monitoring the quality and appropriateness of images here. And don't get me started on overuse of keywords. Many designers assign dozens of unrelated keywords to their work, making it much harder to narrow down searches to what one is looking for. I'm getting ludicrously unrelated results in my searches.

Or you could adopt the approach taken by CreativeMarket.com ...they make it clear that you can't register a trademark with one of their stock items as it is, but they don't preclude using an item as part of a logo design and explain it very nicely. One is left in no doubt what you can and can't do with their stock.

There are thousands of logo images on Adobe Stock that fall into a very grey area and no decent explanation anywhere of what is and is not acceptable use of them. Do people less scrupulous than me download and use them anyway? If not, what is their purpose? I'm curious.

Best regards

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May 04, 2017 6
New Here ,
May 19, 2017

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I agree with the question contributor's question. A logo first is the image, whether picture or vector, or something else. when that image is used for trademark or logo purpose, it will become a logo. Since you are selling image and market it as logo, people believe it can be used for the their logo or a part of logo design. Many "logo" image here clearly makes the total design as logo format, for example, Image + company name + tagline.

Well, the point is, since the image can't be used for the purchase purpose, I think adobe has to refund for all the money back to the people who are purchasing them for logo design...because the image format on the site is a misrepresentation, whether they are from any sellers on the site or not.

I just purchased 1 126882889 and I need refund. I thought it was a logo because of license agreement says I could use it, then I found enterprise link, but that link does not go anywhere until I saw this thread...

Wasting time here...

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May 19, 2017 1
New Here ,
Nov 03, 2017

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People have logo templates on Adobe Stock. Images that look like a logo, are named a logo, and have text such as, "Insert your brand name here" on them.

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Nov 03, 2017 3
Participant ,
Feb 21, 2018

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So can the images that are clearly logos be used and modified to create logos or not?

And if not what are they actually for?

Why if they are not allowed to be used in logo creations, are you allowing them to be added to your database?

What was the result of your concern raising exercise with the Adobe team?

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Feb 21, 2018 2
Adobe Employee ,
Feb 22, 2018

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Hi Marilyn,

I understand your feedback but the search results are matched and populated by the keywords as provided by the contributor when submitting the image to Adobe Stock. In such cases, the keywords used are logos which generally pop up when you search the word logo.

I will be passing on the feedback to the product team for improvements.

Regards,

Sheena

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Feb 22, 2018 1
New Here ,
Mar 13, 2018

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Okay Sheena.  I have read the entire thread including your replies ... and I am still lost.   That in itself is a problem.  I don't see a definitive answer from Adobe. 

I have just this minute signed-up for the PS 30-day trial.  I run a micro-business and, although successfully trading for five months, am developing my logo, hence the trial.  I am seriously looking for an image, preferably an illustration, that represents my business in education, to use on my stationery etc..

Can I or can I not use the images offered up in this trial?  I'm in the middle of a busy day but this is important. I'm not in design and clearly have to gen up on licences but I loosely understand copyright.  Please simplify your response so that I can add value to my efforts today.

Appreciated.

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Mar 13, 2018 0
Participant ,
Mar 13, 2018

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So please if the images marked as logo templates and with words such as "insert your company name here" cannot be used as logos - or even as the starting point for logos as someone tried to ask you above, please state this clearly here in simple language.

Either your database is stuffed with misleading, erroneous, pointless images or it isn't. If it is please clean it up.

You can't blame the artists who upload the images for tagging against Adobe rules, as this is ADOBE's database. It means Adobe's workflow for artists is flawed and because of that Adobe are misleading large numbers of people, who might find this an advertising standards issue. 
~

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Mar 13, 2018 2
Adobe Employee ,
Mar 13, 2018

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Hi Maxine,

The Adobe Stock assets cannot be used as logos.

Regards,

Sheena

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Mar 13, 2018 1
New Here ,
Mar 15, 2018

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Hello,

Thank you, Sheena, for helping to clarify this issue!

Between the Adobe Terms and the answers you provide in this thread, I think it is clear that - regardless of the image's keywords, label, or contents - no image in the Adobe Stock library may be used as a company logo.

I believe the confusion lies in whether or not consumers are allowed to legally use these licensed images as a launching point when developing their own, unique logos. You briefly addressed this on April 12, 2017 with the following:

"But, I would like to make you understand that we are not offering any Logos to our customers, we are just offering them images that they can work on. Adobe Stock nowhere lists that the images can be used for creating logos."

However, those two sentences seem to contradict each other. "Offering them images they can work on" seems to imply that consumers may use logos as a framework for designing their own logos. However, "...nowhere lists that the images can be used for creating logos" sounds like the opposite.

So I think the ambiguity lies in whether or not an image can be licensed and modified to create a unique logo.

I am not an attorney, but in looking up some of the laws surrounding derivative works, there seems to be a distinction between the use of a previous work and the ability to copyright a new work. https://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ14.pdf

Is it possible that the Adobe Stock Terms and Conditions apply to one's legal right to copyright their own (new) logo that is based upon an Adobe asset? Or is it simply that one may not use or modify any part of any Adobe Stock image - regardless of keywords, label, contents, or implied use - as part of any company logo?

Hopefully this will resolve the confusion, and we can all move forward - legally and with clear conscious - with our company logos.

I believe I can speak for most of us here when I say that the reason we keep asking is that we absolutely do not want to violate any artist's copyright. However, the enormous library of beautifully designed images that seem to exist for the sole purpose of providing at least a "canvas" for a company logo is too valuable to ignore, if in fact we are permitted to use and modify an image to design our own unique company logos.

If you wouldn't mind indulging us with one more answer, not about whether or not we can use an Adobe image as our own logo (no, we cannot), but rather about our right - or lack thereof - to modify an Adobe Stock logo image to create our own (different) logo, I would truly appreciate the clarification.

Best Wishes,

Patricia

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Mar 15, 2018 14
Participant ,
Mar 24, 2018

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I admire your patience. 

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Mar 24, 2018 1
New Here ,
Mar 28, 2018

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Hi Sheena,

So what I get from this thread is you can't download a vector logo and just swap in a new name.

But you can modify a logo. You have to modify the vector in some way?

Here is a video from Adobe where the presenter goes into Adobe Stock and grabs some vectors and uses them. He does manipulate them.

So what he is doing is ok? Changing , colors, etc??

He could hand off this logo to a client legally?

How to Create a Logo | Adobe Creative Cloud - YouTube

Thank you,

Heidi

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Mar 28, 2018 12
New Here ,
Apr 27, 2018

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Thanks for brining this to our attention Heidi. Adobe, can you confirm that this practice is legal and can be done?

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Apr 27, 2018 7
Community Beginner ,
May 16, 2018

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This is a pretty important question. I am anxious for the reply, too.

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May 16, 2018 1
Participant ,
May 20, 2018

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So why do you have them listed as logo images on the site? Surely this is misleading? Maybe you should remove the keyword 'Logo' from upload tagging and site content? Also clarify use in each licence type rather than use being hidden away in the small print? Why would anyone buy these images clearly tagged as logos?

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May 20, 2018 3
New Here ,
Jun 20, 2018

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Waiting on response for this as well

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Jun 20, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 06, 2018

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There are 2 things here:

1.

Logos like the Adobe logo or the IBM logo or the Apple logo are distinct graphic marks (logos) that can only be used in the way the mark owner allows to use. Company logos fall into this category, because you do not want having a second company in your street, region or in the world using the same or even similar logo than you use, profiting from your brand to sell their stuff.

2.

Graphics that are called "logos", that look like logos and that are sold on stock picture market places like Adobe stock. There is no way that you can buy a "logo" for 10€/USD/... take that logo and protect that as a trademark for your exclusive use, because you do not own the exclusive right to use it. If you buy it, you can't use it as your company or product logo, even if it is called "logo" and even if there is a "put your company name here".

This does however not mean that that "logo" may not be used for other uses. It's up to you to decide if the design is good enough to live with the limitations....

Regards, Abambo
Hard- and Software Engineer and Photographer.

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Aug 06, 2018 1
New Here ,
Jun 18, 2019

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I agree Heidi, pretty well sells the adobe stock, as well as others, steals them, recolors, or scales to fit, and calls it good.  It is apparently ok to use the adobe stock imagery for logos.

For those that haven't seen the video.  How to Create a Logo | Adobe Creative Cloud - YouTube

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Jun 18, 2019 1
New Here ,
Apr 18, 2017

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I agree, I don't understand how they can lost their stock image as a logo but we can't use it as such

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Apr 18, 2017 2
New Here ,
Oct 25, 2018

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Was there an answer given?

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Oct 25, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 25, 2018

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There is a correct answer (an answer marked "correct")... and there is my answer: Re: Logo image licensing . What do you want more?

Regards, Abambo
Hard- and Software Engineer and Photographer.

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Oct 25, 2018 0
Explorer ,
Jun 13, 2019

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I am currently struggling with grasping the this concept as well. I work with an in-house marketing department that requires original event and conference branding constantly, which all require unique "logos" or identities. I have seen an incredible amount of images and graphics labeled as logos that would work as solutions for many of my needs, yet I'm told I cannot use a download as an official "logo."

I'm very disappointed with the staff outreach that has taken place in this thread. After being asked very reasonable questions by paying customs, the inflection of the adobe reps has been mildly rude and in poor taste (i.e. "there is no way you can buy a logo for $10...) I think it's safe to say that anyone who is taking an interest in this thread knows the value of a logo.

Is there anyway to contact the original uploader of a stock download to discuss the potential options of exclusive ownership? I understand there is plenty of more complications that go along with this, but it doesn't seem completely absurd to ask. If not, I believe adobe should evaluate this as a possibility because this will turn into a massive problem in the future. Many of your users will be taking something that says "insert your company name here" and do just that, without knowing that they are in violation. It's almost like baiting someone into a trap.

SooBrett, I completely understand your frustration and think it definitely needs addressing on adobe's end.

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Jun 13, 2019 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 18, 2019

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christopherb52711096  wrote

Is there anyway to contact the original uploader of a stock download to discuss the potential options of exclusive ownership?

No, there is no way to to contact the original uploader.

If you need constantly logos, you should hire a graphic designer.

Regards, Abambo
Hard- and Software Engineer and Photographer.

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Jun 18, 2019 0
Explorer ,
Jun 18, 2019

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I am a graphic designer. I do create my own logos, lots of them. I understand the value and time that it takes to produce great logos. If you read my post above, I mentioned the constant branding we do for events, bootcamps, workshops, and conferences. The workload can become very high in volume from time to time, and it would be helpful to use these "logos" (as advertised) if in a pinch from time to time. I understand the policies, I'm just saying it could be worth reviewing them as well. Also, you're inflection comes off as passive aggressive and distasteful. Thanks for being slightly helpful.

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Jun 18, 2019 5
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 18, 2019

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Logos need to be exclusive. So the artwork needs to be unique and so it cannot be coming from stock. You can, however use stock if you do not need to claim uniqueness. We use stock exactly for this.

Regards, Abambo
Hard- and Software Engineer and Photographer.

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Jun 18, 2019 0
Explorer ,
Jun 24, 2019

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Thank you ChristopherB, it's reassuring to know that I'm not being unreasonable about seeking clarification.

In my view image copyright abuse is polarised between the wanton misuse and theft of licensed images on social media etc and the necessarily protective, but baffling rules for their use on stock sites.

I consider myself a conscientious professional who cares about protecting the rights of artists, designers and photographers. I wouldn't dream of creating a logo that wasn't a unique piece of artwork, or I would be failing my clients badly.

What worries me is that Adobe Stock is awash with images tagged as "logo" which is potentially misleading to those who don't understand the implications of using them as their company or product logo. Increasingly small business owners are DIY'ing their branding design to save money and I don't think we can assume they understand the rules.

Ignorance is rife I'm afraid. I was gobsmacked when a client instructed me to download images for their website from a Google image search. I put them straight of course ... but they thought it was a free stock site! I wonder how common that is.

If I understand correctly, if the artwork doesn't need to be unique, it's fine to use a stock logo, perhaps for an event or poster or such. A list of permissible uses for images tagged "logo" would be helpful. Unique company or product marques should be designed entirely from scratch without the use of stock images, even for small components of the design.

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Jun 24, 2019 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 25, 2019

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SooBrett  wrote

What worries me is that Adobe Stock is awash with images tagged as "logo" which is potentially misleading to those who don't understand the implications of using them as their company or product logo. Increasingly small business owners are DIY'ing their branding design to save money and I don't think we can assume they understand the rules.

If I don't understand my plumbing, I need a plumber to do the work... Doing your own brand to save money is probably not always a good thing to do for your business...

Regards, Abambo
Hard- and Software Engineer and Photographer.

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Jun 25, 2019 0
Explorer ,
Jun 25, 2019

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I totally agree Abambo ...but some people unwisely do their own plumbing too!!  I refer to dentists when having this discussion with potential clients because nobody fixes their own teeth. I've been a branding designer for 25 years and it's pretty clear that many small business owners have limited appreciation of the value of design, or of the time and effort that goes into producing a logo (and any other design work). When people have that sort of misconception, it extends to the use of stock images as well. It is incumbent on us in the design industry to challenge those assumptions and guide people towards a better understanding.

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Jun 25, 2019 1
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 25, 2019

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SooBrett  wrote

I totally agree Abambo ...but some people unwisely do their own plumbing too!!  

My father can do...even that he is not a qualified plumber. But I would not touch the plumbing...

But yes, people think that design is easy, fast and that Word can do that...

Regards, Abambo
Hard- and Software Engineer and Photographer.

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Jun 25, 2019 0
New Here ,
Jul 21, 2019

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This question was asked over 2 years ago and scrolling this post and others I am unable to find a single response that answers the question. Even the attempted condescending remarks by Abambo don't actually answer the question at hand. As mentioned a number of times in this post by commentors, Adobe has thousands of images that are tagged as "logo". Other sites that specifically prohibit logo use go into detail that these type images/tags aren't even allowed to be uploaded and they actively prevent them from being uploaded to their sites. Adobe, obviously, does not. So, if one were to take a vector image (so not a full stock image), modify it, then add onto it with many other elements to create a brand new, unique image for a logo would that go against the terms? And please don't just respond with a link to the FAQs that have been shared multiple times and do not answer the question.

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Jul 21, 2019 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 22, 2019

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osisis  wrote

So, if one were to take a vector image (so not a full stock image), modify it, then add onto it with many other elements to create a brand new, unique image for a logo would that go against the terms? 

No, that wouldn't be against the terms. As long as the resulting design is unique...

The problem is that logos need to be exclusive individual branding and anything on stock isn't. So it is not apt to be used in logos.

Regards, Abambo
Hard- and Software Engineer and Photographer.

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Jul 22, 2019 1
Explorer ,
Jul 22, 2019

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This answer is self-contradicting and makes the topic at hand even more confusing.

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Jul 22, 2019 1
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 23, 2019

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There is nothing contradicting in the answer. STOCK IS NOT TO BE USED WITH LOGOS.

However, when you use stock, modify in such ways that the modifications make it an own specific and unique design, that design can be used as logo.

Logo's need to be unique and apt for exclusive use. And that's per se a blocking situation to stock.

Regards, Abambo
Hard- and Software Engineer and Photographer.

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Jul 23, 2019 0
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