iStock announces off-the-peg logo service

iStock, the microstock library that features user-generated images and footage, has announced the launch of a new logo wing, offering creatives the chance to submit logos on spec.

The new service, which iStock says is "coming soon", aims to open up the iStock service to designers, allowing them to submit logos, which companies can then browse and buy from. In contrast to the image collections, where all images are royalty-free and can be bought multiple times, each logo can only be bought once.

Pricing structures and a project launch date are yet to be announced; iStock is currently canvassing opinion on exactly how the project details could work through its forum. iStock is inviting opinions on factors such as how the designer and company can work together to integrate the company's name into the logo and so on.

iStock also says that it will pay $5 for every logo uploaded at the moment.

The scheme has provoked furious debate on iStock's forum and elsewhere, as designers have protested at what they see as a cheapening of what can be a complex and in-depth process.

On his blog Logo Design Love, David Airey comments, "I’ve learned a lot during my years as a designer. One of those things is that a logo in isolation is like lipstick on a pig. It needs to be treated as part of an overall brand identity strategy, not picked off a shelf. This is no different from the “make your own logo” websites out there, or the logo contest spec work sites that harbour an equal amount of “design” nastiness."

He also points out the potential complications regarding trademarks and copyright theft, and how iStock could go about policing a potentially huge pool of user-generated logos for problem designs.

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