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Thread: HUGE problem with Graphic Designer!

  1. #1
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    Angry HUGE problem with Graphic Designer!

    Okay so my mother in law owns a bakery- she had a designer create her logo her the labels. She paid him but after she did she realized he had misspelled artisan bread -artesian-. Now she should have gone back and asked for him to fix it- but she didn't. This was before I was in the picture to tell her so. She took it to a local printer who does all her label printing. Long story short: she gave him the files and if he could fix the spelling error and he said he could. The problem is now he refuses to give them back. He says because he edited them they are now his intellectual property! Can you believe this guy!? She didn't even sign a contract, but now he's basically strong armed her into using his print shop for everything.

    I'm furious because it's an error I could have fixed myself in two minutes had I known about it. Now he says he wants almost $300.00 to return the file- he wants her to buy the files BACK FROM HIM. This has to be illegal but I don't even know where to start. I've talked to her about scrapping the whole thing and making a new logo, but that's dangerous because the brand is very well known in the area.

    I would really appreciate some advice.
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    She doesn't have the original, misspelled file saved anywhere besides whatever data storage device she used to send it to the printer? If not, and it wasn't that long ago, the artist probably still has the file themselves and she can just ask them for another copy (and ask to have that spelling mistake fixed while they're at it). If you can't recover the file from anywhere else, get the police involved. The printer doesn't know or own jack and he has no legs to stand on.

    What he's doing is totally illegal and I would hope that your mother in law never does business with him again, and spreads the word that he's a crook.
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    Agree. First, go to the original designer first and request the original files to take to another printer. While she's at it, you can let her explain the situation to the designer that created the work and let him/her know she may need to request a sworn statement from him that he was the originator of the logo design at some point.

    Second. Refuse to pay the printer for any work completed until he returns the file and mail a letter to this regard. LOG EVERYTHING and all communications . Times/dates of conversations and what was said. Keep copies of all emails. You can attempt to file a police report just so you have it logged and on record, but it is likely going to be a civil issue to be settled in small claims if it goes that far. He has no rights to the work and cannot claim any, but it's better to be safe at this point. Let the printer know you will be contacting the better business bureau and take your business elsewhere.
    Last edited by prepsage; February 13th, 2013 at 04:25 PM.
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    Under copyright law the printer does not own any part of the logo except possibly the changes he made.

    Also, teach your mother how to make backups of everything. You can make an exact copy of a digital file, there is absolutely zero reason to take your one and only original to the print shop. PS - you might want to check her computer, if she's completely clueless she might actually have a copy still hanging around in her e-mail. And as other people have said, she can probably get a new copy from the graphic designer as well.
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    Also, since it's a local thing, maybe the local chamber of commerce members would be interested to hear about that a-hole.
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    this is also a good lesson; designers are always dyslexic; never sign anything off or pay for it till YOU check all the spelling.
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    That cocksucker is a genius. I'm going to do a paintover of spiderman#1 and demand Marvel pay me royalties for the IP I created.
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    Thanks all- hopefully now that I have an outside opinion she will take action. I guess she has contacted the previous designer, or attempted to, and has had no real luck getting anything out of him. Knowing my mother in law it's possible he's very annoyed with her. Worst case scenario I think I can just scan a label we already have and then POOF. New graphic. It wont be the best resolution but I have a feeling she wont want to go to the police about it. She's not confrontational enough. Maybe I could email him and be like "BITCH, GRAPHIC. GIVE NOW."
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    Wow, that's a major dick move :/ Just go ahead and scan it. The resolution should be perfectly fine.
    Last edited by stabby2486; February 14th, 2013 at 03:40 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by stabby2486 View Post
    Wow, that's a major dick move :/ Just go ahead and scan it. The resolution should be perfectly fine.
    No it should not. An analog copy of a printed digital file cannot be as good as the original.

    However I don't think the police are the people to handle it. I think that guy needs a nice cease and desist letter. There are legal groups that catter to small businesses and it's also possible to find models for cease and desist letter. Be sure to send it registered.
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    No it should not. An analog copy of a printed digital file cannot be as good as the original.
    Maybe not. But depending on how hard the edges of the type are, it'd be really easy to isolate it with color selection/masking, refilling it, duplicating the selection, and it's good as new. Then, if the type isn't linked, removing the e and replacing it with the i would be really simple.

    Although I guess it would be nicer to give that dude a nice dose of karma.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qitsune View Post
    No it should not. An analog copy of a printed digital file cannot be as good as the original.

    However I don't think the police are the people to handle it. I think that guy needs a nice cease and desist letter. There are legal groups that catter to small businesses and it's also possible to find models for cease and desist letter. Be sure to send it registered.
    Indeed, this is the kind of thing cops normally refer to small claims court, or whatever equivalent you guys have in your respective areas. This is very much an attorney matter.
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    An autotrace vector program should be fine.
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