Sign Postings: Comments on Image, Signage, and Community:

Reproducing a Logo? Think Smart!

Recently, a gentleman named Dale walked into our shop (not his real name). As a lover of all things biker related (that's motorcycles), Dale wanted us to produce multiple copies of a motorcyle manufacturer's logo in full color. He planned on installing the logos on his car and truck windows.

Reproducing logos for use on truck and car windows is one of our services, but this particular request became an immediate problem. It was not Dale's logo. If we produced the logo without the company's consent, then that would be an infringement.

Copyright infringement, that is. And let it be known upfront that we don't like to break the law.

"No way, Jose," is what we told him. With a look of incredulity on his face, he asked why.

"It's simple," we said. "The bike manufacturer owns it. We can't make copies of their logo without their permission."

"Well, just change it a little," Dale said. "Update the look but use the same name. That way it's sort of different, and sort of the same."

"Not so fast Dale. The company owns the logo outright and had it trademarked. Neither one of us owns the trademark. Sounds like another infringement."

In short, if you're asking us to produce your logo for vehicle graphics and wraps, banners, umbrellas, posters or any other signage product, please own all the rights. Or, request information from us on logo design. We offer these services to you, and the copyright will be yours. A win-win scenario.

P.S. On this same topic, another gentleman by the name of Franz called us. He's opening a new apparel store and sent us artwork of a very familiar logo. His request is to make window graphics and a sign using just the logo.

When asked if he has permission to use the trademarked image, he immediately sent us proof that he does. Terrific!

So add that to your list of to-do's: if you want to use a trademarked logo, or copyrighted text, get permission to do so. It's not difficult, may not cost all that much money, and best of all, you're legal!


Sign Quiz #2

Ready for another quiz on signs? Read on to see how much you know about lighted sign faces!

Below are photos of four different types of internally illuminated signs. Each of them has a different type of face (the portion of the sign that contains its message):

They could have a flat face, pan formed sign face, opaque face with push through letters, or an extruded pan face.

Pan forming provides extra rigidity to large faces, making them less prone to “blow out” in high winds, and pan forming also allows the use of thinner light boxes because pan faces push the advertising face out further from the lamps.

An extruded pan face has raised lettering and graphics. An opaque face with push-through letters is a solidly colored face and the text portion of the face are dimensional letters that project through the face.

Flat faces are what you see in the majority of lighted sign cabinets. Made from a single piece of acrylic or lexan, the faces are lettered and then slide into the sign cabinet. Flat faces have a more contemporary look and allow graphics to go edge to edge in the box.

These descriptions should make it a whole lot easier for you to match the face types with the photos.


Flat face lighted sign


Extruded and pan face sign









extruded pan face sign


Opaque face with push through letters sign









Sign #1 – Flat face

Sign #2 – Extruded pan face and pan face. The top sign is the extruded, and the bottom is a plain pan face.

Sign #3 – Gotcha! Another extruded pan face.

Sign #4 – Opaque face with push-through letters.

How did you do?

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