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Copyright: Should You Be Protecting Your Graphics Work?

Copyright is a difficult topic to traverse if you’re new to graphic design or creating your own work for commercial use – yet it is arguably something that all designers and creatives should be more than aware of.  Throughout our time as providers of brochure printing and other marketing materials, we have seen thousands of original work and ideas come and go through our printers.  Many of the businesses we partner with are well aware of what they hold copyright over – while others may not necessarily be too clued up on what they need to do, and what is expected of them.

 
Should You Be Copyright  Your Graphics Work?

 

The best part is you don’t generally need to register a trademark or copyright on any original work unless you absolutely have to – the minute you design a logo or product, that is technically yours – unless, of course, you sign documentation to agree that it be passed over to somebody else.  There are certain things that graphic designers simply won’t be able to copyright on their own – fonts, symbols, even names and slogans – all of these will fall under their own copyright jurisdiction elsewhere, and will likely be the possession of the parent company.

 

Therefore, you are always advised to be very careful with any original work you design.  You need to lay out an agreement with any firms you may be working for as to what your work will be used for, and who has ultimate rights over the image or design.  Therefore, it’s important to draw up and sign contracts, and to keep dated copies of when your work was created.  This way, you at least have a form of defence if you face infringement further down the line.  Unfortunately, we do not copyright or legally protect graphic work ourselves – we merely provide the printing – but we do advise that you seek legal advice or support from other firms or designers who have previously had to traverse the topic – whether they’re opting for brochure printing or otherwise.

 

Never worry too much about copyright – simply keep your records, sign documentation and always make sure that there is a paper trail to hand!  We’ve worked with designers and businesses from all over the UK and can assure you that whether you’re looking at menu printing, business cards or otherwise, you are not alone in worrying about the issue.  Seek legal advice or consult fellow designers if in doubt!