Lithuainia to London: Can we have your logo?

3

It might as well have been Borat, the ill-mannered, socially inept Khazakhstanian reporter, who wrote the letter addressed to the London Ontario’s city hall. Instead it was a representative from Lithuania’s government. The matter at hand? Respectfully requesting whether the Eastern Canadian city would mind at all if the Baltic Nation “borrowed” their logo.

The London Logo

What began in March as a request for proposal from Lithuania’s tourism department looking for a new logo, almost ended in an international incident when the winning bid, from a company called DDB Vilnius, who produced a concept called “Paprasta zalia” or Simple Green, was chosen. The logo in question was a tree that looked similar enough to London’s logo, that it solicited a letter from the Lithuanian representative requesting permission to adopt it as their own.

The mayor’s office responded, stating that Lithuania’s use of the logo would be considered copyright infringement and in true Canadian style apologized for this unfortunate situation. Legally though, apart from registering the logo around the world, there is not much London can do if Lithuania chooses to adopt London’s tree to represent the country’s tourism industry.

Abram Games Posters

Meanwhile, London has been accused of not having the right to reject Lithuania’s request to use the logo, as they may not even be the original owners. The originator of the tree concept? The Jewish National Fund and the man who created it for them named Abram Games, a celebrated British illustrator and graphic designer who’s work is essentially a record of the era’s social history. The only difference between Games’ logo and London’s logo is the Star of David in the middle of it.

London Mayor Anne Marie DeCicco-Best understands Lithuania’s attraction to London’s logo. “It’s worked well for us,” she says. Perhaps it should, it was designed by one of the most respected graphic designers of the 20th century.

  • http://www.abramgames.com Naomi Games

    We have read this with anger and interest. We are Abram’s children and heirs to his Estate and copyrights. We run the Abram Games archive so that we may protect the integrity of Abram’s work. We are fed up with numerous organizations plagiarizing our father’s designs. This is now the 3rd organization (other than the original) using this emblem which is the copright of the Estate of Abram Games. All these usages are in breech of copyright and no permission has ever been granted for another use other than for the Israel Independence Forest emblem, designed in 1955.

    Naomi & Daniel Games

    Estate of Abram Games
    http://www.abramgames.com

  • http://www.elbowroomdesign.com/musings Neil

    Hi there Naomi and Daniel,

    Thanks for the comment. Can you include a link here to the original logo for comparison sake?

    Neil

  • http://www.abramgames.com Naomi Games

    Thanks, Neil, please contact http://www.abramgames.com for further information.

    Very best,

    Naomi