Are Logos Trademarked or Copyrighted (Everything You Need to Know)

(Last Updated On: July 3, 2022)

There are many mistakes you can make while selling on Redbubble. Some of these mistakes have a low impact on your account, but some mistakes can make your account suspended or even deleted.

One of the main reasons why sellers on Redbubble accounts are suspended is copyright issues with the published designs.

In fact, seller accounts on Redbubble are suspended for copyright violations all the time.

This is usually due to a design they’ve purchased to use in their account that they later found out was copyrighted. If you purchase designs off of Redbubble, always make sure to buy the license in order to make sure that you’re not infringing copyright laws.

You should also be aware of using copyrighted or trademarked elements, words, or phrases in your designs. This can lead you into more trouble; you don’t need it.

And what about logos? Are logos trademarked or copyrighted? Can you use a famous logo in your design?

In this article, I will try to answer these questions.

What is a Copyright?

Every time a new idea is created, it becomes the intellectual property of the creator. Copyright protects the work from being used without permission or payment.

A copyright is a form of protection provided to the authors of original works, including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works.

Copyright protects original works from being reproduced, distributed, or performed without the author’s permission. Copyright also protects against distortion and modification of the work for commercial purposes.

This protection is available to both published and unpublished works.

What is a Trademark?

A trademark can be a word, phrase, symbol, or design that identifies the source of goods and services. A trademark is also known as intellectual property. It can be a name, slogan, logo, or even color scheme.

In other words, a trademark is anything that represents your brand.

A trademark is an intangible asset that has to be registered and it cannot be used until it is registered because it may infringe on someone else’s intellectual property rights.

Trademark rights may prevent others from using confusingly similar marks on their products or services.

Are Logos Trademarked or Copyrighted

Trademark law is designed to protect the integrity of a company’s logo, slogan, or other identifying marks. Copyright law protects creative intellectual designs. These two types of intellectual property protection may overlap in some cases, but they are not the same thing.

Simply put, a trademark protects logos and slogans while a copyright protects the creative intellectual design.

A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, or design that identifies and distinguishes the goods of one company from those of others. A trademark can be word marks such as Coca-Cola or Nike, logo marks like the McDonald’s Golden Arches or Playboy’s Rabbit Head, scent marks like Chanel No. 5 perfume, and Axe body spray.

For example: If you want to use Nike’s famous “lone swoosh” logo, then you are in big trouble. Not only that your account may get suspended, but you can also be sued by the company because you have used their trademarked symbol.

In my opinion, you should stay away from any company logo or any slogan that is associated with a business or the marketplace.

It is not worth the trouble. And always, always check if something is trademarked or copyrighted before you make a design. Use tools like Trademarkia or Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS).


Using logos in your designs and then selling those designs on print-on-demand marketplaces like Redbubble, Spreadshirt, or Merch by Amazon, is prohibited.

Not only that, but you can face lawsuits. And you don’t want that.

So remember… Logos are trademarked and cannot be used in designs to be sold on Redbubble or any other online marketplace. Even slogans associated with any brand cannot be used.

Here Are Some of My Favorite Tools For Print-on-demand

Thank you for reading this article. I hope you found it helpful as you build your own print-on-demand business. Here are some tools I use as a designer that I hope you will also find helpful.

Designs: For getting started, I really like Creative Fabrica. They have millions of cheap graphics that can elevate your t-shirt design. If you are not the most skillful designer, then try Placeit or Vexels. These are platforms, where you can find thousands of pre-made t-shirt designs you can easily edit and publish on any print-on-demand platform. I recommend Placeit for beginners and after you get some sales move to Vexels.

Free Designs: I love Canva. I’m using this platform almost every day. With Canva, you can create stunning t-shirt designs, they already have an entire section, where you can make your artwork from scratch or use some pre-made templates and edit them. Canva comes with two main pricing plans: FREE and PRO. And if you are a beginner, then I recommend the free plan, it should be enough for you.

If you need a fast graphic tool for creating stunning designs, you should try Stencil. This is the web’s favorite online graphic design tool. It is an insanely fast and easy-to-use graphic tool similar to Canva.

Disclosure: Some of the links above may contain affiliate partnerships, meaning, at no additional cost to you, NechEmpire may earn a commission if you click through to make a purchase.

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