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Logo Stamp- How Do I Know If It Is Unique In The Ceramic World


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I have recently set  up my new studio, but new to the world of selling my work.  I have a small etsy shop, and have sold about 20 things....Trying to get more organized and professional with my branding, logo, presentation. 

 

I am not a potter, just tiles.  I am developing a stamp to imprint on the back of my tiles (2-3" whole logo) and would also like to develop a small stamp (1/2- 3/4") for smaller tiles and something that might be visible on the front of some things.       Is there a more official name for these little logo stamps? Ceramic marks?

 

My question is this:  How do I know if my logo is similar to others ceramic artists' stamps.  Is there an archive somewhere, or do I need to go through copy write possess to find out?      My proposed stamp is attached, as well as my logo for my shop "Cattail Tile"  The stamp just takes the 2 T's ,and dots  from the larger logo.  It is not terribly unique or creative symbol, but I like it, and I figure it has to be simple to be recognizable so small.  I tried a site that visually searches images for anything out there on the web, and it said my image was too simple to search. 

 

Ideas?  Should I not worry about it and just do it?  Does this symbol look familiar to anyone (other than it looking like the Pi symbol with 3 square dots) ?

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Guest JBaymore

Steph555,

 

As a new start-up business, you might want to check with your State about what you need to do legally about registering a sole proprietor DBA trade name.  That will tell you if anyone in your state is using that trade name....and holds the rights to it.  While state laws certainly vary a lot....... my guess is that legally as a business you have to register a business with your state, whether using you own name or a DBA trade name.  And if you are in a state that collects sales taxes on sales.... you likely need a state sales tax number.... which typically comes with the DBA registration.

 

A national search is a bit more involved........  but as Chris says... if a "big player" owns it as a trade name and is willing to enforce that fact...... and you start using it for stuff like websites... they will find you and give you a "cease and desist" order.

 

best,

 

......................john

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Is there a more official name for these little logo stamps? Ceramic marks?

 

It is not terribly unique or creative symbol, but I like it, and I figure it has to be simple to be recognizable so small.

I call these "maker's marks" or signature stamps.

 

I personally quite like your logo and signature design. Quite graphic and striking. I wouldn't worry too much about the simplicity; I've found in making maker's mark stamps that often the simplest ones come out the best. I do feel like if you gently rounded the corners of your lettering it would fit with the earthy name and your natural style better. This is totally my opinion and I hope not offensive to you. :)

 

The one I've been using ... and I need to actually make MYSELF a signature stamp sometime .... is just my first and last initials joined together with a little flourish. That will be my maker's mark, then I plan to get a stamp with my shop name, but I still haven't figured out my logo yet. You're way ahead of me there!

 

You may need to publish a "fictitious business name" declaration for your business. I did a quick Google search and no Cattail Tile business popped up on the first page except for a landscaping contractor in Pennsylvania, they don't make tile so you're probably okay.

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Thank you all for your responses, all helpful.   I will not worry about it for now and make the stamps.  I've done many searches for Cattail Tile, and I'm pretty sure no one has it out there.    I bought the domain name, but have not developed a website.   Rounded corners on the logo a good suggestion, thanks Giselle.    I will soon register for my tax ID number in PA, and go through the process of being an official business, and hopefully in the near future make more money at this than I am putting into it.    Having a great time in the mean time. Thanks for your thoughts. 

Steph

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if you plan to make a living at making tile, you might want to visit some potters who are doing this.  since you are in pennsylvania, you might be close enough to other states to drive a few hours for a good education and a look at the way successful tile makers set up their studios.  Motawi is in michigan.  Pewabic is in detroit and has been there for a century, i think.  Angelica Pozo is in ohio,  Frank Giorgini is upstate new york and Joan Gardiner is in northern virginia.  you might want to check Frank's 1994 book and construct his tile making press.  it is designed for the exact size tile he makes in the book so you can adapt the size to what you want to do.

 

there is a tile society with many members.  it is the one Frank mentions making the tiles for and can give you lots more info.

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Pretty sure those marks would fall under trademarks as opposed to copyrights.

 

http://tmsearch.uspto.gov/bin/gate.exe?f=tess&state=4801:w05ql7.1.1

 

19 trademarks that have the word "cattail"

0 trademarks that have the words "cattail tile"

139 trademarks that have cattails  images in their design (didn't look at all 139 of them ... you could check all of them just to be sure nothing looks like your "cattail")

 

So ... "cattail tile" trademark seems to be available.   From what I see, you could trademark "Cattail Tile" if you wanted to.  ($150-$200)

 

You would have one heck of time getting that symbol trademarked.  I would stay away from it.  That symbol could (theoretically) cause you some problems (not likely) as it could be similar to or part of an existing trademark.   Plus I find it nebulous ... not really a differentiated brand identifier.  Whereas, "Cattail Tile" ... customers would more likely remember ... and find you.

 

I like that Cattail Tile logo you have.  Potential customers could find you with that name.   I have had a lot of customers that heard of "Dirt Roads Pottery" and googled it and ended up at the store.

 

Good luck.

Sharon Grimes

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I love that everybody on here is helping Stephanie check it out. I love this community.

 

Steph: I checked out your shop and it looks great. I love your signature cattail tiles. I'm on Etsy too, look me up! Let me know if you need any help with running your Etsy site, it can be really confusing at first. :)

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