Ah, Kanye West (or Ye now?). The king of controversy and press attention strikes again having supposedly ripped off an independent black-owned business. West's new merchandise sports a religious-themed graphic that is suspiciously similar to a brand logo that already exists.
You may have missed the release of West's album, Donda, that has been building anticipation over the past few months with a stream of concerts and campaigning. The rap star played the Mercedes Benz stadium earlier this month where he introduced fans to his latest sound and concert-goers had the opportunity to buy his merchandise. However, the latest shirts looked dubiously similar to Infinity G8ds' design. Infinity G8ds are a clothing brand established in 2016, that pride themselves on their positive values of unity, faith, love and a positive mindset. Maybe Kanye's design team should have checked out our tips on how to develop a killer logo strategy.
While the design is not exactly the same, the only difference between the intertwining star is how West has elongated it, and the only difference between the centre is that West's logo doesn't feature the infinity symbol. At first glance though, these look pretty much identical.
Coincidence? We think not. As it turns out that West had direct contact with the brand before he released his merch. In a video on the Infinity G8ds Instagram (opens in new tab), West and Infinity G8ds' creative director, Randy Dawkins had a conversation on the phone, where Kanye complimented the designs saying "‘Bro, I really love your design. It’s really dope. When can I meet you to talk about your process?" Not only was their back and forth between West and the designers but Infinity G8ds even sent the rapper examples of their work (opens in new tab) for him to look at and then drove to Atlanta to meet him in person, proving that the star was very much aware of the brand's design when he made his.
This isn't West's first rendezvous with copyright infringement claims. It was only earlier this year that Walmart claimed that the rapper's patent for a simple sun design was ripping off their logo. It seems as though these mega-stars are making a habit of using designs that aren't theirs with Justin Bieber also coming under fire for supposedly copying the Justice album art.
We hope that Infinity G8ds get the credit they deserve in the near future and artists will learn to stop copying small brands. But in the meantime, they should take some notes from our list of the golden rules of crafting logos.