Don’t create the Volkswagen Logo or VW will sue you!

Well, this is a new chapter in corporate idiocy as far as I’m concerned… I would LOVE to have a job where I look for kids on the net drawing pics of some famous corporate logo and then threaten to sue them.

Here’s the story.. a couple of weeks ago, a tutorial was submitted by on how to draw the famous Volkswagen logo at P2L. It was a great tutorial and the end result was pretty realistic.

Last week, I get this letter from the Corporate folks at VW:

Dear Sirs,

my name is Stefan Krilla. I work for Volkswagen AG section Corporate Identity/Design Wolfsburg/Germany. I was surfing through the internet, when I found a tutorial link about making the Volkswagen logo on your site.

The Volkswagen logo is a registered Trademark!!! No one is allowed to replicate it! Any offence against it will result in legal effects.

Therefore you have to delete the link “Make Volkswagen Logo – Learn an easy way to make the logo” from you list. The tutorial is submitted by “Rakker Design” in section “Drawing” (05-02-2006)

I also contacted the author and told him to delete this tutorial.

Thank you for your cooperation in this case.
Best regards.

Stefan Krilla

I wrote them back telling them I had no content whatsoever on our server pertaining to this tutorial and that they were barking up the wrong tree, not to mention I thought it was pretty sad they felt the need to go after this kid for drawing their logo, which is simply fan-art as far as I’m concerned. I hate people that rip off other people’s work and try to pass it off as their own, but this is NOT that kind of situation. I’m pretty sure we all know to whom that famous VW logo belongs to.

What’s next? They start contacting people that have VW cars in their personal photos? Maybe sue Auto-trader for all the stolen stock photos people use in their ads taken from the VW website.

Anyhow, I had zero intention of removing the link, but I unfortunately received an email from the owner of the tutorial informing me that the tutorial was taken down due to legal threats from VW and asked me to take it off the P2L listing. Too bad… was looking forward to some good ol’ e-confrontations with the corporate Goliath.

Anyhow, thought that was pretty lame of VW… what are your thoughts? I know copyright and trademarks are a touchy subject, but I think this was overkill. Imagine Microsoft started going after people drawing their logos? They would get annihilated in the media.


21 thoughts on “Don’t create the Volkswagen Logo or VW will sue you!

  1. Personally, that letter doesn’t really sound that professional. It doesn’t really sound like something that a lawyer for a million dollar company would write. A more profesional letter would be written in plural first person, ‘we’, not ‘I’.

    “I was surfing through the internet, when I found a tutorial link about making the Volkswagen logo on your site.” sounds terrible. What, he has nothing better to do than browse the internet at work? What would really hapen is a lower paying employee would find it, and then alert his management. Thus, “It has come to our attention…” would be much more profesional.

    Another thing is lack of capitalization. I don’t know if you received this through the mail or email. It would be much better to send it through snail-mail, though.

    That is some things, I could comment on others too. Just the wording is not very good Exclamation marks do not really belong in there either. Basically, though, some one is playing a joke on you.

  2. Hi Andrew,

    No it’s real (from a VW domain and the IP that the email was sent via is owned by VW) but bear in mind this was from Denmark, so English is not their first language.

    This wasn’t from a lawyer per say, but that would have followed if the tutorial author had refused. Basically they just threaten to see who will get scared easily.


  3. Well he does have a valid point after all it is a registered trademark logo (not many understand what it even means these days) and was only a matter of time before a company jumped on someone, we would all do the same if we saw someone trying to replicate something that was ours fanart or not. but I really don’t see why he’s emailing P2L afterall you just have the link to the tutorial.

  4. i have recreated the VW logo for print work more than once…at the VW dealers request! and i did not even need a tutorial, so pulling the tut will not do any good.

    my thought is that if VW does not want their logo to be recreated then perhaps they need to make sure all the dealers have access to the proper logos for print and web, thereby eliminating the need for re-creation.

  5. I can totally see VWs point that they need to try and protect their copyright but when their logo is being replicated as fan art I think its a bit OTT. I mean, who doesnt know what the VW logo looks like??

  6. Hope they don’t find about these postings! You guys are putting their logo all over this page. You should be careful or VW will sue you too! Doh!! See…now I’ve gone and done it. We are all one circle away from jail time!! =)

  7. Geez, what are they going to do next.. Take people to court forsay “Volkswagen”

    I think corporate giants like that should just leave the little people alone who make tutorials in a catagory that could be clasified as “Fan art”. It is just crazy how they can do that. I do understand it is a copyrighted logo but what are we going to do print it out and stick it on our cars =D

    Well thats my oppinion.


  8. Hmm, well to be totally honist that is really pathetic, one of the lads i know got a letter from a solicitor because he had an image of the Microsoft desktop and someone reported it. How sad! We’re all out to show people how to create items and images and then you get moaned at by these people.

  9. That is seriously the most stupid thing i’ve ever heard, they should have legal action if someone was using there logo as there own or in a website header/logo etc but not a tutorial for creating a replica for use in art. big companys just love to sit back make money and wipe out everyone they can.

  10. Well, maybe in one hand they are trying to limit the amonth of “not official logo design” to hang around everywhere on the net. So somebody in a car dealership decide to use them for advertizing purpose and then “boom” this is not the good logo.
    In the other hand, the guy might work for VW, but maybe he was a little bit too overzealous about it.When you are working for a big company like that, it is easy to flip-flap the Law suit flag. Nobody really want to have a personal lawsuit coming from VW or any big company like that for that matter. That’s what gives them the power to do pretty much what they want… But this is another subject!

    But bottom line, it is a trademark!!!

  11. Well VW are now sueing anyone that sells ceramic vw camper van shaped money boxes and salt/pepper sets!!!! amazing isna’t it ! Even though they do not have a vw logo on them the company is making claiming thousands of euros saying that they own the patent on the shape of the camper van!!!! They are total cunts!

  12. Sweet blog! I found it while browsing on Yahoo News. Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Thank you

  13. Don’t buy a VW, and let them know that this petty practice cause VW to lose client loyalty. I’ll never do biz with any company that is this petty. No VW purchases in my future. Ever! And I’ll pass the word along to everyone I know!

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