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I'm working on an user interface to help users select a car.

To help the user narrow down the list, cars are segmented into Japanese and Foreign. The user can then choose a company/make to see specific cars manufactured by his/her selected company.

Example User Interface below:

enter image description here

So, here's my question:

Will having a checkmark icon on top of a corporate logo get me (or my client) in trouble? Does anybody know of any general rule/guideline for user interface designs that involve corporate logos?

Although the checkmark will be displayed on top of the logo for a split second, my teammate raised a legitimate concern that it may be seen as a rule breaker by listed corporations.

Please let me know your thoughts.

  • Are "Toyota" and "Nissan" disabled in your screenshot? – Uwe Keim Nov 5 '15 at 8:28
  • Yes, you're right. Honda is currently selected, so Toyota and Nissan are disabled. Deselecting Honda will enable all options (companies) again. – stringtheory Nov 5 '15 at 8:31
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    Using their logo in the first place is breaking 'the rules' will you get sued for this type of use? Highly unlikely. – DA01 Nov 5 '15 at 8:35
  • That's more of a Legal question than a UX one. And from a UX perspective I'd be more concerned with the contrast between white and yellow/orange text. – JonW Nov 5 '15 at 9:50
  • Thanks guys. Just to clarify, the client has rights to use the corporate logos. And the design here is deliberately changed and cropped for this public discussion. In addition I'm aware that this is also a legal matter, I'm casting out a net just in case someone has seen or done a similar solution before. Perhaps I should edit my question to avoid some of the confusion I'm causing. That being said, I appreciate all the feedback so far. – stringtheory Nov 5 '15 at 9:55
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From what I know, if you (or your client) is a partner of "Honda" lets say then Honda may enforce you to use their brand standards which would require a different design solution (as I am sure this design goes against their brand standards).

If you (or your client) are not associated with those brands in any way, then you may be too small of a fish for brands to care about having you enforce their logo guidelines.

Now, the best practice IS to use brand guidelines, but there is nothing that I am aware of that make you legally liable for not following those guidelines.

What I did see happen once, was a brand told their partner to fix a similar issue or they would no longer honor the partnership with that company.

  • Thanks for the comment, Igorek. I will continue this discussion with my client. – stringtheory Nov 6 '15 at 2:37

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