Melbourne’s new logo was inspired by another! – Interview with Raja Sandhu


Have you ever heard about case called Dejavu (Déjà vu), This is what happening to Raja Sandhu (friend and logo designer) and other designers, when they  seen the new logo of Melbourne city .

Raja Sandhu was designed a logo for Merchant Logix before 5 years ago. and it is look like the new logo of Melbourne city. Maybe it was inspired by logo design of Merchant Logix.!!

About the new logo of Melbourne:


The city of Melbourne, Australia revealed their new brand identity yesterday. The logo was developed by Landor’s Aussie branch. Preliminary research for the logo came in at about $74,000 and the design itself cost $120,000. Those who have re-branded destinations know they should have paid twice that given the politics of the work

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle announces the new identity:

“The ‘M’ design will become an icon for Melbourne, synonymous with the modern, vibrant, cool city Melbourne is today and will continue to be in the future.

“The new identity will deliver more impact, be stronger, more flexible and reduce confusion as to who is delivering services. It will build greater long term identification and align with best practice around the world.”

“The new brand is strong and leading edge and will be instantly recognised as belonging to the City of Melbourne.”

Press Release (source)

Melbourne’s website quotes CEO Dr Kathy Alexander in saying the City will benefit from the logo in the following ways:

›  Consolidation of multiple logos into a single, strong, cutting-edge design.

›  Better identification of services City of Melbourne is delivering.

›  Greater brand impact and flexibility.

›  More cost and time-effective in-house design and brand management.


Video about the new identity :

Interview with Raja Sandhu :

I am asking  Raja Sandhu some questions about this case :

Most of people and designer say this logo is great, flexible and very engaging what you think about this logo?

Firstly, thank you for the opportunity to speak about this.
I am not familiar with the essence and culture of the city, so it would be difficult for me to say if it is great in that regard. Speaking in terms of design, I think the logo is nice but I could not say it’s great. Being multifaceted, I can see how elements of the logo can be leveraged across multiple mediums, thus making it flexible for brand extensions. The logo does engage the viewer by firstly being new, and secondly it is made up of different elements from which people will search for reason and meaning. Whether that is detrimental or not, is undetermined by myself.

why you think the new logo of Melbourne was inspired by you? Maybe just Similarity design?

I don’t know if the logo was inspired by logo design but at first glance it certainly reminded me of something I had created 5 years ago that was published in LogoLounge 3, a design inspiration book. The new Melbourne city/counsel logo was pointed out to me by others in the design community who had an aggressive opinion on the side of “heavily inspired” . I received over 500 emails in a couple of days regarding the issue, which is what encouraged me to garner the opinions of the design community and post on forums, facebook, etc. That lead to interviews with reporters of national newspapers in Australia. The issue, if any, is making it’s way around the blogosphere (I hate using that word haha). As you post in your question, it can be merely a similarity. I have not spoken to the firm or the city, so I have no idea myself. I have not taken any sort of implicit actions or made an accusatory comments. I have not intention to ‘slander’ or ‘defame’ anyone. In the end, if this was inspired by my work, I am extremely flattered that Landor, one of the best multinational design firms in the world could see something in me. (photo explain that)

In designers community there are a lot of cases like this “Similarity between the ideas and inspiration”, In your opinion what is the reasons? Did you think the logo Galleries is reason?

There will all ways be similarities, that is in evetable, there is only so much one can do with 2d space and geometric shapes. Sometimes they are too close for comfort, sometimes they are blatant rip-offs (I had a case of this which was dealt with in court and was solved by the other company removing their new logo.) It really depends on what level of businesses you are talking about though. From my personal experience, it’s the smaller companies that do this type of thing or the ‘fly by night’ internet based businesses. It’s not as common at the larger scale (fortune 500 companies for example). Although online galleries bring more logos to the surface and thus make more logos visible, I can see a possible connection to having more to be ‘inspired’ by.

what about the cost, did you think it deserves all this?

Again, not knowing the entire scope of the project requirements and what is to be delivered, I can not comment on the price tag. Being in the industry for 6 years, I know this figure, in relation to other re-brands is nothing alarming albeit that the public view will be different as most are not familiar with the entire process which encompasses most of the work.

Why the biggest logo design projects like that, it is always by companies not by freelancer designer?

I think that it comes down to credibility and liability. With the track records of prestigious companies (such as Landor) who have have Coca-Cola and FedEx in their portfolios, those with appropriate budgets will put their faith in them. Where as a freelancer may produce work just as good or even better, the apparent  backing is not there. If a freelancer ‘dissapears’ who is left? If a freelancer gets ill, how does the project proceed. If legal action is to be taken against a freelancer, can he or she really be sued for much?.. I hope you are getting the point here.

Now, what is your next step if Melbourne accept this logo?

Melbourne has already accepted the logo. For me, I have not planned a next step although the encouragement has been extremely in favour of doing so I will wait things out and perhaps seek advice.

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    49 Responses to “Melbourne’s new logo was inspired by another! – Interview with Raja Sandhu”

    1. Troy Tabor says:

      Raja was very professional and accurate in this interview on all points. It’s not always the case that someone ripped off your work just because it looks similar. As Raja stated, you can only do so much with 2D space. It would be interesting to see the requirements of the logo design though.

      Good interview, good questions, and very nice work by Landor and Raja!


    2. Tom Trakov says:

      If I doodle a multi-faceted letter M, am I copying Raja Sandhu’s design? That’s pretty much what both designs are! I think we’re getting our tails twisted for no reason here.

    3. Chad says:

      Tom, I would say that this is a perfect opportunity for Raja to get some exposure, to drag a net to grab some new clients — for what it’s worth, I don’t think his tail is twisted at all.

    4. Tom Trakov says:

      Well, that sounds as if he’s creating a stink solely to gain new clients because the logos happen to be similar in concept. Somewhat underhanded, I think, but whatever.

    5. nomi says:

      I am a huge fan of Raja! Following him for years. He does not need any controversies to grab attention and gain more popularity this way. He is already famous. He is featured many times on Logo Lounge. He does not need cheap means to get exposure. His hard work and talent reflects his gallery. He is already a super star in design biz.

      Melbourne logo is not an inspiration. Its just a crime. As simple as that.

    6. nomi says:

      I am amazed how people are making assumptions about this post without even knowing who they are talking about. Take a look at this my friends and then make any judgments.


    7. Tom Trakov says:

      I will say that I find this “journalistic” (I use that word VERY loosely) venture to be highly suspect. The interviewer and Sandhu are friends (as mentioned in the first few sentences) and casts a clear bias on this piece.

      Aside from Logos Guide, which other journalists think that Melbourne’s logo is a copy of Sandhu’s? Where are all these interviews that Sandhu did with national Australian papers? If that were true, at least some of the articles would show up in a google search, wouldn’t they?

      I maintain that this is a ploy by Sandhu to gain exposure, and I think that’s underhanded. The logos are based on a common idea, but that’s about all they have in common with each other.

    8. nomi says:

      Why you people just want to look at the one side of the picture? Now I am getting a feeling that you are somehow related to the agency responsible for this crime and you want to cover it by calling this post a ploy.

    9. Tom Trakov says:

      “Why you people just want to look at the one side of the picture?” Uhh, probably because it’s the side that’s correct. LOL. Moreover, I think critically, and something about this smells fishy to me.

      I’m as related to the designers of the logo, as you are Raja Sandhu defending your own claim by proxy.

      I’m hoping Raja Sandhu will be able to weigh in, as I’m really curious to see some of these articles from Australian newspapers that he mentions he’s in. The logo was unveiled on July 22, so his interviews should be up by now, because I imagine this has become old news now that it’s several days later.

    10. Chad says:

      It doesnt matter, Joe P. Even if he doesnt reply, his work is still top notch, and that stands up no matter what.

      Tom’s opinion about it being underhanded, is retarded. But that’s my opinion, I’m entitled to it just as much as he is entitled to his own.

      and nomi is just as foolish with her claims of ‘Melbourne logo is not an inspiration. Its just a crime. As simple as that.’

      A crime, nomi? Really? Do you normally smoke crack on a daily basis?

    11. I fail to see anything to convince me of any relationship between the two. They’re both a letter M with a three-dimensional aspect – that’s it. Maybe Raja is the plaguerist because his logo looks like the ships from Tron, hmm?

    12. nomi says:

      Look at yourself what are you doing. First you created a story that this interview was just a trick to gain more popularity. Now you calling me Raja’s proxy. 😉

      Why you had to come to this level to defend the thieves. Why this is all hurting you so much. Now this makes my doubt bigger that you might be their agent. What is your split in $240,000. 😛

    13. Just because you know you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean everybody *isn’t* out to get you 😛

    14. Raja Sandhu says:

      Hi All –

      Thanks for your thoughts everyone.

      Troy, you think I’m creating a stink? No one is asking you to smell it. When did I ever say that the logo was copied? If I was going to be underhanded as you put it, this would not be the way tommy. As far as the ‘friends’ comment goes, this person is just someone on my facebook contacts whom I don’t know or ever met, just simply accepted a friend request and agreed to an interview (maybe they can clear that up for everyone). Your curiosity about the interviews, well, I’ll keep you curious. I never mentioned anything being published yet, so ease up on your googling, have a tea instead. As to your stance on this being a ploy, the only thing I see to be a ploy is comment 10 (might be removed after this posting) which was made by someone using the name of a colleague of mine, who did not even post that. So, there is something fishy going on here. It’s pretty clear to me which side it’s coming from LOL. A message has been sent to the site owner.

    15. Tom Trakov says:

      Chad: Plagiarism is a serious accusation. And to frivolously accuse someone of plagiarism to gain exposure/clients/whatever is, in my opinion, very underhanded. (But yes, you are entitled to any opinion under the sun.)

      nomi: Please carefully read what I wrote. That’s really all I can say to you.

    16. Tom Trakov says:

      Raja Sandhu: All right. When the articles from the national newspapers are in fact published, do post the link/s here. I’m interested in reading the jouralist’s/s’ take/s.

    17. nomi says:

      @Tom I know where you coming from. I guess you need to read the interview again. If they had planned something as you claim. They won’t disclose they are related in order to make the plot more convincing (according to your conspiracy theory) I feel sorry for you. You keep objecting someone without even getting their point.

    18. Tom Trakov says:

      Also, I find it hard to believe that you’re not accusing anyone of copying your design. Terms like “heavily inspired” and even the title of this article, “Melbourne’s new logo was inspired by another” tells me another story entirely.

      Although, reading your responses again, it seems you are willing to talk the talk, but are unwilling to walk the walk. You seem to skirt very close to stating that they copied your design, but do not come out and say that they did. Why is that? If I believed that my work was heavily borrowed from, I would feel intellectually violated, and I would be shouting it from the rooftops. …just something that makes you go hmmm.

    19. Raja Sandhu says:

      Tom, believe it, I am not accusing anyone of copying, also, I didn’t title this article. I am willing to talk, sure, as I did. What’s the walk? Tell me. I have no problems walking the walk if there is one. Why would I come out and say it if I don’t know anything about it.

      If I felt intellectually (ironic, you use that word) violated, I wouldn’t be shouting from rooftops, perhaps you are somewhat delusional. Keep on humming.

    20. Tom Trakov says:

      Er, shouting from the rooftop is an adage; it’s not meant to be taken literally. Or did you not know that?

    21. Raja Sandhu says:

      You have been quite literal with your silly literal interpretations of words, so I thought I’d play along with you tommy.

    22. Raja Sandhu says:

      for all your talking, lets see your walking – post who you are and show your online presence bigman.

    23. Tom Trakov says:

      Yes, unless I’m reading something written in metaphors and similes, I tend to interpret the meaning of words based literally on what is being said. LOL.

      Regarding your second point: I have no clue what you’re talking about.

    24. Fabian says:

      Jeez…boys your zippers are down. Damn Raja, what a big one you have…Ok jokes aside Raja does not need to play games, he’s portfolio is outstanding. At first glance it does look like the boys of Landor did’nt do their research all that well.

    25. Jacob Cass says:

      It’s great to hear the the community looks out for each other – 500 emails is quite a number. I see you will have your hands full over the next coming weeks Raja. Whatever way it turns out, just keep up the good work.

    26. Chad says:

      “And to frivolously accuse someone of plagiarism to gain exposure/clients/whatever is, in my opinion, very underhanded.”

      I havent seen said “frivolous accusations of plagiarism” merely implied inspiration which is a great spin and leaves decision making up to the reader.

      Underhanded? I think it’s a smart move made by a shrewd businessman.

      The word underhanded has negative connotations that generally indicate someone is getting shafted. I just can’t figure out who the victim is.

      Raja: don’t get all internet tough guy up in here, Tom is probably trolling.

    27. Vinayak says:

      I think the Melbourne logo is highly inspired.

      @Tom: Accept it. Take a look at the logos. Raja’s was designed 5 years earlier.

      @Raja: Accept that if you do good work, it WILL be copied.

    28. LogosGuide says:

      Hi All,
      First of all, thanks for all your comments on this post. In fact, I receive some nice indictment about this post.. and i need to explain some point :
      1- This post is not ploy between Raja and me.
      2- I didn’t write this post to get some more traffic in search engine via Raja name..!! My blog hasn’t this ideas..!!
      3- I don’t defend or bias about Raja Sandhu’s design, but i defend about idea and Principle.
      4- Most of posts and articles i have reading about this subjects are shows the new logo of Melbourne city, but doesn’t show the other side, and ask themselves if really this logo was inspired by another?!
      5- I try to confirm on a famous company / designer Not necessarily has a great logo design in every time “for many reasons”..!!

    29. LogosGuide says:

      @Troy : I agree with you in some points..thanks for your nice comment
      @Tom Trakov : You have a great imagine to make nice stories about the people :) good job !!
      @Chad :thanks for your hard discussion :)
      @nomi : judgments about what ?
      @James Edwards : good opinion
      @Raja : Thanks for discussing my visitors :)
      @Fabian @Jacob Cass @Vinayak thanks for your comments guys

    30. gena says:

      Great article,
      Realy, this is the best article i have reading about Melbourne

    31. Dave W. says:

      I think any similarity can probably be chalked upto coincidence. The multifaceted nature of the Melbourne logo is likely a tribute to the city’s architecture, which features very prism like buildings.

      What I would like to know is, if your intent wasn’t to suggest that Melbourne had copied your design, what EXACTLY was your intent with this interview and your twitter posting?

    32. Dave W. says:

      Also, really Raja, what’s with the tough guy routine? You must have known that while many people would agree with you, many people would disagree with you. Not sure why you can’t respond to dissenters without it sounding like someone’s hit a nerve of yours. It really makes you look a whole lot less bright than I’m sure you are.

    33. Raja Sandhu says:

      Thanks again, thought this was buried.

      Hi Dave W, not sure what you see as tough or routine but I am sorry if you think that. As far as agreeing and disagreeing with me, not quite following you, what statement are you talking about?… or are you mistaking me for the site owner and/or writer?

      And no, I am far from bright :)

      I appreciate your time, nonetheless.

      – Raja

    34. LogosGuide says:

      Hi Dave W,
      The answer of your question in comment number 28
      thanks for your comment ..!!

    35. A bypasser says:

      To the writer of this blog: I came across your writing when searching for info on the Melbourne Logo Project. Now that I have read it, I can’t forget that famous Einstein’s quote on there being only 2 indefinite things…

      As to your question: “Why the biggest logo design projects like that, it is always by companies not by freelancer designer?” there is only one answer, and it’s not Raja’s. Think into what needs to be done with a logo to put it to life. How many applications must be made, before a logo is properly developed and presented? Do you (honestly) believe a freelance designer can take on such a project? Have you any experience with such large projects at all?

      To Raja Sandhu: being a graphic designer myself, I know how irritating it is when you find something you believe to be similar to your work, but I do not believe you should be concerned about the Melbourne logo. I’m sure people who designed Firefox logo wouldn’t find any similarities in your FireFish, Xerox in your ETFI, Sony Vaio in VAVA and so on. 😉

      Best of wishes from Europe (where the Queen lives)

    36. Raja Sandhu says:

      To the by passer, thanks. What is the one answer? I agree with you on those companies not finding similarities in the logos I have created… not sure if you are suggesting something.

      Maybe this is similar? http://www.misipile.com/portfolio/3commerce.png

    37. LogosGuide says:

      Hi bypasser,
      I want to ask you some questions ?
      Are you logo designer?
      Have you a long experience in logo design ?
      Yes bypasser, I believe a freelance designers can take on such a project and designing better than companies ” NOT ALL”
      thanks for you comment..
      keep in touch
      Otba Mushaweh

    38. Johny says:

      firstly i dont think those two logos are similar at all.. I think Raja Sandhu is trying to benefit from this whole situation. Besides, just in case you guys havent seen it.. check this out

    39. Tom Trakov says:

      Hey Raja… So where are all these interviews that you apparently did with national Australian papers? Haven’t seen a single one yet….though I doubt we ever will 😉 I mean, you’d think that a month and a have later, *something* would have shown up? LOL

    40. Susi says:

      Yes i agree with Tom here….why haven’t Raja shared the “interviews”…???

    41. Jason Black says:

      As much as I hate to rehash this… I’m curious… Do ALL articles and interviews get published?
      I think the point Raja was trying to make in the interview was that inspiration sometimes gets to the best of us. There have been a few times that I’ve had to pull a concept from a client because I realized that it looked too similar to another design.

    42. RedFox says:

      I was looking at Raja’s work 5 minutes ago, and the man has skills in adapting simple ideas in logo, and that looks brilliant to me. Sure VAVA looks like VAIO, but it isnt vaio and its gfor totally different use, btw – the playstation 3 logo doesnt look like spiderman logo? do’h!!! its the same friggin’ font! XD

      @Tarkov guy – go to the bathroom and get off, you’ll feel better, maybe then you’ll quit bitching around the problem that didn’t exist at all!

    43. RedFox says:

      and yeah to be amusingly hillarious both are number 3 – playstation and spiderman!

    44. Wow, I sure would like to know the meaning behind the symbols. I suspect they carry a message. How creative.

    45. Raja Sandhu says:

      Jason Black, to answer your question, no, not every single interview makes the paper or radio. And in this case, nothing was published. Just telephone interviews.

    46. chanpion says:

      With all the new tabs I opened, I don’t exactly know how I came to this thread. But anyway, an interesting read. Including the um…comments.

      Raja Sandhu conspiring an online interview for what? To garnish more clients and/or exposure?

      (wait…suppresses a deep urge to guffaw…wait, face getting red from further suppression…pppfffwawwwwhhhawwwhhaawwwwhahahhahah…pause…hawwhawhawwhahaha…seriouly somebody stop me…tears developing….more guffawing…)

      Mr Tom Trakov and Co, if only half of us could design as well as Mr Sandhu, companies like Landor would be constantly wiping their brows.

    47. shaikh gulam sadik says:

      Raja was very professional. It’s not always the case that someone ripped off your work just because it looks similar.
      It would be interesting to see the requirements of the logo design though.

    48. same ol same says:

      Another copy? by ?

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