iStockphoto Will Soon Start Selling Stock Logos, Too

Getty Images’ iStockphoto is moving into new territory. In a statement sent out last night and relayed on the official forum, the company announced that it will soon start facilitating stock logo sales through its online marketplace. The announcement got the designer community to speculate whether this is a good thing or not, but the jury is still out on that.

Basically, iStock wants to make it possible for clients to buy custom logos for their companies or organizations on its online marketplace the same way it facilitates purchases of stock photography, audio, video and illustrations. The company is looking to tap into its vast community of affiliated designers to create an offering that could match the demand, encouraging them to use iStock as an outlet for the ‘hundreds of different logos’ they supposedly created over the course of their careers but remained unused.

Here’s how they pitch it:

If you create one of the first 10,000 approved logo designs by January 1, 2010, we’ll pay you $5 per logo and another $5 if we reach 10,000 approved logos by that date. So fire up Illustrator to create some amazing logos or dust off all those much-loved logos that never made it past the third round with a client.

iStock is still putting the finishing touches on the imminent addition to its services, but shared some details about what to expect in the statement:

— iStock logos can only be sold once, may not be in use or have been previously sold, and cannot feature existing elements (including content from the designer’s own iStock portfolio).

— iStockphoto requires logos to be exclusive to its website. Logos will remain for sale for a minimum of six months after it has been added to the marketplace.

— The price for each logo will range from 100 to 750 iStock credits (the company’s own virtual currency). When designers upload a file, they need to set a recommended price, after which iStock’s ‘inspectors’ will make the final pricing decision based on that recommendation.

— iStock will pay a base royalty rate of 50% per logo design for the first 6 months.

— Designers need to make sure they either own or licensed the font used in logos.

Judging from the chatter about the upcoming iStock service on Twitter, blogs and comments on the forum thread, designers appear to be undecided about whether this is the best thing since sliced bread or the death knell to the entire graphic design industry.

In my opinion, this is a logical step for iStock to take, and one that will rather complement than destroy the industry. Any designers reading TechCrunch who want to share their own thoughts on iStock’s plans in comments?