Good Question: Do artists need permission to use the Flower City logo?

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Do artists need permission to use the Flower City logo, the official symbol of the City of Rochester, in their work?

The symbol is on trash cans, concrete bollards, city signs, t-shirts, and artwork all over Rochester. If you’ve lived here long, you’ll instantly recognize it. The symbol has five sections that resemble either a flower or a water wheel – paying homage to the city’s history as both a former flour mill city and home of the Lilac Festival.

During the festival season in Rochester, you won’t have to look far to find it. Evan asks: “Do artists need the city’s permission or need to pay royalties to use the flower city logo?”

The City of Rochester says yes. According to the city: “the city logo is trademarked. artists, businesses (whomever) will have to apply for a (commercial or non-commercial usage) trademark agreement with the city.”

You can learn how to apply to use the logo on the city’s website. For non-commercial use, you can apply for a two-year license for $50. With a non-commercial license, the logo cannot be used on social media or on merchandise to promote a business.

For commercial use, it’s $100 for a two-year license. With a commercial license, you can use it online and on printed promotional merchandise. However, the city says “it shall not be used in whole or in part as a design element in your company or organization logo, branding or identity in any way.”

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