Vegan Logo: History
Vegan trademarks are used by comanies and NPOs to identify products which have been officially recognised by various vegan standards.
The British Vegan Society’s trademark was first registered in the UK in 1990 for Class 29 (Preserved, dried and cooked fruits and vegetables; salad dressings; preserves; pre-packed meals). In 1999, this was increased to include Class 03 (cleaning products, cosmetics, toiletries), Class 29 (food extracts, preserved, dried and cooked foods, jams, sauces) and Class 33 (alcohol, except beers) as well as registered in the USA Clas 46 (vegetable-based substitute foods).
The British Vegan Society is now in the process of registering the mark in Australia and India. It states that, “as the value of the trademark has grown in terms of the income the Vegan Society receives, it is important that it is protected against improper use”.
The original vegan sunflower design rising from the vegetarian ‘V’ logo (seen second on the right) was donated free of charge by its designer to promote veganism worldwide. Many individuals and organizations around the world have adopted and adapted it according to their needs. This design is free to use.
In the British’s case, this logo was placed in a circle and had the word “Vegan” added in order to create a logo. This is now the registered trademark logo of the British Vegan Society. Over the last few years, the society has gone on to register business companies in North and South America, Central Europe, China and Australasia with the intent to exploit it.
Other groups, countries and companies have registered their own vegan trademarks, see above. Some offer similar licensing arrangements.
Most logos depend on the letter ‘V’ shape. Many, as at the top, share a same common ‘leaf design’ as the Vegetarian Society’s ‘V’ which is confusing and not clear enough. Using a leaf design does not distinguish vegan products from vegetarian products, which might include dairy ingredients or eggs.