Battling Visual Plagiarism

Illustration by Adam Quinones

As a graphic design educator or practitioner, battling against visual plagiarism can be frustrating and daunting.

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Branding the Olympics—“worst practices” in design

While the Olympic games themselves are steeped in excellence and “best practices” in athletics—the design of the 2020 Olympic logo has spiraled into an example “worst practices” in graphic design.

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Dog eat dog world?

Robynne Raye and her partner at Modern Dog, Michael Strassburger, have been involved in a copyright infringement lawsuit with Disney, Target, and the Jaya Apparel group for the past several years. Modern Dog filed a lawsuit against the companies when the artwork from the end papers of their 2008 Compendium showed up on T-shirts being sold by Target.

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Does John Williams have no empathy?

Image from RockPaperInk blog post "Love Thy Logo"

The recent Logo Garden scandal has many graphic designers up in arms. From the Action Alert sent by AIGA to warn graphic designers about possible theft and plagiarism of their logos, to the blog post “Love Thy Logo” on RockPaperInk by Bill Gardner, it is clear many are appalled.

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Is everything a remix?

Beginning graphic design students often wrestle with the idea of originality. They argue that “nothing is original, it’s all been done before.” They will resist doing research because they claim that they don’t want to “steal” someone else’s idea. The concept of research and re-purposing ideas are not always easy ones for them to wrap their heads around.

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Design plagiarism or regurgitated clip art?

T-shirt graphics created for the newly formed political party “No Labels” are the cause for a heated debate about design plagiarism. The artwork created by Fly Communications looks very close to artwork produced by Thomas Porostocky in 2004 (shown at left on totebag).

Creative director Dave Warren of Fly Communications insists he came up with the concept on his own using royalty free clip art. Porostocky said he’s stunned by the blatant plagiarism.

What do you think? Is it just a case of regurgitated clip art or is it design plagiarism?

Source: The Daily Heller, 12/14/10

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