Graphic Design Podcast :: The Deeply Graphic DesignCast

Plagiarism in Design

Plagiarism in Design

As designers, just about every single project begins with inspiration. But where does inspiration end and plagiarism begin? In this episode, the gang discusses the thorny issue of plagiarism in design.

We offer some tips to make sure you aren’t accidentally ripping off someone else’s design, as well as what you can do about it if you think it’s happened to you.

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(3) responses


March 28, 2018

When hearing how the verbiage on Wes’ site was 100% copied, it reminded me of the time in 2012 my website that I had worked so hard to design and code on my own (Wes even featured in once in his blog as like a site of the day or something) was 100% stolen. I was suddenly getting a lot of hits on my site by people searching for “Vestidos” in South America. It took A LOT of digging, but I finally discovered a designer outside of the US had taken my entire site and just swapped out the pictures and words for a woman selling dresses out of South America. I emailed the “designer” several times with no responses. I finally emailed the site owner and told her what happened and asked that she at least remove my unique google analytics link out of the head of the site so I stop getting incorrect hits on my analytics reports. The next day it stopped. I was told by friends there was nothing I could do as South America doesn’t honor the same types of copyrighted work that the US does. Anyone else experience anything like this before?


Hunter Walker

April 2, 2018

Ironically, I JUST worked on this subject in one of my classes for graphic design. We read about how work that isn’t seen by others and is privately owned by the artist is protected by Trade Secret rights and can be defended in court if the work is stolen. Also, as long as an artist can prove that they never had any fore knowledge of the other artist’s work that has been copied, the original work is not protected by copyright law. I could be wrong about this but it’s what I got from the lesson.



May 10, 2018

@Anna…. that’s too bad. Never heard of this. Wish I had an answer for you!

@ Hunter… that’s crazy… how can you prove that they never had any knowledge of the work? That would be almost impossible.


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