Heart break, plagiarism, and advice

This week has been quite full on, a lot of highs and unfortunately a lot of lows.  The lowest point being a shop very close to my heart which I highly respected and admired as a designer has lost me forever as a customer.  Being naïve and a great admirer for this particular company of course when a position came up to apply for a design position I jumped at the opportunity.  After a while I got a call back and I was over the moon, ecstatic that I was in the running for this dream position.  They requested I do some sample work for them, to see if I could ‘adapt’ to their style, so not wanting to botch this once in a lifetime opportunity I did as requested.  They liked what they saw and they asked me to come in for an interview, overjoyed I had gotten this far I went in and they asked all types of questions about the designs and why I had decided to use particular colours and so forth, so I explained in detail what the inspiration was, why the particular shapes were chosen and so forth and so on.  In the end unfortunately I didn’t get the job, I wasn’t angry at them but just thought my designs weren’t what they were looking for.  I went away a little down hearted but in no way defeated as I thought there will always be next time.  This happened 3 months ago.  I usually stopped by this particular companies store because I loved it so much then low and behold my heart sank.  There in their ‘new range’  were some of my designs, I had fallen victim to plagiarism.  I had never experienced it before as a designer, I was some what flattered but extremely angry at the same time.

I second thought the whole ‘design us something’ exercise but didn’t want to blow this opportunity so in ways am partly responsible for my own downfall.  However I wanted to share this experience with anybody who may fall into this same situation.

My advice if you ever come across this situation, especially to those who are just starting out.  Don’t ever send your designs to the company.  If the company requests you to do some ‘samples’ by no means should you reject them.  Offer to bring them by their office, that way you can secure a one on one interview and they can see that you are a serious designer.  If they do say you can come in always have the designs with you, don’t leave the room without the designs as they may photocopy them for reference.  They have your portfolio and they have you resume and they’ve seen your ‘samples’ so that should be more than enough for them.    My mistakes have taught me a good lesson and I hope this advice comes in handy for any artists/designers out there.

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4 Responses to “Heart break, plagiarism, and advice”


  1. 1 Chisa 11/09/2009 at 11:36 pm

    Dude, that totally sucks. Have you called them and asked them to explain themselves? A life lesson is good and all, but I’m sure it’s worth pursuing to some degree. You didn’t sign anything or agree to give up rights to that artwork did you?

    • 2 reclog 12/09/2009 at 12:29 pm

      No I didn’t sign anything, there wasn’t even any disclaimer about submissions or anything, it was all just please send us some ‘samples’ of what you think would be our style sort of thing. I didn’t think twice that they would steal my designs, maybe not steal but knock em off really. It makes me second guess any companies out there and it’s really a kick in the face. But not all is bad, hell at least I know now that my designs are alright enough for a big company to knock em off. That’s prob the only positive thing to come out of this whole experience.

  2. 3 Rosek 11/09/2009 at 11:37 pm

    Oh my, that really is awful *hug*
    Did they make you sign any sort of contract or told you the rights of your sample that you had to agree to? If not then you can probably seek legal action against them.
    Do you still have the original files/originals to prove that you created them?

    This is why I refuse to do spec work of any kind. Uni is filled with such opportunities and teachers don’t see the reason why they are bad.
    Yes it’s good for your folio but they are bad for the industry.

    If you want more info No Spec are a great resource. I did a search on the site and can’t see anything that could help in your situation….you could try contacting them with your case and see if they can offer any advice on your rights. *hug*

    • 4 reclog 12/09/2009 at 12:24 pm

      Hi Roseeyy!! I did think about seeking legal action, but I’m still cut up that I just needed to sort things out. I will eventually ask more about it to my friend who specializes in this sort of thing. My only concerned is they’ve altered the design to an extent where it might have just been pure coincidence, although the idea was there. They didn’t copy my design to a T, but have taken elements of it, such as subject, placement and even colours! The range they released also had elements of the other samples that I had submitted, it’s more like a knock off than a blatant ‘i’ll take you design and use it’. All in all, it’s a loss but a major gain in experience for next time. Once everything has settled down i’m going to send an email to my friend about this and see what advice she can offer me. I will def check out the ‘no spec’ site and definitely think twice about submitting anymore designs. THANKS FOR THE HUG!!! *hug* I feel the love!


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