Posted on

September 6, 2023

Graphic Design

Design Ethics: Copying Work

I, by all means, am not a designer. I have trouble trying to think of something that is original while also being well made. In fact, I almost didn't pass art in middle school. So seeing designers and people somehow make unique and original designs blows my mind. I don’t think designers are supposed to reinvent stuff every time they do a design, but just copying and pasting other people's work is not okay in my opinion and really seems like it goes against the design process.


Why Copy?


You may be asking yourself, Why copy someone's designs or work in the first place? At first, I understood it. As someone who isn’t naturally gifted with design, I'm jealous of people who are able to come up with unique designs on their own. I didn’t realize how bad consumer culture can be for designers. Consumer culture places massive pressure on designers to constantly come up with exciting ideas. A great example of this is in the fashion industry. Look at all the different types of outfits designers need to think of for every season. Trends are constantly changing, and designers are always pressured to keep up with those trends while also starting new ones.


It is also super easy to steal someone's design. It happens every day to artists. Because the world is in the technological era, everything is seen online one way or another. It is visible to all internet users. There truly isn’t much you can do about it unless you want to turn down 99% of the graphic design jobs that are out there.


There are laws that can help prevent designs from being copied and stolen. Graphic design falls under intellectual property laws. These state that an idea that is put into a design is the sole right of the person who puts their thoughts into a graphic design, unless the rights are purchased by a third party. So basically, if you change one little small detail in the design, it is no longer a copy, and the law can’t do anything about it.

Ethics Issue


Stealing someone's design and work is clearly unethical. There is normally a line between what you can do and what you cannot do, but that line is not clear to the public. This is mainly because most designers get inspiration from other designers. The unethical practice will be constant because that line is not clear, and most people don't address it. Most people who copy other people's work don't even feel like they have done anything wrong. The ethics of other people are not always going to match your own. Who is really to say that I'm wrong and they are right, or vice versa? The ethics of stealing an idea are not even up for discussion. This is because if you made a design and called it your own, you would really be the only person who says it was copied.

I will never think it's okay to copy and steal another person's work. I get that it can be hard to find original work, and I respect the people who can create new and original pieces of art for the world to use. Elite Tinting and Graphics has some amazing designers who work hard and do amazing graphic work. You can be confident that you’re getting the best possible design services for your project. Contact Elite Tinting and Graphics today to get started on your designs and projects.