Imitation a Form of Flattery? Or Blatant Design Infringement?

Posted by StitchDX on Jun 24, 2012 1:43:21 PM

A few weeks ago one of our colleagues forwarded us a copy of Matchbox Twenty's preorder artwork for their upcoming release North. The artwork was an uncanny resemblance to the artwork we designed for Boyz II Men's release Twenty that celebrated their 20th anniversary.

The artwork from Boyz II Men's album was completed in September of 2011 and has been commercially available for almost a year. It was a very large surprise when we saw the initial North artwork. Thankfully we have found that Matchbox Twenty must have changed their artwork for the new release as the presell on iTunes is displaying art that ties to their website.

Here is a comparison of Boyz II Men's Twenty, designed by Technetium, and Matchbox Twenty's two versions of North. Ironically there is a third version of the artwork that we've found on the internet as well. That one is black and completely different. I've never seen so many artistic renditions for a single album.

Boyz II Men Twenty artwork Matchbox Twenty North artwork

Over the years we've had various designs that have been duplicated, used as inspiration, etc. Heck, most design starts from an inspiration so I'm sure others could say the same thing about us right? But is imitation a form of flattery or a blatant design infringement? I guess we're just happy that someone liked our artwork so much that not only was is printed and produced for Boyz II Men's album but another artist found it inspirational as well.

Tags: Marketing, Orlando Advertising Agency, Brand Voice, Branding & Strategy, Brand Voice, General, Technetium

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