Design Identity Theft (*Update*)


A couple of years ago a freelance footwear designer on the Core77 design forums suggested to an aspiring designer that they download some pirated software. I was tempted at that time to copy this designer’s Core portfolio, repost it under a new name and then alert everyone that what goes ’round most certainly will come round. Especially for designers who are, just like software developers and anyone else creating something of value, vulnerable to intellectual property theft.

I didn’t do it, though it still seemed like a good idea… still good because I’ve not seen anyone directly steal another designer’s portfolio piece. Until now, that is. I just caught a post on the Core77 forum (Link) by South Korean designer Changduk Kim (Link to Core profile) who claims that an entry into a Core77 design competition (Link) was his work; apparently stolen by a Columbian designer named Margarita Valdes (Link to Core profile). I’m not sure that’s the same Margarita Valdes or even if she did any ripping off, but I expect the folks at Core might have some means to straighten this out. If they do, I’ll update this entry. Whether it’s resolved or not, I suspect at least some designers are going to be considering how they intend to deal with bad karma.

{Update: As I thought it might be, this has turned out to be nothing more than a clerical error. But I wonder if the possibility that it might have been for real has opened a few designer eyes. I know that when I see the portfolios of some firms (especially those overseas), I sometimes wonder if I’m seeing their work or the work of some uncredited individual who was just an intern for a couple of months… and the piece itself was just the student project they submitted to get that position. It happens.}

{Image Copyright © Changduk Kim}