Designer of Popular Steve Jobs Tribute Image Responds to Allegations of Idea Theft

At this point, among the millions of tributes to Steve Jobs you’ve likely run across, you’ve undoubtedly seen Jonathan Mak‘s image of the Apple logo with a profile of Jobs in place of the usual bite mark. While it’s clearly become one of the most shared tributes of this online collective mourning, it wound up hitting a bit of a snag over the weekend, namely that someone else had thought it up nearly the exact same layout back in May. That person being UK-based designer Chris Thornley, who works under the name Raid71. He’d posted his image, with Apple’s logo in black and Jobs’ silhouette in the surrounding white, on both his website and on his Flickr account, calling it “New Editorial – Steve Jobs.” It even wound up later appearing in Creative Review. After Mak’s initial, overwhelming success with his version (white Apple logo and black silhouette), word spread over the weekend that he’d blatantly stolen the concept and was unfairly reaping all the benefit from it, finally resulting in a response from the 19 year old student. Mak writes on his blog that he had never seen Thornley’s image before and will not apologize for stealing it, since he’d come up with the idea himself and had even performed some due diligence in searching “Apple, Steve Jobs, logo, silhouette” to see if anyone had come up with it before. He writes, “The visual connection between Steve’s profile and the logo seemed too obvious to not have been picked up on yet. Turns out, I’m right.” Furthermore, he apologizes for not having responded to the complaints sooner, and reminds those who have branded him a thief, that he hasn’t made a penny off of his version of the illustration.