Working Not Working Thinks Maybe TracyLocke Ripped Off Its Logo

By Patrick Coffee 

You guys remember Justin Gignac and Adam Tompkins, former creative directors and co-founders of Working Not Working? They created the online community to help freelancers in the ad industry find work after toiling away at Ogilvy, FCB, Fallon, etc. and then making their way as creatives for hire at various shops around the country.

They’ve got a good thing going. But yesterday Mr. Gignac found himself in an awkward situation, arguing about a bit of intellectual property with Hugh Boyle, CEO of Omnicom shopper marketing agency TracyLocke, on Twitter.

Back in October 2015, TracyLocke launched “The Design Collective,” which is essentially an in-house production group created to “allow for greater flexibility and cost efficiency while also maximizing creativity and innovation.”

The Design Collective also has its own logo which bears more than a passing resemblance to the Working Not Working one: circle, crossed pencils, eye symbol…

As in so many other such advertising debates, Item A does look a whole lot like Item B, whether intentionally or not. But the exchange did not go well; Boyle seemed to take the query as an affront to the integrity of his business.

Since this was Twitter, things quickly went sour and didn’t recover. Observers who jumped in sided with Working Not Working, but Boyle wasn’t having any of it.

Was the resemblance intentional? We have no idea!! But Boyle did not back down. A few hours later, he shared an alternate inspiration for The Design Collective logo as if to argue that Working Not Working was hardly the first to use such an image.

UPDATE: Gignac himself clarifies:

“Since we created our logo in 2011 the ‘things in an X’ logo trend has gone off the rails. We’re not claiming we started it, but the similarities between the two logos not only in elements, but also in execution and typeface, just took us a little by surprise.”

In an ideal world, social media facilitates the productive and almost exclusively positive exchange of ideas and tools. We do not, however, live in an ideal world. Perhaps you’ve all heard of another guy named Donald J…