The Theft of smashLAB, Again and Again


While we were away on our little jaunt, the fellas over at Ideas on Ideas alerted us to a troubling new piece they’d just posting: “Hey Google! Where’d You Get That Logo?” Judging from the title, you can probably guess that it’s a story about a possible logo theft perpetrated by the internet behemoth. From there, they get into the other times they’ve been robbed (though, unlike the Google trouble, these latter examples are undeniable). This second part is just downright shocking, as the sites they link to aren’t just source code copies, but they went above and beyond in their idiocy by even keeping the same images as the original. But typical of the smashLAB gang, they keep in good humor about the ordeals and stop to say some interesting things.

We all get inspiration from one place or another; my painting instructor Renee Van Halm used to tell us, “You can’t create in a vacuum.” As a result, I’m always looking. In my mind, designers have to assess and deconstruct as many perspectives, treatments and visual styles as possible, in order to effectively command a pluralistic approach in their work.

So, I might find a great type treatment, and work from it; or, I could uncover a particular photographic approach that lends itself well to a project. I don’t believe many would see this as anything other than good research and development of one’s visual literacy. There’s nothing wrong with being inspired by the works of others, but that doesn’t afford one license to steal it.