Design Thoughts

Steal design ideas. But… make ’em your own

Nothing you see is 100% original, so take someone else’s ideas, improve it, and make it your own.

Marc Andrew

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Nothing is truly original.

Every design you come across is influenced by something that came before it.

There’s only so many building blocks to go around right?

The key thing is how you assemble those pieces and give it your own voice, and style.

I’m guilty of pinching an idea or 2 (or 3, or 4…)

Just a quick heads up.

I’ve taken big chunks of design inspiration from somebody else’s work, countless times over the years.

But.

The one thing I’ve always done is pause at the end of my completed design. Look at the original influence. Look at my work. And think ‘Did I bring my own take to this?’

If I can answer ‘Yes’ to that then it’s all good, and completely ethical.

And on the flip-side of that. I’ve seen stuff that looks very similar to mine. I’m cool with that. If it’s not a 1–1 rip-off I feel honoured that they thought my work was ok that they wanted to replicate it to a point.

Nothing is original, so steal those design ideas, but make ’em your own

Remember. There’s nothing wrong in copying an idea here, and there and using it in your own work.

But, and there is a big But.

Don’t just rip someone’s design verbatim and present it as your own. That ain’t cool.

Copy ideas from it, but work out what could have been done better, and how you can improve on things. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Remember nothing you see is 100% original, so feel at ease stealing those ideas.

It’s all about how you can take someone else’s ideas, make it your own, improve your own skills whilst doing it, and make it much, much better.

P.S. If you haven’t read one of my all-time favourite books, you really should…

Thanks for reading,
Marc.

Article originally published at marcandrew.me on April 30th 2023.

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