Designer’s Copyright

Some people think that a Copyright law only applies to writers.  This isn’t the case.

Designers, illustrators, photographers (among other artists) work all fall under this law.  Why is this important in the wedding world?  Let me explain a little…

Searching Pinterest for your wedding inspiration?  Be careful asking your cake designer to COPY the cake you found.  And this applies to Invitations as well (my obvious hot button – so I will stick to that example for conversation sake).

Someone designed the invitation you found on Style Me Pretty, Pinterest, or any other amazing website/blog out there.  Someone owns the artwork.  Someone won’t like it if you copy it down to the very last detail (or just shy of every last detail).

But they won’t go after you, the bride …. They will go after the person who designed the gorgeous invitation (uh, designed it – again – that is).

I promise not to bore you with paragraphs upon paragraphs as to why this is unethical (ahem, your English teacher wouldn’t let you copy info from a book for a report in school, so why do it now?).

Here’s some tips to avoid this sticky situation with your designer:

  1. Found inspiration? Pull ONE or TWO things you LOVE about it – not the ENTIRE look.
  2. Found several photos that inspire you? Show all of these inspirations to your designer and let him or her come up with something original and amazing just for you!
  3. BE ORIGINAL.  Let your designer bring an idea to life for you.  Why else are you hiring that professional?
  4. UNSURE about this?  Ask the professional for their advice.  If they are an ethical company/designer who cares about other people’s designs just like they care about theirs – they will do the right (read: ethical) thing.

Thinking “no one will know or find out” ?!!?  Sure. Ok – unicorns, pots of gold and flying monkeys exist too.  Social Media today and Real Wedding submissions for event magazines should blow that thought right out of the water.

I am trying to make light of this topic, but it’s a VERY serious issue to artists.

If you’re someone who’s blogging or posting about something you saw, found, used at your event/wedding, etc and it’s someone’s design work?  Just give them credit.  That’s what the designer cares about most of the time.  If it goes past that, the designer will probably contact you directly.

Think of it as the Designer’s Golden Rule:  Give Credit Where Credit is Due.

A little unsure about this or where your ideas stand?  I am happy to chat more about this with you!  Feel free to email me at

xo, Deb


{source: American Institute for Graphic Arts}