It is natural to go down the road of self-doubt, and question our design work, especially when working under a stressful deadline or pressure to produce a masterpiece for a client. However, we must detour ourselves off this path, for there is a difference in inspiration and imitation.
Design is subjective and knowing WHY choices are made is one of the most valuable tools you have as a designer. Knowing WHY something works so well and is well received by it’s audience is never learned through copying – it’s learned through criticism, evaluation, experimentation, and testing… but NEVER copying! As a designer we should always be original. To gather inspiration is one thing, however to mock and copy and duplicate is merely SHAMEFUL! Copying shows you don’t understand the relevance of design… Copying DEVALUES a designer!
It’s like cheating on a test. When you cheat on a test you don’t know why the answer is what it is, and chances are you’re not going to take the time to find out, cause if you wanted to know you would have done it in the first place. Copying design or copying answers to an exam are not any different.
When you create designs based upon your own ideas you know why the design works or doesn’t work. You know the genesis of the concept and you know where and how the concept can be altered without losing its appeal. When you own the design, you own the map to the maze, you know where you are at no matter where you are. By owning the design you have the knowledge to better your design strategy next time.
Copying may seem simple at the time, but you really hinder your imagination in choosing this route. Not to mention, copyright infringement laws and regulations you violate. If conscience does not stop you, hopefully a justice system will. It is a wise move to NOT copy another’s work or words, for it leads down a dark and foolish path. Copying goes against the very definition of the word designer. Rather than copying – go out there and allow yourself to be inspired, let your imagination loose. Design is in our everyday world…set your imagination free and create it!