Imitation is Flattery?

Hi all, quick question...I illustrated the logo on the left a few years ago for a small burger shop in Brooklyn, it's copyrighted on all display / menus / collateral. I got a text the other night from the NY Food & Wine Festival, saying a major restaurateur ripped it off. The logo on the right just came to me...I think they're pretty different, others say it's too close for comfort and find out the extent of their usage. Not a new topic but an ongoing one; I'm curious what you think at what point is a copyrighted design is original, inspiration, or just an idea out in the world? It's basic deconstructing a sandwich... but if it was your small startup business versus a multi-million dollar franchise does that change the picture?


  • miri

    In April 2007 I asked our food photographers to shoot the sandwich article in this fashion. I loved having come up with this concept, and brought home made photos done at home to explain my idea hanging the ingredients on thin thread in my livingroom to create a realistic look of floating ingredients...

    Do you think someone from MS saw our distant small magazine printed in Hebrew in Israel only?

    It is a great idea.In fact, I wish I was the only person who had come up with it.

  • Martin Gee

    reminds me of the 80s video game: burgertime. =)

  • Heather Jones

    Done Darrell, send me your lunch and I'll plate it right up;)

  • Darrell

    I don't want a burger, but I now want a diagram showing me how how all my meals should look.

  • Brandon Kavulla

    Great comments by everyone.

    My 2 cents:

    As everyone else pointed out, the concept of breaking apart a burger (or anything else) into floating ingredients is a very old concept. The "originality" (one of my most hated words) or "custom" quality comes in the execution…and both of the treatments are different.

    As JT and others noted, the build chart is definitely a common visual device, however maybe not so common for 2 new burger joints in the same town to both use one as an advertising element.

    All that being said it is probably only annoying (even if it was unintentional).

    Say two restaurants selling the same product in the same town are both using bright red signs out front.

    Neither of them invented the color red of course.

    But it's definitely still a little annoying.

    And now i want a burger too.

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