Nearly every member of my family has been known to use the phrase "I am always a day late and a dollar short" at some point. Today I am wondering if they have passed this down to me like a family curse.
About a month ago I ran across a blog that was solely devoted to pointing out things that were copied by businesses or artists from other businesses or artists. Some of the things were pretty shocking and obviously the same, I am not sure if that was the company's fault or if it was the graphic designer's fault. Other things were similar but I felt there was enough margin to wonder if it was coincidence. I know it's frustrating to be copied, but mainly what I took away from reading this blog was that the author probably had too much time on their hands to find these things.
Over the years conversations about copying has come up again and again. I have been a victim of it twice that I have no doubt about and possibly a couple other times. But I have posted on this topic before and I have said that I try to give people the benefit of the doubt because sometimes people arrive at the same ideas at the same time due to being influenced by whatever is currently popular in the art world and in fact didn't copy each other at all. That's the side of the fence I am finding myself on today.
I have been working incredibly hard lately making things, (I have a whole bunch of pretty hearts you haven't even seen yet) cleaning, trying to learn my camera so that I can take better pictures, making a new layout for my website and even trying my hand at making my own blog background. As a result, I haven't had any time to go look at my favorite blogs and websites.
I have been trying to figure out what I wanted to make my website look like this time since I have an ad coming out in the next Teddy Bear & Friends. I really wanted to spiff it up because I did the ad on my old computer right before I got this one. It looked quite good, until I saw it on this new monitor. I didn't think my old one was that bad. Sadly the ad had already gone to print and there wasn't much I could do about it, so I wanted to make sure my site looked really good. I made mock ups of three possible layouts. Each one was very different. The one I liked the best I decided to reserve until later in the summer. One I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do with just yet, and one was very clean yet vintage scrapbook looking. I decided to go with the latter because I thought it would be perfect for spring, and started really developing that one. I felt sure I had hit upon a look that was current, yet something not quite like anyone else had.
This morning after I made my post, I decided to take a few moments and go visit some of those blogs and websites I had neglected. It looks like everyone has been in the updating mode. Much to my dismay I got to Vivianne's lovely site and discovered that her new background was really similar in color and pattern to the one I had made. I stopped by a Ginger and Gen's blogs, that I enjoy reading and found that one had two similar elements of the new website layout I was going to do, and another had made a background very close to one of the new blog backgrounds I had made. Luckily I didn't use that one at the last minute, and chose the one you see instead. I went off to two other sites to discover yet three more elements that I was going to use. *Bangs her head on the desk*
While my design is very different than each of the ones I saw, there are similarities and I am afraid I would be accused of copying any one of them. The last thing I want is to end up as fodder for someones blog posts or conversations in this respect. I think this illustrates the point I have always tried to make, that there are no new ideas and many of us in the same business simply think alike. I was convinced that I had a somewhat original idea, and I was wrong. I hadn't seen any of these sites or blogs face lifts before I sat down to design, but it didn't matter.
I think my design is very pretty, and I put many hours of work into it so I kind of hate to scrap it. On the other hand I would like something that looks a little more unique so I don't know exactly what I am going to do at this point. I am afraid that whatever changes I choose to make in order to be unique, I will discover someone else has beat me to it again. I sincerely hope the layout I am keeping in reserve for summer remains unique. I guess I will let you know when I figure it out.