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When plagiarism doesn’t pay: the story of Matt Earnshaw, David Airey and Jon Hicks

A designer by the name of Matt Earnshaw thought he could get away with ripping off the work of David Airey. Here’s what happened…

David Airey is one of the most respected identity designers in the business. When it was brought to his attention that the aforementioned Earnshaw had stolen his work for Miskeeto to feature in his own portfolio, he was – understandably – outraged. On Monday, Airey wrote a post on his popular design blog, Logo Design Love, outing the theft. As of today, two days later, that post is the second result on a Google search for the term “Matt Earnshaw” and Earnshaw’s site has disappeared.

Commenters on the Logo Design Love post also highlighted the fact that the design for was itself lifted from a previous design of Jon Hicks’ site.

NB: I’ve nofollowed the link to Earnshaw’s site in case it reappears because he doesn’t deserve the linkjuice.

David has kindly commented below, clarifying his emotional state at the time of posting. To which I can only say, he’s a far more patient man than I.

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3 Responses to When plagiarism doesn’t pay: the story of Matt Earnshaw, David Airey and Jon Hicks

  1. Hi Chris, thanks for visiting my site.

    Just to clarify, I wasn’t outraged by the copying of my work (it takes a lot to make me angry), but thought it worthy of a blog post all the same.

    Hoping everything’s good with you.

    P.s. I needed to visit your Twitter page to see your name (couldn’t find it here on your site).

  2. You’re absolutely right though; irrespective of where else I put it, it should be on my About page.

    I fear you may be suffering from Slogan Blindness, a largely undiagnosed affliction affecting many who suffer from too much exposure to corporate culture. I don’t think your optician can do much about that one, but I might look into making mine stand out more. It would appear that my own work suffers for not shamelessly ripping you off.

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