Thursday, January 5, 2012

It's good, but is it original?

Is it a case of plagiarism or coincidental creativity?

After universal praise for the ad featured in yesterday's post, my friend Gene shared this cover from the 2005 Nada Surf album, The Weight is a Gift.


Unless I travel to Brazil and confront the creative team – which wouldn't be easy given my level of proficiency in Portuguese – we'll never know.

Here's my take.

The illustration styles are similar. The color palette is the same. In both illustrations the only lit window is the second from the left.

Coincidence? I think yes.

While the styles are similar, they're not that unique. There are a lot of freehand pen and ink cityscapes out there.

As for the cool blue tone of the evening light, I don't think the illustrator for the album invented that convention.

Yes, the images are similar. But this wouldn't be the first time two people have hit on the same idea years apart.

After all, ABC just aired the show Workin' It about two cross-dressing men working trying to earn a living in the big city 30 years after Bosom Buddies went of the air...

If it's plagiarized, at least the Corre Cutia ad is good.

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