Sincerest form of flattery*

Derby party at Commonwealth Brooklyn- a posterYou may recall this poster I designed, which I posted here on April 20th. Well, I went to the party in question yesterday to watch the Derby, and Ray, who commissioned the poster mentioned that I ought to page through the current Time Out New York, as there was an ad for the Royalton which bore a more-than-coincidental resemblance to my design.

Royalton Kentucky Derby Party ad

While it’s not an exact lift (clearly it was all redrawn and a different layout, fonts etc), I do agree with those who’ve told me it looks ‘copied’ from my design. Sadly, the designer didn’t bother to do any research— there is no saddle, for example, and the poor horse’s head looks more like that of a dog. Also: the Kentucky Derby is run on a dirt track, not turf. Please!

“It’s a lazy steal”
— Zac G.

Picasso is famous for having said “Good artists borrow; great artists steal.” But there’s a caveat: if you’re gonna steal or lift an idea, it’s incumbent on you to make it better than what you stole it from.

* A note on the title: the full phrase is “Imitation is the sincerest [form] of flattery”, coined by Caleb Colton. I share it because of its inherent contradiction: flattery is, by definition, insincere. (An earlier version was “Imitation is a kind of artless flattery”, coined by Eustace Budgell.)

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