new wool

Have you noticed that Wool has a new logo? Well, Quince & Co. recently received an email from the lawyers who represent the designer Orla Kiely saying the leaf motif I created for the book was a trade marked design and we were infringing on her copyrighted work. Wow. I was really floored.

Yes, the designs look very similar. I absolutely agree to that. But, I saw the resemblance as being reminiscent of not just her design, but also of the design that appears on the Japaneses vintage mug above (maybe from the 70's?), and of our very talented, local designer Angela Adams, whom I have had the pleasure of working for for several years. So, if anyone gave me inspiration, it was Angela and that mug that I sipped my morning decaf coffee from every morning this summer. And, I really didn't see that I was infringing. When I started "doodling" around on Illustrator I wasn't thinking I want to make a leaf that looks a lot like Orla Kiely, but just different enough so no one notices. No, no, no. I started with some clip art, morphed it. Took off the petal top. Removed the stem. And, was left with 2 lovely, colorful, whimsical leaves. I saw the similarity, but it felt to me like we were different Airstreams at the same camp ground.

So, anyway, that's that. We changed the design as we didn't want to rock the boat and find ourselves drowning in a sea of a lawsuit. But, I am left wondering if a designers intention means anything? Having worked for Angela Adams, I am well aware that there are companies out there who blatantly sell products with designs that look almost identical to hers and so there is a need to protect the brand. However, it was never my intention to do this. I find it very disheartening to know that my creative process has led me to the path of "infringement".

It's an interesting topic. Us knitters are very lucky to have full access to several knit stitches that were thankfully never copyrighted. Barbara Walker has endowed the knitting community with some stitch treasures! We should all be so thankful for those books. Can you imagine if someone had copyrighted stockinette stitch? Or worse—garter stitch! Also, I must say that I am very happy my designer friends and I can laugh with each other when we design something similar or use a similar (or the same) stitch pattern. I joked with a couple of them recently, saying that I think we designers share a brain sometimes. What makes it okay is that we are able to recognize the differences in the design, making it unique to being "ours," if anything really is unique and ours.

I'm thinking of that saying that there is nothing new in art anymore. And, the mug pictured above (I imagine was created long before Orla hit the market), makes me think that there are only manipulations of what has already been created. Well...I don't know....maybe not. Who knows! I'm just a little designer who likes to knit things, who like to draw from time to time, and likes to design book layouts. Excuse these ramblings and back to what I was originally writing here: Wool has a new logo—dots. Colorful little circles. Hopefully, those haven't been copyrighted already, too.