We were recently notified by someone that about a dozen of our book cover designs were being used by a book cover design firm in India. That was surprising news to us. I quickly contacted the company in India and demanded an explanation.

The Indian company promptly responded that the designs were provided to them by one of their designers. The manager of the company apologized, removed our book cover designs from their portfolio, and stated that the designer would be “punished”. Considering their quick response to this matter and their explanation I’ve decided not to link to that company or print their name in this post. Should I?

An odd aspect to this situation is that the firm didn’t include the stolen designs directly in their online portfolio but only in an e-mail to potential clients and labeled the designs as their extended portfolio. So, if someone had not notified us by e-mail then we would have never learned about this incident. I’m trying to have good faith in believing that the Indian firm actually did remove the cover designs and not just changed the location to a URL I do not know about.

Ultimately, it’s quite foolish for a designer to use another designer’s portfolio. What happens when the design thief cannot deliver the same quality of designs as presented in the portfolio?

It’s very common for book cover designers to be influenced by the covers of other designers. It’s something else to blatantly use another’s portfolio as one’s own.