Useful Tool For Fighting Design Theft

585 396 Derek Kimball


Have you ever found a design or illustration online that you deemed a knockoff of one of your own creations? Have you ever been accused of ripping off someone else? These situations happen, and often times they result in one party confronting another with threats, a cease and desist, or someone being called out on a site like LogoThief.

Unfortunately there aren’t many avenues (aside from proof of copyright) to protect ourselves from design thievery or wrongful accusations, but there is one web tool that I’ve found to be quite handy in determining who created what first.

Wayback Machine is an online database which contains nearly 400 billion cached web pages (periodic screenshots of most websites, dating back to 1996). So if you ever find yourself in a “you copied my design” situation, this is a convenient resource to have.

Is Wayback Machine always going to prove helpful? No. Can it sometimes reveal some insight into the origin of logos, illustration, texts or images? Yes. I’ve found these archives to prove quite helpful on more than one occasion. If you haven’t already, consider adding the site to your bookmarks for future use. It’s a good resource to have.

Thanks for reading. If you have any other helpful sites or methods worth sharing, please mention them below. 


Derek Kimball

Derek is the founder of DesignBuddy and a full time graphic designer. He specializes in logo creation and visual branding. Over the past 13 years Derek has helped hundreds of clients grow their business and establish a stronger brand identity. View his portfolio, or get in touch. If you'd like to receive an occasional free newsletter with useful design related content, please subscribe here.

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