How to Protect Your Design from Copycats

Designing is an expression of your creative prowess. The more you design the creative you become and the more experienced you get. Even though you have the determination to come up with your unique designs, there are a couple of lazy individuals who have no inspiration or motivation to be creative and come up with their design work.

The best they can do is to wait for other people to come up with designs then they steal concepts or simply become copycats. Such individuals are an accident in this noble profession, and you need to protect your designs from them through all possible means. Discussed below are various ways you can employ to ensure that all your designs are protected from the copycats in the world-:


Watermarking is the first and the most basic method you can use to protect your design from the copycats. Suppose you are working on a design project, and you need to present to your client some design inspirations, all you have to do to protect the design so that no one else can copy it is to simply watermark it.

Additionally, you can watermark the various designs you showcase in your portfolio online. Remember, with the world of internet, a simple Google search can make your designs vulnerable hence uploading onto your portfolio without any watermarks will make it a breeze for the copycats to take it away.

Small Size Design

There are unscrupulous clients who will try to get your design service for free or very cheaply. What these people do is request you to make for them design samples, and if you fail to watermark the samples, they will simply take them and trace them before sending them off to cheap designers in the freelance sites. The cheap designers will thus use your inspiration and concept to continue with the design.

This can be a very tricky situation, and you can only hope that you don’t land such clients. The best to protect your design in such a case is to send very small design samples that the client can’t copy and pass on to another designer.

Always stick to quality designs

Most of the designs which are easily copied are the ones of poor quality or those that have been presented in a reckless manner. If you can make unique and quality designs, sometimes it can be very hard for the copycats to steal it. This is because though they will see the entire design on the internet, they will not know how to make a similar one since most of them are less skilled, anyway. Therefore, strive as much as possible to create quality and distinct designs to give the copycats a run for their time and skills.

Only share your designs after selling them

Another way to protect your design is to avoid sharing them with others, either offline or online before you finally sell them or pass the rights to the client. You can wait until you have sold the designs before sharing them and indicating clearly while sharing that the design is already sold to another person. In this manner, the world gets to know about your designs after they have already been sold, and this makes them less prone to theft by the copycats.

Be careful with the sites you use

There has been a proliferation of websites where people share their designs and other kinds of inspirations. But these sites have become the favorite abodes for a lot of copycats in the world. They go to these sites to check if they can find something to copy or to steal. However, not all such sites are that vulnerable.

There are a few genuine ones who take adequate measure to ensure that user’s works are not copied or downloaded in any way. To protect your design when using such sites, therefore, it is imperative that you be selective and use only the legit ones. Check out their ratings and read their privacy policy to see if you designs will be safe should you decide to use the website. If you feel you will be vulnerable, and you won’t protect your design in the right manner, simply avoid such sites.

Get Copyrights

Getting trademarks or copyrights is another sure way to ensure that you protect your design from thieves and potential copycats. If you do this, you will have an option for legal redress should you discover that somebody somewhere is using your designs without your permission. The process of getting a trademark or copyrights for your design work may be long and tedious, but if you have a design you think is worth protecting at all costs, and then this would be the method.


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