Stolen or Borrowed: Designs Reappropriated and Redone


The best things come in pairs. Or so we think after coming across “Similarities“, retired Professor of Graphic Design at West Texas A&M University Bob Caruthers’s Flickr set of reused designs, which we discovered over at Quad Royal. Carthuers writes, “The pairs of images in this “Similarities” set are similar visually in one way or another. They are presented without judgement as to the motives of their creators. The viewers of the pieces can form their own opinion(s) about what they see.” Some of the pairs are “accidents”, some are “re-contextualized”, some are “inspired”, some are “homages”, some are “appropriated”, but no matter what the politics or language, it’s amazing to see the way that images can influence — or down right form the basis of — new designs. Hey, our mothers always told us it was good to recycle. Click through to see some of our favorites, and head on over to Caruthers’s Flickr page for many more.

Paul Iribe (1914); Nate Duval (2008)

Josef Muller-Brockmann (1960); Shepard Fairey (2006)

Maciej Zbikowski (1967); Penguin Books Poster (2009)

Daniel Wiese (2007); Heads of State (2004); Designer Unknown (ND)

Lanny Sommese (1987); Designer Unknown (2009)

Tadashi Ohashi Exhibition Poster (1970s); Jeff Kleinsmith (2001)

Otto Treumann (1962); Political Poster (2008)

Waldemar Swierzy Poster (1973); Concert Poster (2001)

Ikko Tanaka Poster (1958); Jeff Kleinsmith (1998)

Art Sims (1995); Saul Bass (1959)

Russian Anti-Drinking Poster (1985); Matt Leunig (2008)

Abram Games Poster (1956); Wes Hollywood (2008)

Czechoslovakian Matchbox Label (1950s-60s); Skillet Gilmore (2009)

Photo by Solve Sundsbo (2008); El Jefe (2009)