We have so many images available to us at the search of a hashtag - thousands and thousands of images - with different moods, different styles.
A whole internet of information and images at our fingertips. I think this ease of access sometimes makes us forget that behind those images are artists, designers, makers, creators, no matter how un-qualified or un-trained they are in the field of design.
As designers foremost and letterpress printers secondly, we put our heart and souls into our designs. We have seen our images reposted without correct credit. I've questioned am I being obsessive, am I being petty? And then the little artist in me waives a pen and says "no your not being petty! This is your art, your creative magic that makes you different, and you should stick up for that!" Because if you don't, it will continue to happen, the internet will become a graveyard of images without substance, not belonging to a time or place, feeling or passion. The author will be lost in a long trail of reposting and re-sharing.
From a business point of view your customers can't ever reach you through a trail of lost credits, and your products or services fall prey to copying. If people are using your images without correct tagging, then it gives the assumption that your work is now theirs. This is a really sad way for a page/business/individual to assume an identity which doesn't belong to them. It leads to a style being mimicked without authenticity.
If an image is posted of a beautiful bouquet without correct crediting, you will assume the person made it themselves, right?
It hurts to see your creative work not correctly credited. It makes a fire in your belly at the same time as a mushy sad cloud that hangs over your head all day. It's negative energy and emotion and that's not good for us or certainly creativity. It doesn't hurt to tag - it doesn't make you look any less creative - it shows that you are someone who appreciates art and has respect for the people who make it - which is a cool thing!
I have put together a few points to outline the etiquette I see relevant in my industry - the wedding industry, full of beautiful passionate vendors, florists, dress makers, photographers, stylists, cake makers, caterers...so many different people work to make a wedding so magical. Behind each one of those people is a crazy creative who works crazy hours to make magic happen, driven by the love they have for what they do. Us, the stationery designers and printers, are no different.
My list is in no way conclusive, and I'd love to open this conversation up - please get in touch if you have a point to add! You can make sure your following etiquette by doing one or more of the following tips!
What is in the image? If you can supply the details for everything you see in the image, and a source to the creator of each thing, then that's perfect etiquette! Then for the person who falls in love with something, they can support the maker and have an authentic well-found piece of art to enjoy.
Any form of a link to the artist, and credit for what the artist has done is so important!
Jess from ButcherBakerStylist is an awesome Perth bespoke event stylist - when you see her work, you recognise it instantly. Though it's her creation, she has still credited everyone behind the scenes, which is A+ crediting. She recognises that she relies on a huge team of vendors to pull off her amazing interior transformations, and gives them much respect - as show in the tagging here. It's perfect! Everyone is accounted for and she can focus her comment on her hilarious words, adding her distinct brand personality - yes, she talks like this in real life!
check her work out here: http://www.butcherbakerstylist.com https://www.instagram.com/butcherbakerstylist/ @butcherbakerstylist
Tag the person in the first line of copy about the image, and be specific about what they have done.
You can add a story too, but be sure to make a clear section about the work you are sharing - what is making up this image. Then when the image is re-posted by someone else, they will know to credit the same artist for what we are seeing, and can add their story ontop too. As a popular image gets carried along the waves of re-sharing, often it's only the previous re-sharer is credited, leaving a long line which is impossible to trace back to the source. This is so relevant for Pintrest too.
Lets all work to keep the source alive, prominent and traceable!
This image is not correctly credited for the work involved - we see hand lettering and letterpress on white paper. But instead we are only tagged for the "photo". It is our photo, but since our brand is hand lettering and letterpress services, this isn't a clear enough representation of our creative work.
In collaborations it's best to outline the way you would like your work credited from the start, to set the standards which are important to you, as not everyone is the same. In this case the tagging has been corrected.
with the number of images flowing through our feeds, you need to be timely - images are most seen within the first hour or two that they are posted. Images will quickly get buried under a huge feed as soon as you start following more than a close group of friends. Delayed tagging is just as bad as incorrect tagging - be timely as a way of being respectful.
This is a big point of concern for a creative styled shoot featured on a blog, where at the start or end of the blog images, everyone involved should be credited for their role, with direct links to their work. It's the role and responsibility of the stylist or person organising to make sure they have the correct spelling of the vendors (sounds silly I know, but it happens), the correct links, and that they check those links work before publishing.
We have submitted work for inclusion in creative styled shots many times, and have seen different levels of care the organisers have gone to to make sure everyone is credited correctly. It's such a nice show of appreciation and respect for the creative work when an organiser can provide a concise list of everyone involved, after all, everyone puts their heart and soul into creative collaborations and the aim is for extra exposure and is unpaid.
A beautifully styled and perfectly coordinated shoot which we were lucky to be included in with other great Perth wedding vendors. This is still in sneak peek stages, but everyone was still credited. We plan to share with direct links as soon as this shoot is revealed!
A sleek, perfectly coordinated styled shoot we were included in, comprising mainly of Sydney wedding vendors. Organised and with photography by Lilli Kad Photography: http://lillikad.com
Pride yourself on being a responsible re-poster - always post from a credible or direct source - it will give value to you! If you have no idea where it's from but need to re-post it, then leave a comment for people to credit if they can spot it.
If it's an artist who lives in a cave, then mention any little detail you know - their name which can be googled.
Surely we have all experienced the hunt for an item we have fallen in love with, and after much searching and trawling, located where to get it from! This is so important for a small business, and the sad fact is, that when someone is obsessed with getting something, they will find a way - and this can end up in something being copied or replicated. We don't want to fill our world with more replicated, soulless copies of things!
It was devastating to us when a client of ours called up, saying she almost got a local designer to replicate one of our patterns because she couldn't find the source to an image of one of our designs. Luckily as her planning timeline was ticking, a friend shared a post from us, and linked her back to our work. It was a pleasure making this clients invites, and everyone was happy - we really appreciated her bringing it to out attention too, as we were able to go and mend some missing links and bad crediting.
FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTIST:
If you see your work not credited, I encourage you to go for a brisk walk firstly - and get out all your negative emotions! then upon returning, get in touch with the person and request the correct tagging for your work, and remind them about the importance of correct tagging for your brand. They are probably going to be totally reasonable and respectful, and fix it right away. If they choose to ignore you, then you might like to follow up with them again, with a slightly more firm version. Or you could start making your point by tagging underneath the image - not ideal, as sometimes these comments can get buried, but at least a link is there and it will act as a reminder, and if they have ethics, they will amend.
FOR THE RE-POSTER
If you do find you were in the wrong, then fix the crediting issue promptly, or reply promptly, with respect to the artist.
If someone contacts you about this issue, then don't be defensive, it's an easy mistake to make. I'm not claiming to be a perfect re-poster and I would be happy to hear from anyone who feels I havent credited correctly. We are all human. If you don't trust the person claiming to be the artist, that's fine - have a quick look at their page or available work or ask to see some proof. It's a reasonable request if done with respect and grace.
PAN B IF GOOD MANNERS FAIL...
Beyond these friendly options, there is reporting to the application e.g.. Facebook or instagram and also seeking help from a lawyer for further action.
There are some great resources including some free ones, here is a list (suggestions would be much appreciated if you have some to share!)
thanks for reading lovely people, much love, Emily & The Little Press team xx