Mark Bult Design: San Francisco, CA, Established 1988

Web design and development for small and large business, e-commerce, b2b, b2c, SAAS, and community websites. User experience design and usability testing.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Ubuntu designers get "inspired" by Download.com button



I was browsing the Ubuntu* site today and I noticed a very familiar-looking green button. I opened up a separate browser window and went over to Download.com, and sure enough, whoever designed Ubuntu's website had used the button I created for Download.com.

Luckily, they'd changed the icon inside the button, since that's a Download.com trademark (you'd be amazed at how many software sites use that trademark without authorization, though).



I don't mind this, I don't even consider it stealing. I'm sure every designer has once or twice taken a small element from someplace else and used it, changing the critical parts so there's no major similarity anymore. In this case, if they'd used the Download.com icon, it would have been a blatant ripoff (not to mention trademark infringement). If they'd just changed the color, again it'd be a serous ripoff. But when it's just the outer part of a button, a button ferchrissakes, I don't care at all. I mean, it's just a button shape, not a logo or an illustration that I'd spent hours or days on. It probably took me less than ten minutes.

This is similar to the incident I wrote about recently where someone made a WordPress theme that used some of my design elements, but in a way that the result didn't really look like my original design much at all.

* Ubuntu is a free, community-developed, Linux-based operating system that you can run on Macs, PCs, and other Unix-capable computers.

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Thursday, August 25, 2005

Weekly Standards spotlights Download.com redesign

The Weekly Standards is a website that features large corporate sites that have been redesigned using web standards. They approached us for an interview-via-email and luckily our new CSS wizard Greg Penhaligon took on the task of writing a full article [Update: The Weekly Standards went down for good, but you can still view this article on Archive.org] for them. A few of my initial responses to TWS's interview questions are also included as pullquotes (the last paragraph, which begins with "My advice for other designers..." is also a pullquote from me, but they style it incorrectly so it lacks an attribution. I've let them know and it might be fixed by the time you look).

There's been more feedback on the web about the redesign, and I've been collecting links to all the various places where people have commented. I'll post a list soonish.

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