The Need to be Unique

It’s a common crux for a designer – you want to set yourself apart from your contemporaries  but not too far apart so that you’re no longer on trend. You strive to be seen as individual, new and unique.

In the age we live in it’s become so much more accessible to tap into social and cultural trends in other cities and bring an element of that design back home to Ireland. At what point though do our designs, that we’ve systematically created and laboured over, just start to look like everything else? We are all researching in the same pools – Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook etc.  We find something – a theme or design that sparks our creativity – tweak it, develop it, put our own stamp on it and call it our own but at what point does design inspiration equal just plain plagiarism?


It is the way of the world to take inspiration from different avenues. We see a common theme occurring particularly in music recently with the plagiarism case of Mark Ronson, Bruno Mars and 70’s funk pop group The Sequence for their copyright infringement of Uptown Funk. Also to note the successful plagiarism case brought against “Blurred Lines” singer Robin Thicke for his direct sampling of “Got to give it up” by Marvin Gaye.

In this day and age, with a world of art, design and music that’s gone before us, it is nigh on impossible to be truly original – elements are taken from all avenues and facets and of course the old adage is true “Imitation is the best form of flattery”

So how can we still be seen as unique if a common trending theme runs through all our designs?

  • Through Clarity. How we present our ideas to the world and most importantly to our clients. Know what you message is, define your brief clearly and concisely and commit to it.


  • How you Deliver your design.  Do you do it with a smile? Well if not, you should. The easier you make life for your client the happier they will be and in turn, happy client equals happy designer.


  • Be Honest. This seems to be a common thread amongst my peers. The more honest and upfront you can be with your clients, your contractors or suppliers you will help to create a more positive and fulfilling working environment for everyone.


So being unique in today’s market doesn’t always boil down to your design and what you’re putting on a page but more about how you present that design and yourself to the world.