No Labels Designer Apologizes For Ripping Off Bipartisan Animals Graphics

The designer for No Labels, the non-partisan non-profit that launched yesterday in New York, has apologized for lifting the group’s bipartisan animal artwork from graphic designer Thomas Porostocky.No Labels, which calls itself “Woodstock of Democracy” and touts non-partisanship and moderation, had a kick-off event yesterday with speakers like New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT).

The group had previously featured a red and blue buffalo at the top of its website, with the slogan “Not left. Not right. Forward.” The gift shop was also selling an array of bumper stickers and t-shirts with the bipartisan animal pattern. One t-shirt said: “Politics Evolved.”

And the graphics were even featured at the New York event, which included this banner on the stage:

nolabels-banner.jpg

But the design appears to have been lifted directly from Porostocky. Here’s a screenshot from his site:

nolabels-partyanimals.jpg

As Gothamist reported yesterday:

Porostocky’s artwork, which also happens to be about expanding the two-party system, was chosen by Milton Glaser for a 2005 exhibit called “Design of Dissent,” which was later published in book form. It was also featured in Good magazine, and is used by More Party Animals, an “apolitically-political idea born out of a heartfelt disenchantment with the status quo.”

Dave Warren, whose firm FLY Communications was hired by No Labels, initially claimed it was simply a case of two people using the same clip art. Ben Smith of Politico reported yesterday that Warren said in an e-mail: “FLY Communications created the animals, we did not steal them. But we did start, like almost every ad agency these days, with clip art. In this case royalty free clip art available to anyone with a computer and Internet connection.”

But, as Smith reported today, Warren eventually apologized:

Late last night, after I got home and finally saw the nearly identical figures and arrangements between your designs and ours, I realized we could not have gotten our designs from clip art. I confirmed that fact later on last night with my staff. So I totally understand your anger – especially considering the quality of your work. There’s no excuse for this. I take full responsibility for it. And I’m sorry.

No Labels has since scrubbed the animals from its site.

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