Cake Ethics/etiquette

Decorating By CakeEnvyKS Updated 1 Feb 2011 , 1:34pm by BrindysBackyard

CakeEnvyKS Posted 7 Oct 2010 , 4:22am
post #1 of 23

I've only been cake decorating about 6 months, but am already doing a brisk business, mostly for friends and family. Since I don't know a lot about the cake world, I'm hoping someone will know the answer to this (and please forgive me for not knowing!).

When someone asks for a cake, I generally look online for inspiration and for similar cakes that others have already done. A few times people have seen a cake someone else has made and wants exactly that same design. I feel like this is someone's artwork, and I should not be copying it. What do you think? What is the etiquette for this in the cake world? I think we are probably all inspired by others, but is copying someone else's work over the line, or is that considered acceptable in cake?

Thanks everyone.

22 replies
indydebi Posted 7 Oct 2010 , 5:44am
post #2 of 23

99% of my brides brought in a photo and said I want a cake that looks like this. I always truthfully, but teasingly, told them "guaranteed NOT to look like the picture."

And face it .... there's only so many ways to wrap a ribbon around a cake and slap some scrolls on it. I can't imagine telling a bride "sorry, you can't have that cake for your once-in-a-life-time wedding day becuase it's already been done."

KimmyKakes4Me Posted 7 Oct 2010 , 6:05am
post #3 of 23

I am a custom only shop. No copies of anything ever.

amygortoncakes Posted 7 Oct 2010 , 3:20pm
post #4 of 23

I am just starting out too, and I find it easier if somone has a photo of what they are genreally looking for and then I put my own artistic touch into it. Everyone has their own style, and I think that shows through in the cakes.

For me personally, if someone were to copy a design I created, i would be flattered not upset. I think thats pretty much the point of posting all of our cakes on here is to share and get ideas.

One other thing that I have found is that in the cakes I am "copying" its a bit easier because I can deconstruct each piece in mind to see how to piece it together. Where as when I am doing it all on my own it tends to be more of a trial and error process.

If you were to blattently copy someones design and take full artistic credit, thats different. If there is ever a cake I have copied I tell people that I copied it. It doesn't deter from the fact that you still executed it great.

Shelly4481 Posted 7 Oct 2010 , 4:15pm
post #5 of 23

Coping a cake from someone is one of the best compliments you can give!!!!

KimmyKakes4Me Posted 7 Oct 2010 , 4:24pm
post #6 of 23

Creating your own and becoming one of the designers everyone else copies from is priceless!

Loucinda Posted 7 Oct 2010 , 10:05pm
post #7 of 23

There are only so many ways to decorate a cake. Everything has been done already at one time or another. I don't know of anyone who has come up with a design that is completely theirs. Everyone gets ideas from others - and most consider it a compliment when someone makes a cake that resembles one they have done. Just my opinion! thumbs_up.gif

KimmyKakes4Me Posted 7 Oct 2010 , 10:09pm
post #8 of 23

There are some of us out here that do actually design from scratch (no pun intended). Plenty of the creations from my staff have been the "firsts". thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif

KimmyKakes4Me Posted 7 Oct 2010 , 10:11pm
post #9 of 23

And of course it's a compliment. But please, there is a great big world of cake out there, just because they might not be here, doesn't mean they don't exist.

TexasSugar Posted 7 Oct 2010 , 10:36pm
post #10 of 23

And just because you think you did it first doesn't mean someone else might might not have!

I've seen it happen many of times when someone comes here and says of I did such and such and someone else says of I've seen that before or of I've been doing that for years.

KimmyKakes4Me Posted 7 Oct 2010 , 10:39pm
post #11 of 23

I'm sure that happens. But really, why so much negativity against the visionaries out there? It's like, but but but, what if, but but no way can anyone really make something new. Uh, how about the very FIRT time a new method is seen, isn't that, like kinda the first time? Don't hate. Some of us can design really awesome stuff without inspiration from anything other than our creative awesomeness. icon_smile.gif

bakencake Posted 7 Oct 2010 , 10:50pm
post #12 of 23

this reminds me of the cupcake girls and their signature swirl. IT'S JUST A SWIRL AND EVERYONE HAS BEEN MAKING IT FOR YEARS. so for some they are the first and only to make for others it's been there done that.

KimmyKakes4Me Posted 7 Oct 2010 , 10:55pm
post #13 of 23

Yeah, I can't imagine a swirl being very different from other swirls.

Eisskween Posted 7 Oct 2010 , 11:07pm
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by bakencake

this reminds me of the cupcake girls and their signature swirl. IT'S JUST A SWIRL AND EVERYONE HAS BEEN MAKING IT FOR YEARS. so for some they are the first and only to make for others it's been there done that.





I think they copied it from Dairy Queen, Dairy Queen did it first. icon_twisted.gif

CakeEnvyKS Posted 9 Oct 2010 , 3:16am
post #15 of 23

Thanks bakencake, I thought the same thing about that signature swirl thing. Really, it's a swirl, come on.

Amygortoncakes, I'm with you, it's easier to figure out how to do something if you already have a picture to look at.

Thank you everyone, it's been really interesting to read everyone's thoughts on this. I have done probably as many original designs as copied designs. I try not to just blatantly copy someone else, but sometimes it's what the customer wants. I am doing 2 cakes for a woman this weekend; the girl's cake is a copy and the boy's cake is original. I feel bad about the copy, but the original cake is so darn adorable I can't blame her for picking it!

Kristie925 Posted 1 Feb 2011 , 5:16am
post #16 of 23

I have been wanting to ask this exact question for a couple years now, but didn't know who to ask! Now that I'm a member here, I have a whole slew of decorators to hear the opinions of! And steal ideas from! icon_wink.gif

Jokerz Posted 1 Feb 2011 , 6:09am
post #17 of 23

I see nothing wrong with using an existing design for my cake. That being said, I try to give credit where it is due or note that it is not my design.

momd68 Posted 1 Feb 2011 , 6:46am
post #18 of 23

I have just been doing cakes for my family and I have taken photos from here and although I didn't actucally copy them exactly like the picture I used them to help come up with something of my own. I have 2 photos in my photos definetly not great by no means but hey someones got to start somewhere huh.

My kids would be looking at pictures and they would say hey I want that 1 and I would tell them that we didn't need to do it exactly like that but I would do is grab several different pics to choose from and kinda peace them all together a little from this and a little from that.

playingwithsugar Posted 1 Feb 2011 , 7:16am
post #19 of 23

On the other hand, if you use a cake from a CC gallery as your inspiration, and publish it in your gallery without acknowledging the original decorator, you're likely to be outed and let know about it.

The members here are very protective of one another's work and photos, so if you do use someone else's work as inspiration put a pic of it in your gallery, make sure the kudos to the decorator are there.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

pixiefuncakes Posted 1 Feb 2011 , 8:14am
post #20 of 23

Even when I tried to 'copy' a cake I had already made, it came out differently! lol
I think every cake is an inspiration.

solascakes Posted 1 Feb 2011 , 10:23am
post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by KimmyKakes4Me

I am a custom only shop. No copies of anything ever.




Can we see some pictures of your originality then,so we can admire.

Evoir Posted 1 Feb 2011 , 11:43am
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by playingwithsugar

On the other hand, if you use a cake from a CC gallery as your inspiration, and publish it in your gallery without acknowledging the original decorator, you're likely to be outed and let know about it.

The members here are very protective of one another's work and photos, so if you do use someone else's work as inspiration put a pic of it in your gallery, make sure the kudos to the decorator are there.

Theresa icon_smile.gif






thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif

BrindysBackyard Posted 1 Feb 2011 , 1:34pm
post #23 of 23

some customers see what they want and when they describe what they want it comes out totally different. It can be hard for "cake muggles" to visualize different styles and technique that create the cake they are looking for. Inspirational pictures can help bridge that gap

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