Copying Cake Desings...

Decorating By SugarJen Updated 17 May 2014 , 1:52am by MBalaska

SugarJen Posted 8 May 2014 , 2:23pm
post #1 of 80

Whats the rule when you want to copy or borrow ideas from another decorator's design? Do you contact and ask for permission? Does it make a difference whether it's going to be sold or just a hobby?

79 replies
-K8memphis Posted 8 May 2014 , 2:49pm
post #2 of 80

one of the most important rules is that there really are no rules :grin: but unbeknownst to some younger cakers--nothing wrong with being younger, no disrespect-- decorated cakes/caking was/is based on copying--wilton for example publishes a yearbook that was gobbled up and designs were meant to be copied--dissed by some--beloved by the majority--look at their success defined by it's being everywhere all the time--add in pinterest, facebook--kazillions of photos now--

 

copying is normal in caking--it is not any kind of infringment nor plagiarism (excepting copyrighted things and cake designs cannot be copyrighted--the term 'whimsy cake' was successfully copyrighted though fwiw--didn't stop us all from doing the design--see what i mean) it's not even a faux pas and i mean it ain't like a picasso--we eat the results--poof gone-- pictures last forever i guess and the pictures are protected property--cannot be used w/o permission

 

some cakers think we must be all original all the time--more power to them as individuals but copying designs is as industry standard as the wilton serving chart--i usually give credit for the original design if i publish my copy or if i just take inspiration i might say 'inspired by blablabla'

-K8memphis Posted 8 May 2014 , 2:53pm
post #3 of 80

not to mention it is more than quite satisfying to have the ability to be able to copy a cake design--like doing a sculpture where they think the cake is a real purse or dog or car or something--when you can look at the original picture and not be able to tell the difference in the one you made--pretty freakin' cool--a goal to advance toward for sure imo

howsweet Posted 8 May 2014 , 3:03pm
post #4 of 80

AIf you're going to give credit for a design, be careful. I ran across a design of mine with credit given to another person who had copied my design and put it on her website. Most people don't give credit and you can't assume it's their original design just be cause you see they made the cake.

I consider it a compliment to be copied, but found this other person being given credit kind of irritating.

Most of what we do is not really art. Sure there are a few cake artists but the vast majority are not. It's mostly more of a craft and we may often be considered artisans.

And on a side note, I've never done a cake that anyone mistook for real dog.

howsweet Posted 8 May 2014 , 3:13pm
post #5 of 80

AThe silliest thing you will usually hear anyone say on this subject, aside from the dog thing (lol, I'm just kidding, K8, I know what you were saying) is that people will copy a cake, but change one small thing to "make it their own". That's not going to accomplish making it your own and sometimes a cake design is just so good, why change it? So you can pretend it's your design?

But you hear it a lot. I probably just insulted 100 people. I don't care, someone needs to tell them this is codswallop.

Gingerlocks Posted 8 May 2014 , 3:29pm
post #6 of 80

For me I don't "mind" (too much anyway) when someone blatantly steals my designs..its when they do it badly that really irks me. I know for a fact that a few customers have seen pics of mine; got pricing from me, thought it was too much and took my photo to a cheap cake lady and then I see in on the local blogs, Facebook etc.. and its usually just awful and cringe worthy.

 

I mean technically I can't say that any of my designs are 100% original; many are inspired from others work, and some are even copied (if that's what the customer wants), but I like to think I did justice to the original. I just hate it when I see "my designs" on the local sites, and its always some blurry picture from a phone, grubby kitchen in the background, fondant budging or whatever..but its usually not pretty! 

-K8memphis Posted 8 May 2014 , 4:14pm
post #7 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by howsweet 

If you're going to give credit for a design, be careful. I ran across a design of mine with credit given to another person who had copied my design and put it on her website. Most people don't give credit and you can't assume it's their original design just be cause you see they made the cake.

I consider it a compliment to be copied, but found this other person being given credit kind of irritating.
ouch--yeah good point--i mean if you get it out of a book like kerry vincent's or colette's you can use 'all design credit due to the fine work of bladeebla' page 43 romantic cakes -- but just getting it off the internet, 'inspired by bladeebla' -- but it's an option--not necessary-- and the awesome caker who was a ballerina and does all the ombred ruffles--that design is everywhere--she is copied from sea to shining sea

Most of what we do is not really art. Sure there are a few cake artists but the vast majority are not. It's mostly more of a craft and we may often be considered artisans.
i whole heartedly agree ^^^ and then when cakes get compared--folks can appreciate the expertise of both artisans or not as in gingerlock's case--

And on a side note, I've never done a cake that anyone mistook for real dog. 
there's still time :-D 
 

 

 

yeah, ginger, if it's local competition it might smart a little -- just depends on how you look at it i guess--

-K8memphis Posted 8 May 2014 , 4:16pm
post #8 of 80

and sometimes i think they wanna change 'one little thing' because they're not capable of executing the design in the first place --

 

if one can copy a picasso then they are already a dang good painter kwim

costumeczar Posted 8 May 2014 , 4:55pm
post #9 of 80

Quote:

Originally Posted by howsweet 



Most of what we do is not really art. Sure there are a few cake artists but the vast majority are not. It's mostly more of a craft and we may often be considered artisans.

 

Oh my God, thank you. This is my pet peeve, as anyone who reads my blog rants knows.

Claire138 Posted 8 May 2014 , 5:07pm
post #10 of 80

^^^Yep.

AZCouture Posted 8 May 2014 , 5:19pm
post #11 of 80

AI prefer not to copy, just a thing I don't care for, unless I really like the idea or I'm getting paid well. And I definitely want to do what I can to give a little shout out to the original creator. However, thanks to Pinterest and IG, and all the other photo sharing sites, sometimes you can't find the original creator. Happened to me with one last year. I reverse searched the photo to find where it came from (the photo from my client), and I got so many results and similar cakes, I gave up.

There's a point when it becomes ridiculous to spend a bunch of time trying to be courteous.

AZCouture Posted 8 May 2014 , 5:21pm
post #12 of 80

AAnd of course, as soon as I posted mine on Facebook, a friend of the original creator came along and snarked about not giving credit. Holy hell, I'm so over that entitled "THAT'S MINE!" crap. Stealing photos is one thing, but spending hours and hours tracking down someone to give them credit is a waste of time.

AZCouture Posted 8 May 2014 , 5:28pm
post #13 of 80

AForgot to add that I had the discussion about having spent quite a bit of time trying to find the person who designed it, [B]with[/B] the decorator who eventually came along after seeing her friend post, and she even agreed about the whole Pinterest issue.

howsweet Posted 8 May 2014 , 5:30pm
post #14 of 80

AZ, you've been true to yourself and kept with your individual style. That's possibly the most difficult thing anyone can do in this business and it sets you apart and above most every one else. You're one of the very few who creates something new and sets trends that others follow.

SugarJen Posted 8 May 2014 , 5:37pm
post #15 of 80

Thank you ladies for all your advice. I have to admit that the reason I ask is because I have folder in my computer with hundreds of cakes I've told myself I will pne day re-create, and because I have also found images on Google and copied the desings already. I havent uploaded recent pictures to CC, and wanted to know what the appropriate thing to do is.

howsweet Posted 8 May 2014 , 5:44pm
post #16 of 80

Setting courtesy aside for a moment, it makes more sense for AZ to give credit if she copies something because her specialty is original design. And it helps emphasize her brand when she gives credit.   My situation is just the opposite, I have a few truly original things scattered in, but it's mostly just similar stuff to what everybody is currently doing. If I gave credit for all the styles and designs on my website, people wouldn't know who to call. :lol:

AZCouture Posted 8 May 2014 , 6:17pm
post #17 of 80

AThanks! I have tried to make a niche of sorts, but there is definitely unoriginal details in a lot of what I do. What I definitely avoid doing when presented with a theme to design for, is Googling other cakes for inspiration. If someone sends me a pic, I'm already going to have that on my brain, but if I'm left to my own to come up with something, I don't want to be influenced by another cake. But heck, there are a lot of great ideas out there from other people, and I'm not against using them in my own work. My original intention for not copying other designs was to avoid making swiss dots and swirls all day long...so far I've managed to avoid those! But like I've said before, if it means getting paid for swiss dots or not getting paid for anything at all...I'm getting paid for swiss dots. :D

-K8memphis Posted 8 May 2014 , 6:20pm
post #18 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by SugarJen 
 

Thank you ladies for all your advice. I have to admit that the reason I ask is because I have folder in my computer with hundreds of cakes I've told myself I will pne day re-create, and because I have also found images on Google and copied the desings already. I havent uploaded recent pictures to CC, and wanted to know what the appropriate thing to do is.

 

 

do your thing and be happy--someone will probably contact you and ask that you give credit where it might or might not be due so you'll be all prepared to respond and resolve it as you see fit-- we all inspire each other and again, it's how the caking thing was created-- it's not like copying a story someone else wrote or using a photograph that you don't own

 

this is an interesting twist in a similar situation:

 

http://www.heidiklumfans.com/heidi-quits-jewelry-business.php

 

for anyone who can't get the link, heidi klum was sued by van kleef and arpels for 'copying' a certain scalloped design-- heidi denied it was copied and eventually just stopped producing jewelry-- 

 

this is just my understanding of the thing-- there may be more to it

howsweet Posted 8 May 2014 , 6:43pm
post #19 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture 

 What I definitely avoid doing when presented with a theme to design for, is Googling other cakes for inspiration.

I've tried to stop doing that in the last few months and since I've been doing it less,  I find I'm coming up with cakes that I'm much more proud of. When I first started my work was much more original. I've just seen soooo many cakes now.

-K8memphis Posted 8 May 2014 , 6:48pm
post #20 of 80

this is funny-- i googled ruffle cake images to try & find the name of that caker who does the ombred ruffle cakes and was a ballerina in a previous life--margaret or sarah? think it's margaret >insert last name< she teaches on craftsy...anyhow

 

these are the related topics that were listed down the side of my monitor:  :grin:

 

-K8memphis Posted 8 May 2014 , 6:53pm
post #21 of 80

i always ask my brides to describe in a few words what  they imagine their reception to be like, elegant, sweet, whimsical, goth, ruffles, doritos, cheetos funyuns hahaha

AZCouture Posted 8 May 2014 , 6:57pm
post #22 of 80

A

Original message sent by howsweet

I've tried to stop doing that in the last few months and since I've been doing it less,  I find I'm coming up with cakes that I'm much more proud of.

Awesome!

SugarJen Posted 8 May 2014 , 7:27pm
post #23 of 80

Quote:

Originally Posted by -K8memphis 
 

this is funny-- i googled ruffle cake images to try & find the name of that caker who does the ombred ruffle cakes and was a ballerina in a previous life--margaret or sarah? think it's margaret >insert last name< she teaches on craftsy...anyhow

 

these are the related topics that were listed down the side of my monitor:  :grin:

 

 

Haha! Can you picture someone ordering a Ruffled wedding cake and getting this :

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 80????

SugarJen Posted 8 May 2014 , 7:29pm
post #24 of 80

Quote:

Originally Posted by howsweet 
 

I've tried to stop doing that in the last few months and since I've been doing it less,  I find I'm coming up with cakes that I'm much more proud of. When I first started my work was much more original. I've just seen soooo many cakes now.

 

I dont have creativity to come up with my own design, which is why I agree that all who decorate cakes are not artists. I am much better at copying what I see. But, who knows....Maybe I should give it a try.

AZCouture Posted 8 May 2014 , 7:32pm
post #25 of 80

AReminds me of the bagged spinach cake that was viral recently. Anyone see that one? Where the bag was made from gelatin, and the cake was inside, and had little pieces of fondant spinach? Way cool! I love trompe l'oeil cakes, they're so fun. I'd love to make a potato chip bag cake for a wedding!

AZCouture Posted 8 May 2014 , 7:38pm
post #26 of 80

A[@]SugarJen[/@], next time someone contacts you for a cake, provided they don't give you a bunch of cakes for "inspiration", do the following:

Ask what flowers they'll have at the reception, and what they'll carry in their bouquets.

What's the overall theme for the wedding? Any interesting decorating styles? Fabrics? Specific patterns?

The dress...any details from the dress that are unusual or neat? How about the jewelry?

Ask to see the invitation, those can have neat details.

And of course...what about the couple? What hobbies do they share, interests, things particular about them that could be incorporated into the design.

These are standard questions I ask my clients if I need help coming up with ideas. The more custom I can get for them the better. Doesn't always work out that way, sometimes it's already established what they want to see, and that sure makes it easier. But if you get lots of ideas from those questions....you won't have to to look for previously done cakes, because you've got everything you need from the bride. Just a matter of organizing ideas and translating them into cake.

AZCouture Posted 8 May 2014 , 7:45pm
post #27 of 80

ASame for birthdays and other celebrations. Show me the invitations, the decorations, the party outift if there's a theme, etc....that's all I need to go on. My goal with most designs is to compliment the decor, and not be too matchy matchy. Unless there is a specific detail that will translate into a design, I try to stick to matching colors and patterns only, and make one single focal point, whether it's a tiara, or a big flower, or a name in fancy font or something.

mzteaze Posted 8 May 2014 , 7:46pm
post #28 of 80

Quote:

Originally Posted by AZCouture 

Reminds me of the bagged spinach cake that was viral recently. Anyone see that one? Where the bag was made from gelatin, and the cake was inside, and had little pieces of fondant spinach? Way cool! I love trompe l'oeil cakes, they're so fun. I'd love to make a potato chip bag cake for a wedding!

 

If you can, do you mind posting a picture of this?  I would love to see what it looks like.  I tried Googling it but kept find the picture of the dead frog in a bag of spinach.  Ugh.

-K8memphis Posted 8 May 2014 , 9:26pm
post #29 of 80

Quote:

Originally Posted by AZCouture 

Reminds me of the bagged spinach cake that was viral recently. Anyone see that one? Where the bag was made from gelatin, and the cake was inside, and had little pieces of fondant spinach? Way cool! I love trompe l'oeil cakes, they're so fun. I'd love to make a potato chip bag cake for a wedding!

 

i didn't see that one but i agree nothing trumps trompe l'oeil --

-K8memphis Posted 8 May 2014 , 9:28pm
post #30 of 80
Quote:

Originally Posted by SugarJen 

Haha! Can you picture someone ordering a Ruffled wedding cake and getting this :

 

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 80????

 

 

yes me!  :lol:  i'm a chipaholic-- in a former life anyhow --

 

but seriously that is the best though

 

i mean there's ruffles and there's 'ruffles have ridges'...

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