Saturday, June 9, 2012

Intelligent Copying

Good Designers Copy, Great Designers Steal -- Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso, the first living artist to be featured in the Louvre, influenced the artistic world in a uniquely original way. Then why would someone as original as Picasso say something as ironic as that? And what did he mean? There are a plenty of opinions and interpretations as to what he really meant.

What Picasso did mean was that great artists rummage through the great junk heap of lost, bypassed, and forgotten ideas to find the rare jewels, and then incorporate such languishing gems into their own personal artistic legacy. Picasso implied that great artists don’t get caught stealing because they transform so thoroughly into their own persona, that everyone ends up thinking the great idea was theirs in the first place. To summarize in one sentence: copy the inspiration, not the outcome.

A wonderful example of intelligent copying would be the logo of Bajaj Auto.
If you carefully analyze, it closely resembles a rotated version of the very famous Volkswagen (VW) Logo. Volkswagen is a German automobile manufacturer and the original and biggest-selling brand of the Volkswagen Group, which now also owns the Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Ducati, Lamborghini, SEAT, 49.9% of Porsche, Giugiaro, and ┼ákoda. Volkswagen has seen a glorious 75 years journey and along with the cars they manufacture, their logo has also seen many stages of evolution.
The present logo (VW) is a perfect example of a Brand Mark Logo (Check out for types of logos). Now, when we consider the Bajaj logo and rotate it clockwise by 90 degrees it almost overlaps with the ‘V’ and ‘W’ of the Volkswagen logo.
It is worth appreciating the logo designers of Bajaj for making an intellectual copy of a strong rival, who cannot claim for what Bajaj have achieved using the logo. To support the theory, if you notice, the text and background colour of the Bajaj logo are just swapped from that of the Volkswagen logo. Bajaj must surely be proud of having a designer who has created a successful and powerful logo simply by looking in a different angle at the already hit logo. Kudos to him!


  1. Lovely! The author surely makes a brilliant observation..but I'd love to hear from him/her what does the Bajaj logo mean.
    I just want to make sure he/she isn't mistaking trivial coincide to hideous copying :)

    1. Hi CSLV. I m not very sure about what the meaning behind the Bajaj Logo is, but I suppose it is an abstract representation of the letter 'B'. You may update us with the correct meaning, we would love to hear from you:)

    2. its actually a bird representing letter B.........

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  9. Thanks you for posting, great observation.