Have you ever been shopping around or checking some of your favorite Facebook groups, and found that two shops have the “same” design? A lot of times it is easy to point fingers and accuse a designer of copying another designer when we share a new design on our website or social media. In some cases someone else may have posted a similar design a week or more ago. Maybe even just a day or more than a year ago.

It is important to note that creating a new design takes time. Hours, days, and sometimes even weeks or months go into planning and creating what we want to be the perfect design for our customers. Each designer and digitizer has a different technique. While some designs may look exactly the same at first glance, even the same basic design will always have differences with regard to stitch placement, stitch length, technique, steps, and number of colors and shading. If one designer lists a design on Monday and another designer lists one on Tuesday, I can assure you that the second one did not sit down and instantly copy them. They were already working on something and the timing is simply a coincidence.

If one of the designers you follow is constantly sharing new designs, which take hours and hours or preparation; they do not have the time to stop in the middle of what they are doing to hurry up and copy someone else’s design. You know how irritating it is when a friend, family member or customer says “all you have to do is push a button” to create something for them? The same is true for digitizing a design. Even the most expensive digitizing software programs aren’t magic. You really can’t just import a picture and wave a wand to get the perfect design.

Second to the fact that it takes a lot of time to digitize and then test out each design (often more than one person is testing the same design), many designers may purchase clip art that is non-exclusive and can be purchased and used by MANY people for a variety of reasons (to create printables, use in blog posts and on social media, create embroidery and sublimation designs). What this ultimately means is that several embroidery designers and digitizers will end up creating the “same” or “similar” designs over time. Often you will not even realize it if you aren’t following other shops, and new ones pop up everyday! As shop owners who create and sell embroidery designs (printables and sublimation/vinyl files, as well) we cannot know about every single other designer across the globe.

Take a moment and think about all the effort we each put into running a business and doing everything possible to keep customers happy. We all strive to do great work, while working countless hours, often while not properly taking care of ourselves, our family or friends. All in the name of being able to provide customers with new designs regularly. If you think you see a designer selling something “just like” someone else has available, please do not call them out in their Facebook group. If you feel it’s truly a copycat situation, be respectful and contact them through the channels they have available on their website or their preferred method listed in their Facebook group. Assuming they stole someone’s design, after everything I’ve shared above, simply isn’t good for anyone.