Skip to main content
Jun 01, 2022

Graphic Design, Legally: The Laws for Lonely Poets that Govern your Design Studio

Eric Schrijver
Image of Eric Schrijver presenting

About this video


For creatives, copyright provides both challenges and opportunities. It offers the potential for ongoing revenues and creative control, yet it also sets boundaries on how you can reuse the work of others. A basic understanding of intellectual property rights is essential to any design practice, both to know one rights and to stay out of trouble. Compared to the work of other creative professionals, graphic designers' projects are complex. They incorporate images, texts and typefaces, often designed by others, and the rights of collaborators and clients can be part of the equation too. In this talk, we explore the different perspectives of designers: running a studio or working for one, commissioned by a client or creating a product. What is the kind of legal ‘authorship' each scenario affords? What does this authorship have to offer—and what are the pitfalls?


Eric Schrijver

Eric is a Dutch interaction designer, artist and author. He now lives in Brussels and works for clients in the public and private sector designing user interfaces. Eric got his start as an author editing the blog ;I like tight pants and mathematics at the intersection of design and hacker culture. In 2018, Eric published his first book, Copy This Book, an artist guide to copyright (Onomatopee). Both practical and critical, this book guides readers through the concepts underlying copyright and how they apply in creative practice. It also provides the foundation needed to participate in the debate on intellectual property today. From 2011 to 2017, Eric was a core member of the graphic design collective Open Source Publishing. Eric has taught workshops at art schools around the world. He has been a faculty member in the Masters Graphic Design Program at École de Recherche Graphique (ERG), as well as KABK (The Hague), where he taught coding and interaction design.