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I recently created a logo for a local student body that I want to include in my design portfolio. They already had a logo, but it was taken straight from a vector graphics stock website (CC-BY licence). I used that as a basis for the look and feel of my design.

The finished logos (I created a couple of variants, including a simple one as the general logo and a more intricate one for their T-Shirts) have really nothing in common with the original vector graphic. However, I'm wondering if I should still include this vector graphic in this project in my portfolio, mentioning it as the starting point of my own creative process. Of course, I would clearly attribute it to the author, thus fulfilling the licence terms.

Will this make my own portfolio look better or worse?

Pros:

  • Shows my process, giving better insight in how I work
  • Clearly separates and underlines my own creative work
  • Potentially gives the impression that I'm honest and open

Cons:

  • Could diminish my own work (i.e. "it's not original design, he just ripped that thing of and changed it")

Those are my thoughts on the matter, but I would like to get some other opinions. On a related note: If I do include the original vector graphic, should I include earlier versions/revisions of the final logo design as well?

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This question is probably a bit too opinion based for this site, but here's my opinion anyway:

You should absolutely include the previous version of the logo and clearly label it as such. As you mention yourself, it serves to better illustrate your process. It also allows people to see that you have a developed sense of context and market sensitivity. It will show how you can improve on an existing design without going off on a tangent and alienating the target audience.

Also, trying to 'hide' any history or source of inspiration behind a design could be dangerous. Everybody has access to internet search engines and anything that gives the impression that you are trying to pass off somebody else's ideas as your own is likely to undermine your employability for a creative role.

  • +1 especially for the last paragraph. You can reverse image search with Google very easily these days, so it's not like it would be a stretch for them to be able to be able to find the original. – BruceWayne Feb 24 '17 at 21:59
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I think you should include this in your portfolio as a logo redesign. Because that's what it is, no matter if it originally came from a stock website or not, that doesn't even matter.

It's a second take on a logo. If you google logo redesign you can find very fun and creative ways to display redesigns, most even emphasise at what points the new logo is better than the old.

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