H&M's creative team aren't looking very nice today

25 January 2012

Over in East Atlanta Village, in Georgia, USA, there is a sign. It was hand-painted in 2008 by local resident Tori LaConsay, as a ‘love letter’ to the neighbourhood.


Tori tells regresty: “This was on the side of the sign that I thought people would see on their way to work. On the other side of the sign (the side I thought people would see the most on their return back to the neighborhood) I painted, “I’m So Happy You’re Here” with another little heart. It was a small gesture that I genuinely hoped would make my neighbors feel good.” So far, so hippy-dippy, but a nice enough sentiment anyway.

Fast forward to 2012, and let’s have a look at what H&M are flogging on their UK website…



Hmm, that looks pretty similar to us. Tori got in touch with H&M, raising her concerns about what looks like an open-and-shut case of copyright theft. But no, it’s okay, because H&M told her…

“We employ an independent team of over 100 designers. We can assure you that this design has not been influenced by your work and that no copyright has been infringed.”

Let’s take another look.


Yes, they’re right. Sorry Tori, no case to answer. Now keep calm and carry on.


  • DJDarren
    No no, it's fine. H&M have used a lower case 'I' in Nice, so it's *totally* different...
  • Mike H.
    What do you mean by I only look nice 'today'? Didn't I look nice yesterday?
  • Iceland S.
    I've Got Lice Today, and I'm So not Happy They’re Here
  • Alexis
    H&M are screwed. Some nice royalties should be going Tori's way if she persists. If they employ 100 designers, that just increases the chance that one of them has copied it. Bit daft to mention it.
  • ohplease
    She painted on a sign, and all of a sudden she has copyright claims? This is pretty stupid.
  • Tom F.
    "She painted on a sign, and all of a sudden she has copyright claims? This is pretty stupid." Um, yeah. That's kinda how copyright works. Create a piece of art, and the copyright automatically belongs to the creator.
  • Andy
    It looks like they may have *cough* sold out on the website. I cannot find them anymore!
  • Natty
    Apple their Ass ! (c) Tori.
  • Weevil
    Only sensible way to settle this: H&M fire their thieving marketeers, Georgia police arrest the woman who defaced public property. Everybody wins.
  • Dawn
    This reminds me of Vanilla Ice's Ice Ice Baby "It's din din din da da din din". Clearly not Queen's Under Pressure which is "dun dun dun da da dun dun" Uhm... really? Cause they sound the same.. oh look.. just like those products look like the original sign.
  • Jane
    "This reminds me of Vanilla Ice’s Ice Ice Baby “It’s din din din da da din din”. Clearly not Queen’s Under Pressure which is “dun dun dun da da dun dun” ".... yes: and because Vanilla Ice used their work *without permission*, the copyright holders of Under Pressure threatened suit and settled with him out of court for an undisclosed sum. Get it now?
  • this s.
    Do you really think the H&M team were just chilling in this tiny town, and happened to see this random sign? I think this is the silliest thing I've seen all day. Hopefully people will start backing off this...I'm amazed.
  • Billy
    @silly No chance that there would be a few photos of the sign on the internet for the 'creatives' to find and inspire them then eh?
  • Alicia J.
    And this poster looks rather familiar too...
  • Alicia J.
  • Michelle V.
    Wow, this is upsetting to read about since I respect H&M highly on the retail scene in various areas. This is way too close for comfort. I freelance design and if I saw something that was DAMN-NEAR IDENTICAL to one of my designs (no matter the format) I would be crushed if I wasn't given even the smallest bit of credit for the inspiration. Such a shame someone is jeapordizing the H&M designing team. Fire them immediately. Bad press = bad business :::shakes head:::: This is where the internet becomes a double-edged sword. Millions of areas for inspiration, but many areas where ideas and designs can be easily snatched. COPYRIGHT ALL OF YOUR MATERIAL! Sign your name, stamp a symbol....something! Protect what is most important to you. I submitted 10 or so designs to a swimwear manufacture, but not before mailing myself a sealed envelope with a postdate on it containing my submitted designs - the "poor-man's copyright" It does wonders. If you paint something; even taking a picture and posting on a social site upon completion will secure a documentation of when the art was created. This is where social media can help artists stuck in this predicament. To the artists of the street art - Best of luck to you, and I love YOUR work!! XO
  • ninsim
    Registering 'Intellectual Property Rights' is an expensive business that only large companies can afford so this kind of 'theft' becomes the norm amongst the 'corporates'. The flaccid assertion that H&M's multitude of designers could easily come up with this amazingly identical (apart from the lower case 'i') is rather like the story of a million monkeys with a million word processors inevitably producing the entire works of Shakespeare. Shame on you H&M.

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