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Busted: Artvoice ganks art from Hero Design and Julian Montague

The Twitter account and blog of Hero Design Studio, a local boutique firm and storefront known for its innovative concert poster designs, has been lighting up with some pretty serious allegations since Friday.
Late last week, I came across this message, via Buffalo blogger Alan Bedenko: "Stealing our artwork is a REALLY bad idea!!!! Seriously check this out, stolen right from our website:" Later, local designer Julain Montague piped up that another element on AV's back cover was approrpiated from one of his designs, a book cover for Mark Goldman's "City on the Edge."

Hold on a second. Could Buffalo's alt weekly possibly have stolen artwork directly from the Web site of a well-known local design firm and the cover of a popular local book? A call to Artvoice Managing Editor Geoff Kelly confirmed that indeed it did.
Kelly admitted the paper's transgression and attributed it to a designer employed by the paper.

"Someone in our art department made a stupid, terrible mistake and we are working toward a resolution with Hero Design," Kelly said, adding that he was confident the two sides would come to an understanding.

An employee at Hero confirmed that owners Mark Brickey and Beth Manos-Brickey were outraged by the apparent plagiarism, though they have not yet returned calls.

Take a look at the artwork in question:

Hero's original design, a poster for an Iron and Wine show:


And Julian Montague's design for "City on the Edge":


And here's Artvoice's current back cover:


--Colin Dabkowski



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