Global pandemic or not, our project scope conversations are always free | Contact

Give em’ the bootleg

In part of Africa - due to limited access to printers, people paint bootleg movie posters. Often much cooler than the original.

When a product in the free market gains popularity and starts to grow, a few things happen; Innovation is born, competition starts, creativity is sparked, chapters in culture are marked.

Another more seedy thing happens though, an underbelly full of people and companies trying to undercut their authentic predecessors. This is the world of bootleg products.

The beauty of these products is in that most of them try to walk the thin line between fooling their consumer into thinking they’re the real deal and being different enough that a judge doesn’t rule them as a copycat.

The combination of often broken English and walking this weird thin line results in some of the most unintentionally funny products and artwork I’ve seen.

Functionality is secondary - the logo takes up more area than the screen.
Harry Potter and the Jurassic Bug's Life cartoon

John Wick ft The guy from Avatar, ft Spiderman, ft Batman

I’m not a lawyer but I don’t think combining as many unrelated action heroes onto a page is smarter than just one. But there’s a theme here where Batman will sit next to the guy from Avatar in some bizarre cross-over episode of teenage mutant ninja turtles. The products usually suck, they cut all technical corners while just stealing any IP or copyrighted material to bait customers.

Imagine being able to reap all the power of a brand identity without any of the work required to create one.

Often the design deductions made both from a product and graphic design perspective are made in order to thwart copyright claims. The results are weird titles and scuffed artwork but yet oddly beautiful design moments.

Some of which, ironically, gain more popularity than their authentic counterpart.

Adolescent Radioactive Martial Artist Tortoises
Why use the worlds worst browser's brand equity?
Tom "Small Face" Cruise. Almost ran out of room there with the title guys.
There was also a massive bootleg boom in the 90s, especially when it came to tshirts. Taking iconic characters like Bart Simpson or Mickey Mouse and dripping them out.

Bootleg products usually suck, they cut all technical corners while just stealing any IP or copyrighted material to bait customers.

Bootleg Simpsons instrument packaging + toy uzi + Simpsons sticker = Simpsons...uzi?
Nothing is sacred
"Donatello Man"
Next Article

The Bhagwan's Rolls Royces

We love a good design challenge.

Let's Chat!