It’s not plagiarism; it’s just lameness. Be sure to read the “Updates” sections at the end for details.
My question is: who plagiarized whom? Given the New York envy that a lot of city planners, developers and assorted people running Accordion City seem to have, coupled with the unoriginality of the ad campaigns to promote the city, I’d bet that the TTC did it. I’d love to be proven wrong, but this has all the hallmarks of our local brand of half-assery written all over it.
If you read the gray text on the bottom left of the Toronto poster, you’ll see that it says something along the lines of “posters produced in co-operation with the MTA.”
While it’s honest, it’s still lame. We both agree that it’s pretty sad that the TTC couldn’t come up with their own safety poster ideas.
A response from Brad Ross, Director of Corporate Communciations for the TTC, with the downright Chuck-Norris-ballsiest first sentence I’ve seen in a comment on this blog in a good long time:
You are wrong.
The Toronto Transit Commission requested, and received, permission from the MTA to use this creative concept. Transit properties across North America often share “creative” when communicating safety messages to their customers.
If you look closely, you’ll see a line that reads, “Concept and design R Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York.”
Constructive criticism of the TTC is welcome, but alleging plagiarism without first checking the facts is simply unfair.
Director – Corporate Communications
Toronto Transit Commission
Hello, Mr. Ross!
Firstly, please allow me to apologize for calling “Plagiarism!”. I couldn’t read the text at the bottom of the photo and assumed it was graphic design plagiarism, which happens quite often.
I updated my blog to correct that as soon as I find out. That’s the beauty of this medium: its ability to adapt as new information comes in or as dictated by circumstances. It’s an ability I hope the TTC will someday acquire.
I think that there are ways to get the share creative without being so stultifyingly, blandly, boringly, homogenous. The MTA’s poster reflects its unified design identity right down to its typeface. The only thing that’s uniquely “Toronto” about the TTC’s poster is the photo — the rest of the poster, right down to the layout comes off as being a lackluster copy of the original. What’s partly to blame is the lack of a unified graphic identity for the TTC, an organization whose communication skills are so poor that its best website and merchandise are fan-made, not official.
I’m certain that you could’ve gone with the general creative concept for the safety poster and done something a little original.