Hidden Eloise

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« Oh Deer | Main | Chasing Paperchase... »

February 10, 2010


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Hello again,

Just wanted to let you know my message to Paperchase...

Hi, I am a big fan of Paperchase and purchase lots of stationery from you.

The Hidden Eloise case is worrying and I feel there needs to be something done as she has been blatantly ripped off.

I am an independent graphic designer and have come across this intellectual property issue many times.

I think if a company as successful as Paperchase can't help stamp this out, it is a big shame, especially as you rely on the artistic and creative skills of Illustrators and designers for many of your products.

Really, either the design agency you used or Paperchase should be compensating Hidden Eloise.


How horrible! I have both the print and the cards and I'm furious at having once more to witness an independent designer's right to their work trampled upon in this way. I hope this is resolved in the best way possible for you!


I am spreading the word for you, too. I am so sorry!

Heather S.

Your next course of action is, of course, to issue an invoice for an appropriate amount of remuneration for the use of your work to the agency Paperchase used and mentioned in their public statement. Quite frankly, issuing a clearly itemised invoice tends to work quite well in my limited experience. Good luck with this!



I am so sorry this happened to you. :(

Something similar happened to me a while back, lawyers were over $400 per hour and suing a company over seas was basically impossible for a small indie artist like myself.

So glad you are able to spread the word via social networking, best of luck in this case. We are all behind you!!!



Clearly they have used the design. It is now simply a matter of billing them.

Total up how many units they have sold. Decide on a licence fee. Submit the bill. You might want to split the bill into smaller units to make the accounting of it simpler.

Bill them. Kind people simply complimenting you on Paperchase using your design will help. Because the world recognises your work. Paperchase can say it is different, which is a strategy of saying that they do not wish to pay.

Congratulations on Paperchase using your hiddeneloise.com designs by the way!

They have used the goods. Quite simply they have chosen to use the goods in a way that maximises profit for themselves. All they need to do is to pay the bill.

Given that they failed to engage you at the earliest possible stage - which is what you, as a reasonable person would want to do - there might be an argument for punitive damages. They are now suggesting that you are the one delaying. So, inform them of your intention to bill them.

Oh yes inform them that you will charge them for the collection of the bill for any additional legals fees. Simply tell them that payment is strictly 14 days and then use a statutory interest calculator to calculate how much the fee rises should they fail to pay.

Remind them regularly and remind them that you will also be recovering any extra expenses (such as legal advice) that they cause you to incur should the process be protracted. Tell them what date you intend to engage legal advice at their expense before you do so.

Kind People should write to Paperchase and congratulate them on picking up a young and talented artist. Telling them of the years of development that is finally being rewarded.

The design agency that sold the intellectual property, that you own, to paperchase should be insured against legitimate mistakes. So there is little justification for Paperchase not paying the bill and claiming off the insurance. After all, the design agency is their agent - they must surely have determined that they were capable of taking the powers Paperchase delegated to them and using them in the best interests of Paperchase. So they have no way of saying "we knew nothing" because "your agent did".

Basically, I think they made a purchase and are now just reluctant to pay the bill. First step: bill them. Sort out how much you think it is worth. Double it. Add 30% for taxation. Then consider how much your pride and artistic integrity is hurt by such appalling behaviour. Add that on top.

Then Bill them.


I'm really sorry this has happened to you,I went through a similar discovery with Paperchase last year. One range of designs were very similar to one particular drawing of mine. I went straight to the Association of Illustrators who were really helpful but said my claim for copyright was not strong enough to pursue so I did not contact Paperchase about it. I think Jacqueline is has hit the nail on the head though and it doesn't seem that legally there is much we can do about it. However, inspired by your move, I emailed Paperchase about my case and updated the AOI. They are going to feature this growing trend with Paperchase on their blog.http://www.theaoi.com/blog
Good luck!Glad this is getting out in the open!jxxx


If you go to the Guardian website


which has written about your story, you may be interested to know that many people there are stating that much of your work is very similar to artist Jen Corace's work.

I personally believe that although there maybe similarities in style you have not brazenly traced any of her work.

Just thought you might want to know what some people, probably Paperchase PR drones, are saying.

Good luck with the fight. Perhaps Google need to implement an image similarity search engine to find images that share certain elements. Anyway i'm no technician so good luck and hope you sell more of your work because of this.

Legal Eagle

From a legal perspective, your piece was 'inspiration' for their design, which was sufficiently modified to be considered 'new art.'

I'm afraid you probably can't win this battle in the courts, but there are other paths to victory.


I do believe you would be quite within your rights to walk into the stores and remove the offending items. Probably best not done on your own.


They're worried now - see the buckpassing message on their feedback page. "copied? really? how awful, we'll look into that straight away".

Boycott them for the rest of the year.


I sent an email requesting a speedy resolution to your dilemma and citing my intention to withhold purchase pending the outcome

I did this as author of the intensive notebook devouring blog


Hope this in some small way helps

Good Luck

Shaz from Oddsox

What disgraceful behaviour. Hopefully some adverse media attention will help towards stopping it. They'll certainly be losing my custom. Good luck with the fight.


I emailed paperchase and this was their response: "Both the illustrator and Paperchase have now received an apology fromKitty Mason, the designer who not admits to copying the work. Paperchasepurchased the work from Gather No Moss who advised us that the work wasnot copied. Paperchase did not contract the designer. Yours sincerely Robert Warden"


Mailed them telling them to basically grow a pair and admit they were thieves.

Outraged on your behalf


This is absolutely shameless!

I am so sorry to hear this has happened to you, I'll be tweeting and emailing in support.

Thinking of a fellow designer in a time of need.



got a reply from my email to Paperchase:

"There will be a public statement from Gather No Moss exonerating
Paperchase from any blame in this matter."

Yours sincerely

Robert Warden

Still they should've pulled all those products as soon as they saw the rip off and publically hung the 'designer' by the testicles.

This just stinks of 'oh shit we've been caught so we'd better find a scapegoat'


I wrote to Paperchase and got the standard reply that they bought in good faith etc but they are missing the point and this is how I have responded back:

You may well have purchased the design in good faith but you are hiding behind that excuse.
You have not engaged with the designer, instead using your size and corporate muscle to choose not to engage with the individual concerned. These are corporate bullying techniques - ignore the little guy after all what can they do?

You are seeing the result of what they can do and are now running scared.

I hope people continue to boycott you until you stand up for the individual and encourage it as a part of your business ethic and the day to da of your business. I fear that this incident will not change Paperchase in any way concerning how it deals with its small suppliers but its a lesson that will serve you well to take heed from.

The people have spoken and now, together, they have the power to decide your future.




I just saw the link on Neil Gaiman's site. You have my support, for what it is worth. Good luck.

James Walmesley

I'm a freelance illustrator, and, whilst I have yet to suffer this kind of indignity, I am aware of how angry and hurt it would make me feel.

I've written to Paperchase, pressing them to do the right thing.

Good luck!



I'm sorry to hear about this, TOPSHOP did something very similar to my work: http://jewelsinthewoods.blogspot.com/2010/02/i-dont-work-for-topshop.html

good luck with getting some recompense.

The Informed Consumer

I am assuming that Paperchase, having been completely chastened by this outrageous episode, have offered you a sum representing the amount they earned from sales of this product? No? Well, maybe they should. And they should throw the book at the "artist" and refuse to employ the company that sheltered her ever again.

Term Paper

Congratulation, to you man, Such a nice post, really interesting, really admire your work, to have some more of it,Thanks.

Le Pup

Good for you. Keep going, the fact I am reading this means your plight is being heard by new people every day.


Dreadfully sorry to see that blatant copy. I hope it is being resolved for you. You create exceptionally atmospheric images.
Lynn x

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