Nike is paying homage to... Or plagiarising?

Minor Theft - over at Pitchforkmedia one can see comparisons between Minor Threats cover art and a current Nike poster. Both carry the high contrast image of a bald shaven guy sitting with his head in his arms in a staircase. Both have the words running down the right in block text: "Minor Threat" vs "Major Threat".

"You don't need a degree in graphic design to notice the similarities here. They're the fucking same. Oh, wait-- one is blue, not red. And Major, not Minor. And there are some Nike logos tossed in there. This brings to mind an interview with Vanilla Ice, defending the differences between "Ice Ice Baby" and "Under Pressure" ("dun dun dun duh-duh-duh dun" vs. "DUN dun dun dun duh-duh-duh dun")."

A rep from Discord records replied when PitchforkMedia asked "Did Nike ask permission" with :

"No, they stole it and we're not happy about it. Nike is a giant corporation which is attempting to manipulate the alternative skate culture to create an even wider demand for their already ubiquitous brand. Nike represents just about the antithesis of what Dischord stands for and it makes me sick to my stomach to think they are using this explicit imagery to fool kids into thinking that the general ethos of this label, and Minor Threat in particular, can somehow be linked to Nike's mission. It's disgusting."

The Major Threat Skateboard tour dates can be found on Nike's site Nike skateboarding where the "homage" artwork serves as a punk-nod tour poster. Is it parody? Is it a homage? Is it a lazy art director? What do you think? Thanks to salmonberry who emailed me the pitchfork link and hat tip to me3dia at Metafilter for the gossip.

If you like oogling at twin album cover art, see also Badland does album covers, the superb website called The Knockoff project which aims to collect as many twin covers as possible, and these over at WaitingforLoise.

about the author

Dabitch Creative Director, CEO, hell-raising sweetheart and editor of Adland. Globetrotting Swede who has lived and worked in New York, London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm.

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