Graphic designers who are looking to showcase their work in search of fame and fortune should look to social media that focus on sharing images. Facebook and Twitter have their uses, but art tends to get lost in the blur of amusing anecdotes, lunch updates and photos of your mom’s new dog. When you utilize sites like Tumblr and Pinterest, you can draw the attention of people in tune with graphics and art.
Even design studios have pinboards on Pinterest. The boards can showcase inspiration, feature new work and function as a portfolio for the user. The images link back to the source which can be a blog, Facebook page or online portfolio. This isn’t social media like we’ve always thought of it. It’s more asocial, but focused on creating communities of people who appreciate the same imagery.
You can’t scroll through a design blog without coming across links or articles about Pinterest. The initial hype and attention is cooling down, but the site keeps growing. This month there has been talk about the infringement of copyright laws. This was after one scared Pinterest user took her account down after she noticed that the terms and conditions mean that the user will be held responsible if someone takes legal action against their work circulating on Pinterest.
So, one can look at Pinterest as a way to promote yourself, connect with others and find inspiration OR a copyright devil. According to the Wall Street Journal, however, if you put up your own content you can’t break any laws. This means taking your own photos of things you would like to pin. We see this trend with Instagram, the iPhone app, which can share to social networks as well as the Instagram community. Not because people are afraid of copyright infringement but because they like to share photos of themselves, things that interest them and their lives.
Other risk-free photos are ones you have bought the rights for, free stock photography and photos from before 1923. If this sounds all too paranoid, stick to this rule: don’t try and make money from the use of other people’s images and always credit the source. This means picture books and calendars are best left alone if you want to use “safe” images.
According to the creator of the blog WTF Pinterest?, Allison Tyler, another interesting thing about photo sharing sites is the weird things that crop up and users often taking hoax images as the real deal. She runs a Tumblr dedicated to the strange images she finds on Pinterest, uncanny coincidences and unfortunate trends. So it looks like Pinterest isn’t just about art, inspiration and design lovers after all.
Pinterest recently got a new look and layout and, as we’ve seen with Facebook in the past, users hate change. One user likened the feeling of the new Pinterest layout to coming home and finding that someone redecorated without your permission. People feel strongly about their boards indeed. Pinterest has not yet responded to the overwhelmingly negative feedback, but maybe they want to wait and see if users can get used to the new look or if they should get to work on more changes to bring back the “mood board”, make the profile headers smaller or other changes to the paint and furniture that users have been complaining about.
The future for Pinterest looks bright as the dedicated users seemingly can’t go without it. The users are also more inclined to be very attuned to visuals and demand the best from the Pinterest experience.
Written on behalf of Now Learning, which promotes a range of courses in Australia, including TAFE courses and courses on design.