The Great Bike Poster Battle of 2010.

"Poster on the left was created by me (Eric Schroen), shown July 1st 2010 at Crema Coffee House.

Cypher13 attended my show.
Two months later the poster on the right was created and displayed by Cypher13.

Look familiar?"

Let us know your thoughts? Are these posters alike enough for Eric to be rightfully upset? Or are the concepts just similar?

Comment below...

The background shows in both

The background shows in both the Codex: Space Marines (Haines and McNeill, 2004) and Codex: Chaos Space Marines (. Chambers et al, 2002) states that the legions of Chaos Marina nine of the twenty original "First Foundation Legions of Space Marines who fought in the Great Crusade for the Imperium of Man. At this time the Primarch Horus and Luna Wolves were corrupted by Chaos and instigated civil war across the galaxy known as the Horus Heresy.

background to the Chaos Space Marines is explored in detail in the series' Horus Heresy. " After the death of Horus and the end of the Heresy, the remnants of the nine Legions along with the other Imperial forces that had joined Horus escaped into an area of ​​the galaxy known as the Eye of Terror. Due to the nature of temporal chaos and instability of deformation, the same Chaos Marines who rebelled against the Emperor continue fighting against the Empire.

There definitely isn't any

There definitely isn't any originality or thought put into Cypher13's poster. I would be upset if I Eric. The concepts are way to similar. There is no original thought by Cypher13. He could have at least thrown some flashlights and bicycle tires in his poster to try and make it more original.

Wow, quite the conversation

Wow, quite the conversation this has stirred up. And, well it shows how passionate people are about design and the world around them. Basically, this was (is) the situation from my eyes…

I treated this "Poster Battle" just as if one of my friends had said:

"Hey Eric, you know that Bicycle Tools poster you made for your art show last month? Check this out! (shows another bicycle tools poster) You inspired me!".

My response would have been:

"Yeah, that's great, but why don't you try harder to make it NOT look like mine".

My response would NOT have been:

"You can't do that, I invented this style AND the silhouette!"

-Because, well…duh. I didn't (And never claimed too)

To me, design isn't just a "conscious effort to create something aesthetically pleasing". Design involves deep thought of ones feelings and inner self to create something that truly is, from the soul. And whether you appreciated my poster, or C13's, the poster I created from my show was just 1 out of 10 posters created with much hard work. Seeing another bicycle tools poster hanging at an art gallery 5 blocks down from the show I just finished, was not only faux pas, but on a creative scale, lazy.

So whether you agree with what I posted, or not, I have done what I set forth to do and called out that lack of inner deep thought and challenged not just originality, but creative hard work.

Thanks for Reading.

-Eric Schroen

Call the police, Rapha

Call the police, Rapha ripped you off too. Wait, this is from 2008. This is not a rip off, just similar ideas.

Sorry dude. Don't get bent.

Dude, seriously. I really

Dude, seriously. I really do wish it was more of a rip-off, it would make a MUCH better story. But, c'mon. They're both silhouettes. Of tools. Not THE most original idea ever.
I guess the bigger story is how a cutting edge design team would come up with something so boring.

I don't think Cypher ripped

I don't think Cypher ripped him off. This is an actual technique that is done in bike shops in order to remember where the tools go. See here:

Anyone who has been to a 'real' bike shop would recognize this and be even more impressed with Cypher's bike knowledge in that a close up of his work reveals black holes where the peg board holes would go.

Who cares anyway.

cypher13 designed pretty

cypher13 designed pretty much everything for Biennial of the Americas, which opened on July 1. I have to imagine they would have been there for the opening, and not at some coffee house.

Seems like a coincidence to me. Unless, of course, you invented the silhouette.

i don't think simple vector

i don't think simple vector graphics of real life objects can ever be considered "stolen" or "copied". and i have to say that the poster on the right is much nicer. stronger concept, executed in a much more interesting way. so even if cypher 13 was influenced by your poster, you should be honored that someone was able take it a bit further and improve upon it.

Having been involved with

Having been involved with the BFF show this year and having displayed a poster last year I think the this copycat debacle is underwhelming. It's pretty evident to me nearly 8/10 of the posters submitted are all created by 'designers' highly influenced by the entire 'Juxtapoz' style with instant access to any new angle or emerging design trend as rapidly as it surfaces (naysayers need think again if the truth falls to close to home, review your own 'contemporary influences').

This ability to quickly assimilate then transform (albeit barely) a project into an 'original' creation seems to be endemic of a near entire generation of Adobe users who lack an IN-DEPTH history of not only Design Theory (Professional) and Art History beyond a cursory level. The Art Institute machine that turns out these fledgling designers encourages them to seek work & fame in the Design field as opposed to working in Design to solve fundamental problems foremost. Unless designers are creating their own type, can actually freehand or even sketch a decent idea without illustrator etc. I don't think anyone should be running around offering up evaluations and should instead focus on their own skills first.

True times have changed and the methods & practices of yesterday may have been replaced my mechanisms more efficient, but it's pertinent we not confuse efficiency and availability of internet references as one's own creative idea's or to that extent the 'look' of a particular Firm or Studio. We all seek inspiration from work that has preceded us, the departure from that inspiration is the key turning point that separates the prolific from the ordinary. This mark or 'style' is easily identified and stands on it's own each and every time it's viewed and is secretly envied or praised by those of a lesser talent at that moment. It seems the IDEA of creating an original 'look' while solving design problems has been nearly lost as the pursuit of prestige has moved to the forefront. Something to contemplate..

@White Out ... well said.

@White Out ... well said.

Why is everyone getting so

Why is everyone getting so worked up? This is an idea that has been done countless of times before this "incident".

I think Buro Destruct was the first to start the "let's lay everything out and make silhouettes of them" trend back in 2000 when they did the book cover for Swiss Graphic Design (Die Gestalten Verlag). I've personally seen it done countless times since then and now I've seen it done with bike tools. So what if posters were created within a couple months of each other that use the same theme. They both look good. It's an idea that has been done before so no one should be getting angry or attacked.

If a completely original idea gets ripped off, then there is a right to get mad.

Interesting how everyone

Interesting how everyone here is forgiving of the similarities between work, and lets it pass as 'this is just something that happens', when other notable designers in Denver, or who started out in Denver, are absolutely shellacking Christopher Branson ( for 'biting' the style of Cypher 13, and two designers, Rob Angermuller ( & Celeste Prevost (

Rob and Celeste are mega-talented designers who started out of Denver, who completely hammered Kerntheword, who is a talented young designer trying to find his identity. Of course his work will emulate his heroes, which should be the sincerest form of flattery, but, unfortunately, you only have to read the thread that Christopher Cox (Changethethought™) posted to see people picking Chris apart mercilessly. Which is funny to me since no one is picking apart Cypher 13 for their 'unoriginality' or their lack of 'using their own talents to come up with an original idea'.

The ironic thing is, Chris is getting picked apart for not being original, or using his talent to come up with his own ideas, by designers who all have similarities to each other, and to many other designers worldwide. Also, designers defending a studio that just did the same thing they're ripping on Chris for, to Eric Schroen.

So, to those who say, let this pass, it doesn't matter, please read the following thread (link posted at bottom) and see how the Cypher 13 posse treated a young designer, still in school, whose work 'looks' like theirs. Even Changethethought™, who is obviously an inspiration for Chris, stood up for him, and got some fire.

It seems like it doesn't matter if Cypher 13 is unoriginal, because they have a big name and do it 'better'. But if someone emulates them, or designers who are close to them, those people will sound off. Double standards aren't fun, but they are a fact of life. Again, check this thread to show what happens when someone's work look like Cypher 13's, and not the other way around...

Aside from all else, I'd

Aside from all else, I'd like to set a couple things straight on this specific reply. First, to the contrary, Chris Branson was given copious amounts of mercy and respectful counter-criticism.

Also, CTT got some "fire" for missing the point, not for standing up for him. It's done and over with. No hard feelings, move on.

And, please stop trying to leverage a non-issue to generate extra traffic.

But, thank you for the compliment.

cypher 19 or whatever

cypher 19 or whatever totally ripped off dude. it's blatant and corny. arguing that there's only so much subject matter in bicycling or that it's improving upon the original is pretty weak in terms of a justification to take someone's idea. i will say though, that this happening is pretty much par for the course in the world of graphic design and can only be expected when a bunch of kids without any real talent learn how to use adobe illustrator.

Hi Eric - I am the owner of

Hi Eric - I am the owner of your piece from Crema! I love it hanging next to our hooks for our keys and bike wrenches :)

And as a designer, this has happened to me too. I designed the environmental graphics for Mark & Isabella, an Italian restaurant out at Belmar. M&I closed back at the end of the winter due to poor sales, and Little India took its place. Magically, the environmental graphics at Little India are a DIRECT rip off of my design for Mark & Isabella, the only difference being that the words on the walls now say Indian menu items, rather than Italian menu items. Its EXACTLY the same, and unfortunately, there's nothing that can be done about it. It's upsetting and enraging, but its also flattering.

While everyone who saw Cypher13's piece at Artcrank won't know they ripped you off — you know and they know — and if their unoriginality doesn't bother them, then well, at least we know better.

You're an incredible artist! Keep up the amazing work and don't ever be afraid to put it up in shows!

A good garage will often do

A good garage will often do this on the wall to keep from misplacing tools (if the silhouette is showing without the tool in front of it, it's time to find the tool). Extending that idea to bike tools and the items on the shelf doesn't seem too far fetched. That was the idea I thought of when I saw cypher13's poster. At worst cypher took Eric's idea and tried to improve upon it - which is a perfectly legitimate way to approach art and creativity. It is significantly different, and I would see it difficult to have any real issue with the cypher13's poster.

In the cycling world there

In the cycling world there is only so much to make art about. Two posters that feature bike silhouettes or bike tool silhouettes shouldn't be unexpected. If anything the only thing that Eric should be upset about is that Cypher13 did it better.

Dude. erics was way better.

Dude. erics was way better.

Cypher13's is a replication

Cypher13's is a replication of a mechanics workspace. Down to the lube and pegboard background in detail. Eric's poster is a collection of silhouettes. I understand that part of my post is all opinion and I appreciate you putting yours in the mix as well but I still feel Cypher13's is better, both in concept and application.

Perhaps because Eric is a

Perhaps because Eric is a bike mechanic, and uses these tools every day to work on and build bikes, he didn't feel the need to 'replicate a mechanic's workspace', but to take his own 'workspace' and make an artistic print from it.

In terms of concept, where is the concept in 'replicating a mechanic's workspace', other than replicating a mechanics workspace? Cypher 13's piece is no doubt bigger, and there are details, like the lube and the pegged background, but again, they're simply copying an existing space. I don't think that this interpretation is any stronger conceptually than a bike mechanic taking his workspace and re-imagining some of his favorite tools into a graphic poster. Maybe Eric intentionally left out the pegged background because he wasn't trying to replicate someone's garage wall exactly, because he actually looks at the wall every day, while he builds bikes. And, may I say, that replicating a garage wall exactly, while it may look good, is simply what it is, and the only concept there is stylized reproduction.

As for application, Eric's poster may be silhouettes, but so are Cypher 13's, they are merely drawn in with subtle shifts in detail. While Eric may have chosen to draw his silhouettes in a simpler style, I assure you that these are in proper proportion, and fit exactly the tools he has and uses. Some of the tools he created were a bit more complex then just a wrench, such as the chainbreaker tool. Would his piece be more impressive had he screen-printed it as a massive poster? Maybe. But, if you attended his show, you would have seen that this particular poster was sized the same as the rest of his show, which led to every piece of his show working together a nicely designed/themed series. I believe that to get the real feel for the 'application' of Eric's piece, you needed to be at his show.

Of course, all of this is subjective, yeah? I'm off to create a massive screenprint of my friend's garage for SnowmachineCrank 2010, cheers.