reunion question (long)

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-13-2003 reunion question (long)
Fri, 06-13-2003 - 11:11pm
In a few weeks we're having a big family reunion of about 70-80 people.

I came up with the reunion idea 20 months ago and have done most of the organizing.

I also designed the t-shirts, which are being screenprinted. It took about 3 months to finalize the shirt design, and it meant a hell of a lot of work. I begged heraldry clipart sites to send me high-res coats-of-arms of our family's name, finally got one I liked, added other elements to the design and worked with a graphic designer to tweak it. (I'm an artist and am picky about this stuff.) My parents are paying for the shirts for everyone.

Now my sister wants me to send her the file with the design. She and her husband have a friend with an machine-embroidery business and they want her to embroider the logo on special golf shirts. I'm against the idea. I don't want her co-opting my artwork. I also don't want her to show up at the reunion with special reunion logowear no one else has. It smacks of one-upmanship (a game sister and her husband are always playing) and I don't think that's what reunions should be about. We're there to spend time with each other, not impress each other.

She's been unrelenting about getting the file. I keep saying no. Am I being unreasonable?

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-14-2002
Sat, 06-14-2003 - 12:21am
Yes, I think you are being unreasonable. As long as they don't change the design, then why not let her use it??? The design was YOUR idea and you will get the credit for it, no matter what kind of canvas it appears on. How is this co-opting your artwork? After all, it's the LOGO that matters, not the kind of shirt! I don't see it as one-upmanship, but rather taking a good idea and expanding on it. If it were me, I'd be honored and pleased that my sister thought my design was good enough to embroider on a shirt. I see it as a compliment to you, not one-upmanship.

If you're afraid that their appearing in the golf shirts, while everyone else wears T-shirts - and suddenly everyone wants a golf shirt, then that is a very real possibility. It doesn't mean the T-shirts are worthless, or that people think her idea is better than yours. They will only ask how to get one for themselves, and why not? They will still wear the T-shirts, too. Why not talk to your sister about selling the golf shirt idea to anyone at the reunion who wants to order one? You and sis could make a little money on the deal to help offset the cost of the T-shirts for your parents, or defray the costs of the reunion, or set money aside for the next reunion, and her friend would make a tidy profit and love you both for giving her the work.

On the other hand (speaking one artist to another), it IS your design, and you own it. You do not have to share this design with her or anyone else if you don't want to. That is your right, and she should not pressure you to do so. And if she somehow gets the file and puts the design on her shirts anyway, then that's copyright infringement. (BTW - I would encourage you to get this design copyrighted ASAP, and I do mean ASAP, like yesterday!)

So yes, I said you were being unreasonable, but that's what artists do - and it is your right. (Kinda like letting actors get away with bad behavior, because - well - they're actors and we accept that kind of behavior from them. Artists can be a bit screwy sometimes too, and we accept that because - well - we're artists and that's the way we are.) LOL

Good luck!



iVillage Member
Registered: 06-13-2003
Sat, 06-14-2003 - 12:08pm
Nah.. the idea of selling the golf shirts at the reunion wouldn't work. But thanks for trying to come up with a win-win solution.

The reunion is being held about a 1000 miles away. The shirts would have to be ordered & made way ahead of time. And because the design is so complicated, meaning lots of embroidery stitches, the shirts would probably cost at least $35 - 45. So profiting would be selling them for about $50. And I'd end up feeling like I was at an Amway convention instead of a reunion.

I've decided she's welcome to use the design after the reunion (they plan on wearing the shirts again anyway) or if they want to provide golf shirts for everyone. Thing is, though my sister and her husband are well-off, we have quite a few young families who are just scraping by. My sister and her husband would really be wearing something very few others their age could afford, and the others would all want it because it would have the reunion logo on it. Think I'll just keep the peace by keeping things simple! Thanks for your input.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-02-2003
Sat, 06-14-2003 - 1:46pm
Nope I don't think you're being unfair, I think you should keep saying no. If she wanted to pay for the logo being put on special golf shirts for EVERYBODY in the family then I would think that was great but if it is just for herself and her husband then she sounds like a real headcase, why is a t-shirt not good enough? PLUS it is your artwork!!! Protect it! Good for you :-) Rhiannon
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-07-2003
Sun, 06-15-2003 - 10:35am
Won't people need to wear more than one shirt over this reunion? I am assuming it is more than one day long. Let your sister make the shirts and people can wear both of them!