Building your portfolio - Using image thumbnails from previous jobs

Hi there,

Just wondering what other people do. Say you’ve done work for a big client in the past - Coke or AT&T for example. Now you don’t work for the company any more but you want to add this work to the portfolio.

Do you just use a snapshot of the work with images & all? Can you do that?

Or do you use an alternate image that you have the rights to use & link to the actual files?

Any input appreciated.

It depends.

Doesn’t it always?

If you were an employee of the company, or doing a work for hire, or your contract said so, the copyright to the designs you did is with that company. You don’t have any right to copy and display their work.

On the other hand, there’s a decent fair use argument for using a limited snapshot in a portfolio –

Finally, whether your snapshot includes a brand name or other trademark is something to consider. Trademark law is totally separate from copyright law and has different criteria for infringement. The client can argue that you’re enriching yourself based on the value of their brand if it comes across as an endorsement of your product/service where there is none. Might be best to avoid that issue entirely by not including their marks.

Always depends & never easy :wink:

Appreciate the tips very much.

Forgot to mention. The most straightforward way to sidestep all issues is to simply get permission. If the client says it’s OK to put the work in your portfolio, then you’re all clear.