Fish Head and Friends

Happy Star Wars Day! The Fourth of May be on your side, or words to that effect.

As one of my best-known works, it’s funny it’s not had a write up – Ackbarpography was made pre-blog. The origin is now unclear, but one day in 2009 I was struck with the urge to try Type Art, and merging Star Wars characters Admiral Ackbar with his famous phrase “It’s A Trap!” was the one for me.

I traced an image of an Ackbar Lego Minifig to get simplified, head-on features. I then spent considerable time making the letters into facial features while, keeping them legible and in order. I was hesitant to add “non-letters” in to complete the face, getting away with the eyes because they’re at either side. Along with a collar, I added a hatched head shape behind everything to cohere the lettering together.


I have been working hard… in an office. It’s going well, but beyond a few doodles, no artistry has been done. So why is this blog post?

Last night I received an email, reporting that my Ackbarpography design can be bought for $23.94 here on RedBubble, an online art community / shop.

I didn’t put it there.


I generally use a simple non-commercial attribution license: Marvel all you like, if you share mention me, don’t modify, personal use only. Still, someone crudely lifting my work and slapping their own name on is bad. Add onto that that I sold the commercial rights for it to online clothing company They’re being nicked from too.

RedBubble have a handy DMCA reporting link on every page, so gathering my evidence and flinging them an email was a piece of cake. I’ve also sent a heads-up to SplitReason. Acknowledgment have been received, and I await the hammer to fall.

A big crude watermark is now plastered over Ackbarpography here and on DeviantArt, but i’m not fully convinced by this action. It was covered on several blogs, so several smaller but unobscured pictures exist. The copy I exhibit on Flickr is also currently free as a bird. It could still be pilfered from those places, and the art’s very origin will appear as the most unattractive of all Google Images results.

Source: Footprint Theatre Inc. Attribution is fun!
Source: Footprint Theatre Inc. Attribution is fun!

There may still be clones out there, on tiny outlet sites i’ve never heard of. It’s not all about ol’ fish head either – My other works could have been nabbed. So what’s a guy to do?

Well, I guess it comes down to vigilance. If you see a design somewhere, then, erm, somewhere else, figure out how free it’s allowed to be. Trace the origin. Let the starving artist / fancy business know!

Leiapography: Double Dipping

Princess Leia Organa joins the Star Wars Typography lineup (after Admiral Ackbar and Darth Vader), not once but twice! The first one is a regular bust…

Leiapography (Regular)

…while the second one is the “Hologram Edition”, with a blue tint and added hood.

Leiapography (Hologram)

Both bear the discreet inscription “Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope”. Click on the images to see them larger at DeviantArt!


Vaderpography - Click to enlarge

Voila! The second “Star Wars Typography” work has arrived!

There could be a whole series of these, if the kinks can be worked out. Ackbarpography is doing well, being available to buy from SplitReason and all. There’s this one. Princess Leia is upcoming… sadly, she’s looking mostly dead right now!