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Professional Services: Licensing & Permissions

I frequently publish my designs on the internet, but in every case I retain all rights. These particularly apply for third-party reproduction on a commercial basis. In some instances, as specified below, there
is no need to notify me, but in all other cases, contact me for further information. There is no scale of fees, each case will be negotiated individually.

For all enquiries

All licensing enquiries to this email address:

Image reproduction

There is no need to contact me for a reproduction permission in the following specific cases:

  • Personal reproduction of a downloaded file. This applies if you wish to print a hard copy, for
    personal use only
    , of a file that is available from these web pages or from a media article.

  • Fair use/educational context. You may use a downloaded image as part of an educational lecture, presentation, report, or thesis. You may also reproduce the image as part of a handout derived from the lecture or presentation, provided this is made available for free, or charged at cost price.

In all other cases, you should contact me. For example:

  • Any printing in a commercial book or journal. This includes not only coffee-table books, but also academic texts and any academic articles where the publisher charges for individual downloads containing the image, or a one-off fee for open access to the article. Examples of my maps in third party books and magazines are in the Books section of my Showcase pages.

  • Media use. Not only hard copy press, such as newspapers and magazines, and broadcast rights,
    but also any web article where the image will be hosted rather than linked to on my own web site.

In most cases, a permission will be granted for free, for a nominal fee, or for payment in kind. Exceptions
to this will be where the map plays a substantial individual role in its own right, for example as a context-setting graphic in a television program. Note that in the simple case of an image reproduction, the image must not be altered in any way, otherwise this will comprise a derivative work (see below).

Product licensing

Designs are available for license, for example, a multiple print run for resale, decorative application in
a public context, as a jigsaw puzzle, as part of a board game, a mobile device application, or any other merchandise. Requests will be negotiated individually. In all cases, use of the design must be appropriate and the product must be high quality. Note that if you have purchased one of my posters individually, you are completely free to display it in any way that you wish.

Derivative works

It is advisable to contact me before investing time in a derivative work. I am delighted that my maps inspire creativity and I wish to encourage this, but it is important that the original is respected. As per standard intellectual property rights, any publication or public display of (1) modifications of my designs, or (2) creations of new works derived from my designs, requires my permission.

  • What I am unlikely to agree to: Any request to publish a third-party-modified version of any of my work, for example changing line configurations, or adding new lines, tourist attractions or other information. The original is my own product, designed with the utmost care and to the best of my ability. Third party modifications to my work might be clumsily executed, spoiling the aesthetics of the base map, reflecting badly on me as the designer.

  • What I am likely to agree to: Works in which my designs are realised in alternative media, such as stonework, quilting, or stained glass, provided that these are one-off productions intended for home-ornamentation or to showcase the skills of the artist. If a commercial sale is intended, or
    mass production, then a product licence will need to be negotiated.

  • What I might agree to: A substantial reworking of one of my designs provided that it respects the original and is skilfully executed, and fulfils its new intended purpose well. Examples of requests that
    I have received in the past include publicity imagery, and corporate devices.

Hits and Misses: Uses and Abuses of my Intellectual Property

Hospital Records 2014
Hit (1) Hospital Records (2013)

I was contacted by Chris Goss of Hospital Records about a design based on
my London Circles map, which they wanted to use to publicise their 2014 events. I was pleased that they had contacted me and noted the high quality and good humour of the work. I was happy for them to use the design for internet-based publicity, but said that if they decided they wanted to use the image commercially, such as for tee-shirts and posters, then they should get back in touch with me to negotiate a licensing deal.

NY Circles Map in Stone
Hit (2) Matthew Johnson, stonemason (2016)

A Texas stonemason contacted me for permission to render my New York City circles subway map in stone as a personal project. I am happy to give permission in such circumstances, and I’m glad I did, the result is rather lovely. Other suggestions for realising my designs in novel media are most welcome, especially from stained glass workers.

Future City Programme

Hit (3) Future City, New Jersey (2013)

The Future City competition runs annually in the USA, and I was contacted by April White of Rutgers University for permission to use my New York City Subway circles map on the cover of the 2014 program. The politics of using a New York map to advertise a New Jersey event is not my problem, and I was happy with the use of the design and the worthiness of the cause. Note that although graphics have been placed in front of the map, the design itself is unaltered, therefore this counts as an image reproduction, and not a derivative work.

Van Circles Map Picture
Hit (4) CAL Contracts (2014)

A nice example of my work being used for decoration in
a public context. CAL Contracts, an industrial flooring company specialising in railway environments, wanted a distinctive design to decorate their vans. A mock-up was produced for them by Creative FX. The map had been used to good effect, and we quickly agreed the go-ahead.

Springer Publishing Picture
Miss (1) Springer Publishing (2015)

I was very surprised to find that one of my maps
had appeared in a book published by the German publisher Springer. This company is well known for
the robust approach taken to defending its own intellectual property, and the irony of printing one
of my own images without permission is noted. Image reproduction fees are far more expensive
if negotiated after publication than before.

Jack Spiller Picture
Miss (2) Jack Spiller, artist (2015)

Sponsored by Tag Fine arts, and seen on display at the London Affordable Art Fair of 2016. The protagonist had not made any attempt to contact me, and was offering fifteen prints at £250 each! The map, my own design, appears to have been defaced by mock blood stains. Despite complaints to Tag Fine Arts, I have still not received an explanation or an apology from the artist. In the unlikely event that any of these prints has been sold, by my calculation, I am owed £50 per print, so that’s £750 in total. Irrespective of the fame of the artist, I would never agree to one of my designs being misused in this way. Photograph by Reka Komoli.

Ebay Picture
Miss (3) Canvas Art Media, via Ebay (2013)

I do check the internet regularly for use of my images, authorised and non-authorised, and this is one of many poor-quality bootlegs that have been spotted on Ebay. Copyright information appears to have been removed from the original. It was possible to trace the shop back to a web-based poster company that has appeared on television as one of the suppliers for a house-makeover program, and ultimately an artist based in Blackpool. IP theft on Ebay is rampant, and the assistance they offer is laughable. Luckily, a strongly-worded email has always had the desired effect so far. Posters of my work printed by third parties and sold on Ebay
are always illegal, and are printed using low-resolution files that have been downloaded from the internet.