Interpol Apologize to Graphic Designer They Unknowingly Ripped Off

"Ultimately the responsibility lies with us to ensure we do not disseminate an artist's work without their permission in our promotions"

Photo: Ebru Yildiz

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Jun 19, 2024

Interpol are celebrating the 20th anniversary of Antics with some select European, UK, and US (no Canada as of yet) tour dates this fall, during which, they'll perform their sophomore album in full. When they announced the US concerts last week, they used a promotional poster — that apparently was, unbeknownst to the band, a ripoff of another designer's artwork.                       

Interpol have now apologized to Tony Sjöman, a New York-based studio artist and muralist who was commissioned to create a painting that looks pretty similar to the tour poster graphic. Andrew Gutterson, a friend of the artist posted on Instagram about how, when he reached out to Sjöman to congratulate him on working with the band, the artist had no idea what he was talking about.

"He let me know they flat out stole this artwork and repurposed it for their own marketing… they didn't reach out, they didn't ask for permission," Gutterson wrote. "As an art supporter and as a licensing professional… I am beyond disbelief they would do this."

Interpol responded yesterday (June 18), posting a statement to Instagram to apologize to Sjöman.

"We were under the impression that the designer we were working with was presenting us with original work. We were wrong," the band wrote. "Ultimately the responsibility lies with us to ensure we do not disseminate an artist's work without their permission in our promotions, and so for that reason, we apologize and pledge to do better moving forward to ensure the protection of artists' creative property."

The artist seems genuinely heartened by the apology, writing in an Instagram post of his own, "Having your work plagiarized is unfortunate, but the way in which @interpol immediately took action is both rare and admirable!" He added that, incidentally, he's been a huge Interpol fan for decades.

You can see the band's full statement via Sjöman's post below, as well as his original painting and the graphic design that was being used for the 20th anniversary tour campaign. As Stereogum's Tom Breihan pointed out, the designer Interpol had been working with may have put the artist's work through an AI filter and tried to pass it off as their own.


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