Designs or artwork that constitute infringement will be removed immediately. However, the standards of legal infringement are quite high and the majority of problematic pieces reported to us fall into the category of "too similar, but not infringement". Deciding if a piece is too similar to another is very subjective and often difficult, but here are some of the things we look at...
Color - Do the designs use the same or a similar color palette? Is this palette frequently used in this card category? Is this palette currently popular or trendy?
Layout - Do the designs use the same layout or photo placement? Is this a common layout/placement?
Type - Do the designs use the same or similar typefaces? Is the type laid out in a similar way? Do the designs use the same words or visual hierarchy in how the type is arranged? How common are these design choices?
Content - Do the designs use similar elements, themes, imagery, etc. Are these elements common or currently trending?
Composition - Does the artwork use the same layout, orientation, movement, etc.?
Subject - Does the artwork use very similar elements, themes, imagery, etc.? Is the subject matter common or currently in trend?
Color - Does the artwork use the same or a very similar color palette?
Medium - Is the artwork executed in the same medium? Is the treatment of the medium very similar (e.g., brushstrokes)
If two pieces share many or most of these aspects, it begins to seem unlikely that the later was created without having seen the first and we will judge them to be "too similar" and take the appropriate action.
There can be many reasons for pieces to inadvertently wind up looking quite similar. As a community we want to strive to give each other the benefit of the doubt. Most artists we contact are mortified when they realize they have accidentally imitated another piece. In our experience, cases of intentional copying are quite rare on Minted, but we will handle all cases swiftly and decisively. If you're interested in learning more about creating original work and finding design inspiration, check out The Minted Guide to Creating Original Work.