Similar to how copywriting can be plagiarised, design can be too. Design can be inadvertently copying another’s visual language. Although these derivative works may be trendy, they lack in creativity and uniqueness as well as potentially being liable for copyright infringement.
Although competitors may be a good source of inspiration, the design should always be tailored to the client’s specific business needs. The finer details in design such as sliders, carousels, menus etc. should not come from what is popular but by what will be effective.
Seemingly an insignificant worry as it’s almost a given, it’s important to check the originality of your visual identity. Yet repeating an identifying mark from a competitor ventures into copyright infringement territory.
Nonetheless it is an important part of the process to prevent design, business and legal issues from happening. Evaluating strategic groups will establish what makes your product or service unique. What attributes to play up in order to attract the target market as well as what design decisions are required to differentiate your visual language from others.