Tomato denies charge of hijacking student ideas

Design graduates from the University of Westminster are claiming their ideas for a student project may have been hijacked for the controversial Channel 4 identity.

Stuart Wilson and Adam Kenny, who graduated last summer, believe their concepts for the Apple Design Project 1996 could have been “borrowed” from a computer server within the university and incorporated into designs presented to Channel 4 by design consultancy Tomato.

Wilson states that the resemblance between their circles concept for the student project, which won a commendation for best graphic design, and the new Channel 4 logo is “too much of a coincidence”. He claims Tomato has links with the university.

Tomato is denying any knowledge of Wilson’s work. “It’s got nothing to do with anything we did for Channel 4. What is on- screen is markedly different to what we did. We don’t tend to use reference points because we know how much we hate being ripped off,” says Tomato’s Graham Wood.

Concepts for the identity have already been disputed, with Tomato claiming it was unhappy about the way the circles concept it developed had been implemented by Channel 4. Channel 4 claimed its in-house team came up with the idea of circles independently.

Meanwhile, Wilson says he has been advised by his tutor to take the matter further and has contacted Channel 4. Wood added he would be happy to talk to the graduates about the matter and advise them on how to protect their work.

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