Sharing someone else’s design work on Instagram requires an incredibly tactful approach. Whether you’re a new designer with limited portfolio images or a seasoned expert spotlighting weekly inspiration, there are many instances when reposting is appropriate. But here’s the catch: regram guidelines must be followed and applied to posts on the feed, stories, and reels.
First, we’re going to cover why proper image sharing is beneficial to the design community, followed by some practical tips to repost responsibly. Let’s brush up on our regram guidelines with these hard and fast rules to help guide your content.
Creatives naturally seek out inspiration. We look for inspiration in art, music, travel, nature, and of course, online. The intent to showcase someone else’s work isn’t wrong, but citing sources properly is an absolute non-negotiable.
So why do we believe sharing another designer’s work with proper credit is acceptable? Several reasons. First, when a new designer is working to build up their portfolio, incorporating well-curated regrams helps showcase a strong visual aesthetic to potential clients while also establishing a signature style. This is an essential element of attracting new clients, especially for designers who aren’t yet booking projects that align with their goals.
Second, we believe responsibly sharing one another’s work can be a form of mutual support. Any time an account (especially a larger account) chooses to regram a fellow designer, they’re helping that designer gain exposure with free access to their online audience. Growth in your Instagram audience often equals growth in your business. When done thoughtfully AND sparingly, sharing another designer’s work can be a win-win for everyone.
Regram Guidelines of Sharing Design Work
Credit, Credit, Credit
Rule of thumb: whenever you repost from someone else’s portfolio, it should be very clear this is not your work. All too often design credits are buried in a caption, or worse, given a small, sometimes unreadably small, tag on stories. Proper crediting applies to posts across the board: feed, stories, and reels.
No matter the circumstance, always credit the source. Even if they’re your competitor, give credit. Even if no one else is crediting the original poster, give credit. Even if it takes some time and effort, give credit. If there are multiple sources (designer, builder, photographer, stylist), give credit to as many as you possibly can. Even if you’ve been given permission to repost, give credit. Social media is one of the only places where plagiarism isn’t strictly punished, but that doesn’t make it okay. Sharing others’ work without tagging them is unkind and reflects poorly on your account.
Chose Content Wisely
This should go without saying, but it’s probably not a smart move to regram your direct competitors. Instead, try finding portfolio work from designers in different cities, states, or countries. It’s fun to expose your audience to creatives from across the world and give them an opportunity to discover someone new.
Never Edit Images
Applying a filter to someone else's image is cringe-worthy at best and flat-out rude at worst. That designer hired a specific photographer to execute their vision, so don’t try changing things to fit your own. If the reposted content doesn’t flow with your other photos, just skip it and find a better fit.
Like all things in life, moderation is key. Reposted work should not be the bread and butter of your Instagram content—only an occasional add-on. The primary value of your account will come from your thoughts, ideas, and most importantly, original design work. For feed posts, aim to cap the regrams at one or two per week.
Go the Extra Mile
To make sure the designer gets maximum exposure, tag both the image and the caption. This is also a strategic move. First, it ensures you cover all your bases, and second, it alerts the original account of both tags, which is great exposure for you.
When in Doubt, Ask Permission
Our regram guidelines are all about doing a gut check. If there is any hesitation, it never hurts to ask permission. This kind of thoughtfulness cultivates respectful industry relationships both on and off Instagram.
If someone posts your work without following these regram guidelines, leave a friendly but a straightforward comment like “Thanks so much for sharing my work, I’m so glad you like it!”
If they don’t correct their error, follow up with a direct message. This also applies if you were tagged, but your photographer or another important source was missed. More often than not, people are happy to correct their mistakes and pay it forward.