I recently hired a web designer to make a portfolio website for me. I really liked the look of another portfolio site i had seen, so i showed it to the designer and asked him to do something similar, but what he did was make almost an exact copy. I’m wondering if using this design will infringe on the site owner’s copyright? I don`t think it was a theme from here, but I figure some people here are probably knowledgeable about these kind of things
Yes, it will infringe copyright as well as downgrade trust from users; things can go worse if the example is competitor’s site. Instead of showing single website to the designer, always better to show 3-4 different websites that has expected flavor. In case you don’t have more than 1 example to show, better point the exact elements you prefer from the example site and point the designer to comeup with unique design based on that.
Genuine designers would try to keep the design away from examples as much as possible even without client’s advice. If someone couldn’t grasp the requirement from live examples but tries to just replicate, better try with another designer.
If it looks too much like the other website, the designer you hired, well, is not a designer that respects himself. I always ask for 4-5 sample website the client likes to design upon, but I steer clear from exactly copying the design.
He might have even copied code from the original, leading to a whole new slew of trouble. My advice, ask the person you hired to base on, but not copy the design, or go somewhere else.