Confidentiality broken?

I was working on a confidential project that is done with its design phase, now moving into a prototype.
Strangely, the company that we did the confidentiality with has already uploaded my final sketch, and one 3d rendering of the CAD showing 3 views… onto their website and TWITTER

Isn’t it in the public domain now?
If so, can’t I show this project in my portfolio?



I would certainly think so.
Once they have openly shared the images in question, your good to use them in a portfolio.
I would be careful though…that might only cover the images/work they have shared.
Thats how I have generally played it.

Just my non-legally educated thoughts on the matter.


Seems like the right place to start would be to ask the question of the company who paid for the work. If they say No, then no. If they say Yes, then yes. I’m not sure how anyone here would be able to answer that.

I’d say yes, if it has been shown publicly by the client, who ultimately own the design and they paid for it.
Just to be on the safe side, I’d just check with your employer but I’d assume that you should be able to show the work in your portfolio.

One thing to look out for though is that the client might want to control the PR around the project and product.
So I would be careful about posting it online or share material, renders, process or other parts of the work that hasn’t been publicized by the client.
They might also have requested that whoever did the design work would remain hidden. Some contracts are structured like this in which case you would only be allowed to show this work in private or not at all.

I’d just check with your superiors and legal.

Congrats on getting your design out there :smiley:

The main reason I am asking on Core is because I have an interview next week, and the company is taking their time to answer if I can show this project. I will err on the cautious side if they do not get back to me in time.


Thank you Bepster it’s a great feeling every time! :slight_smile:
Good point about the other materials/process that may still need to be kept confidential…


the answer depends on the contract you signed - just because they show it does not give you the right to show it or even talk about it. is their a tie clause within the CDA.

Rule of thumb - stop - think - ask ----- you need to ask them!

If you where my client and it showed up on your sight without my expressed approval, and was in violation of the CDA - I would care less if i had disclosed it - our lawyers would be in immediate contact with you.

A few points here:

-If they publicly disclosed that content, sharing that project via a screenshot, or any assets they provided on their website is not in breach of NDA. That content was made publicly available and your documentation of it should not be an issue, unless it was later retracted. Better yet, just include a URL.

-As people have mentioned, just because they have disclosed exhibits A,B,C would not give you permission to share more sketches, development work, or other projects publicly. Those are still protected by your original contract and many clients prohibit disclosure of development work especially if they reserve the rights to use it later. That would depend on the contract signed and if you do not have visibility to that service agreement you should not publicly share any of that content.

-Lastly, if the job interview is not in a competitive space, and you can share development work in person or under lock and key (password protected site or in person presentation that you don’t leave behind) you could decide to do that. Most designers have done or will do this at some point. With that said, I also know of someone who lost their job because they shared an early concept with someone who was friends with their old boss, and they immediately reached out and said “hey, saw that new widget you’re working on”. That however is a different situation from it ending up in the public space.

I would simply provide a URL to the website you mentioned and say “I worked on this and can discuss more in person but can’t share any additional assets at this time”. The last thing you would want is to find out it was an elaborate phishing scheme.

That is why you need their permission if you have signed a contract.
However, what is in the public domain you can always show - so you can show what they have already shared through Twitter but only that exact content.

Generally there are some ways to show certain things or have a contract signed between multiple parties in case you want to show very specific content relevant to you getting a job. However, I have learned to be very strict with these sorts of agreements.

Also, some clients are secretive about who designed the project. I have projects that are out in the open, but can’t say I worked on them. Usually, this is all laid out in the initial proposal though.