I like to take start point inspiration from other people and their designs. In fact that's a bigger bonus knowing more about the person who puts forward an idea, that you can see them in such as Facebook but that's rarely the case on Reddit. I'm not sure we can call the work of Mr Barlow "spam" more I think over enthusiastic without the fullest grasp of understanding of what make a great design. Half the trouble is down to those in power that control the official image and brand that states and cities fall back on because most of these councillors or official don't have a clue. That lack of understanding feeds into leaving poor images front and centre and some people can't find there way past those key point into a route of deeper understanding. Heck it's even tricky when you know an area - without the added shortfall of only building info via media or the internet. Plagiarism is going to happen. The degree of tolerance should be equal to how often it is seen. The capture of an image of a well built Georgia peach - then re-use without credit to the original designer, 35 times over is beyond a joke. My fire horse for Kentucky is a nice bit of design that I "ripped" from a photo of the race course sign. Re worked every pixel three times over but it still has the same important look and feel. Complex emblems are all too easy to take whole. The skill I wish to bring out more is that deeper study of such as the New Mexico emblem and rebuild bits lost along the way that re-inforce the right message.