2012 Trends In Modern Illustrative Web Design

Illustrations breathe life into an otherwise standard web page that simply comprises interactive elements and textual content. Be it stock illustrations, freehand doodles or sketches, or even picturesque images – illustrations serve to break the monotony of content, highlighting some of the most important aspects by means of visuals. Web design today widely uses graphic and stock illustrations, given the time and monetary constraints associated with keeping the page contents of the website updated at regular intervals. However, there are quite a few aesthetic enthusiasts that go the extra mile to create or commission illustrations and hand-drawn sketches to adorn their websites. Here are a few illustration techniques that serve to enhance the visual appeal of websites.

Character Illustrations

Character illustrations serve to add a fun or humour perspective to the message that is being conveyed. A serious message is rendered in a lighter vein, while still emphasising the importance of the content. Mascots that are representative of specific brands, products or business offerings often add a personal touch to the message, irrespective of their usage. In addition to being prominently displayed on the homepage of the website, mascots essentially form a part of the advertisement banners instantly connecting the viewers to the corresponding brand. Along with this, the mascots will have to be unique, custom illustrations, pretty much on the same lines as a brand logo.

Thematic Illustrations

Thematic illustrations impact the entire presentation aspect of the web page – the layout, page elements, content all go hand in hand to focus on a given theme. Often presented in the form of a backdrop to a web page, these illustrations actually highlight the purpose of the website by means of their visual appeal and look. They either standalone or blend with other web page elements to communicate the intended message to the visitor.

Pattern Illustrations

Contrary to thematic illustrations, random ones simply add to the aesthetic appeal of the website, comprising almost any design that gels well with the purpose of the site and its contents. Geometric or floral designs, textured background, a transparent collage of colours, any interesting figment that adds value to the site qualify as random illustrations.


Infographics effectively combines images with the corresponding information presented alongside, making it easier for the reader to correlate the messages with the pictures to understand the full picture. Info Graphics today are increasingly adopted to convey elaborate messages in a simple but effective format. It is certainly a great alternative to reading blocks of running text. Extending the same concept, an apt mix of illustrations and information on the home page of a website is a neat way to communicate with the user.

Irrespective of the technique adopted, it is important to delineate illustrations from interactive elements on screen such as links, command buttons and other elements that prompt user action, in order to present a clear picture. The visual medium has a greater reach when compared to other communication media. Illustrations not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of a web page but it also serves to make a lasting impression on the visitors.

This post was written by Simon Heard on behalf of SinageDesign.co.uk who offer professional graphic design in Brighton. Follow them on Twitter @sinagedesign

Top 15 Must-See Websites for Designers and Illustrators


From visiting the museum to riding the bus, inspiration can come from anywhere. However, finding inspiration is not that easy for some designers and illustrators. Sometimes, designers suffer from what they call an artist block. Imagination can actually dry up and leave the designers with an awful feeling of blankness. Luckily at this day and age, the World Wide Web offers a multitude of creative information and ideas from all over the globe to those in dire need of inspiration. Overcome artist block with the list below that features the top 15 must-see websites to get designers and illustrators motivated.

These ultra-modern websites range from personal blogs to online galleries of graphics and images, are definitely awe-worthy and rousing. The creative images and works to be featured here are products of the hard work and passion of other designers and illustrators. These are great sources for inspiration but are not meant to be copied. They’ve put much love and soul to their works and deserve the respect and admiration of everyone.

1. Inspired Mark

This is the personal website that features a range of scribbles, outstanding illustrations, and awesome designs by web architect Mark Collins.

Find them on Twitter or Facebook

2. We Love Illustration

Another good resource for inspiration and motivation, We Love Illustration is a real haven for art and illustration lovers to find inspiration and share their works. This is a place that showcases the amazing talents of different artists from all over the world.

Find them on Facebook

3. Leivos

Managed by designers Shyra and Veronika, Leivos provides more than just creative images and pictures with their daily posts. This virtual pin board also features the coolest interviews with well-known artists and other new artists worth knowing.

Find them on Twitter or Facebook

4. Daily Design Inspiration

The name says it all. With artworks from brilliant designers, this website offers a great deal of fresh design inspiration every day. It features the best logos, cool websites, illustrations, creative photos, and never before seen patterns made by the most talented designers worldwide. Daily Design Inspiration is a hodgepodge of everything artistic and original.

Find them on Twitter or Facebook

5. Sketchblog

According to website owner and professional art director, Rob Sheridan, Sketchblog is a creative playground he set up to encourage himself to draw and create more often. But with his cool and unique artworks, Sketchblog does more and inspires even aspiring artists worldwide to live their dreams start sketching.

Find them on Twitter

6. Ads of the World

Owned and managed by Web Media Brands, Ads of the World is an advertising archive and community. It features inspiring print ads and marketing campaigns done by the world’s top advertising agencies. Students and beginners also post their works at this site to get constructive criticism from the industry experts. There’s also a forum page where artists and designers can exchange ideas for their projects.

Find them on Twitter or Facebook

7. Print and Pattern

Print and Pattern is a gallery of nothing but awesome prints and pattern designs. Print and Pattern transforms your fabrics, wallpapers, cards, and gift wrappers into works of art. The innovative mix and match of colors, shapes, and lines is a must-see for all artists.

Find them on Twitter or Facebook

8. Cool Hunting

Founded in 2003, Cool Hunting has grown from one designer’s personal reference into an award-winning publication. Composed of a global team of editors and contributors who highlights creativity and innovation in technology, design, travel, food, and culture, Cool Hunting provides daily updates and mini-documentaries that attract creative people internationally.

Find them on Twitter or Facebook

9. Orange You Lucky

Cute, colorful, and imaginative are the three words that best describe this website. Owned by an illustrator, designer, and a mother of three pretty girls, Orange You Lucky offers fun and fresh art and drawings.

Find them on Twitter or Facebook

10. Theartcareerproject.com

This website is creativity to the max.  Really sleek cool design that gets your artistic juices flowing.  The site is owned and hosted by a sharepoint hosting company in California and so far has become very popular within this last year.

Find them on Twitter 

11. Web Designer Wall

Toronto-based web designer, Nick La started this website in August 2007 as his personal wall of design ideas, trends, and tutorials. It has quality content and eye-catching design that makes it a must-see website for designers.

Find them on Twitter

12. I Love Typography

Often taken for granted by designers, a good typography is vital in creating the best quality designs and artworks. I Love Typography has the prettiest and most unique type design, lettering, and fonts, from road signs and shampoo bottles to billboards and posters.

Find them on Twitter or Facebook

13. Fuel Your Creativity

A great website to spark your creativity and generate awesome ideas, Fuel Your Creativity is a brilliant design blog that has inspiring articles and links to various design websites.

Find them on Twitter or Facebook

14. Design is Kinky

Design is Kinky brings design and art goodness from Sydney, Australia since 1998. A blog that features new designs, photos, and artworks from all over the world, this site has been inspiring many artists for years.

Find them on Facebook

15. Monster Meltdown

Founded in 2005 by design lover and cool dude, Patrick McNeil, Monster Meltdown is a funky website that has the cutest little monsters in the web. It has a variety of design styles, trends, and elements. Its mission is to provide the largest and most exhaustive inspiration sets possible.

Find them on Twitter or Facebook

Rob Smiel is a advit design art fan.  Rob especially likes graphic design and web development.

1st Dibs – An Online Luxury Flea Marketplace

A relatively new dynamic marketplace online, 1stDibs has shoppers covered on many items not so commonly found on other luxury or boutique websites. Covering everything from antique furniture to vintage fashions, 1stDibs items come straight from the Paris flea market, as well as American and European dealers. This is an incredible resource helping consumers to find tons of unique items from all over the globe, all on one friendly site.

Interior Design

1stDibs has fast become the Etsy, Ebay, or flea market for many interior designers of the amateur and professional type. Although this remote form of design may have some cons when it comes to matching colors or fabrics, or even high shipping cost on heavy items such as furniture, the sellers on 1stDibs seem to make up for any excessive cost with sometimes incredibly affordable prices. However, one noticeable con for many is that very pricing.  Because 1stDibs is a luxury online boutique, they do have specialty items that are rather costly, bringing the average cost of items on site higher than those you are likely to find on Etsy or Artfire.

True Specialty Shopping

While there may be many boutique shopping websites available, not many of them will have the uncommon listings like those at 1stDibs.

  • Furniture & Lighting
  • Fine Art
  • Jewelry, Watches, & Silver
  • Fine Homes
  • Fashion

It seems like many top designers, artists, and dealers have already embraced 1stDibs. 1stDibs is helping them to make the full transition from local foot sales to online entrepreneurship. Currently there are over 1,200 dealers and designers on site and 1stDibs is selling well over 6,000 items each month. There are many dealers queued on the waiting list who want to join.

Aside from the obvious convenience this can offer to those in the interior design industry, other industries that have begun to benefit from 1stDibs include:

  • High-End Realty
  • Fashion Designers
  • Arts Dealers
  • Fine Jewelers

Matt Cohler, the general partner at Benchmark Capital stated that,

” Both literally and figuratively, 1stdibs has the goods to significantly extend their leadership position in the online luxury category.”

According to a study conducted by Bain & Co.’s on Luxury Goods Worldwide Market, the luxury goods market grew over 14% globally in 2012 allowing it to reach an astounding $256.6 billion dollars as an industry.


@BasilPuglisi is the Executive Director and Publisher for Digital Brand Marketing Education (dbmei.com). Basil C. Puglisi is also the President of Puglisi Consulting Group, Inc. A Digital Brand Marketing Consultancy that manages professional and personal branding for Fortune 500 CEOs, Hedge Fund Managers and Small Business Owners.


Lessons I’ve Learned from Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs on the Cover of TIME © Cult of Mac

Steve Jobs on the Cover of TIME © Cult of Mac

Steve Jobs was an icon of the personal computer industry. In my opinion, there is only one other living human being who could equal or rival his celebrity status. That person is Bill Gates.

Their lives had many similarities and some differences. They both were brilliant. They both started their businesses several years after leaving college. They did not consider a college education tantamount to their success. They both grew up on the West Coast. Jobs took a class in calligraphy at Reed College that he said inspired him later as the multiple fonts and word spacing (kerning) manifested themselves in the Macintosh.

Steve and Bill © Wikipedia

Steve Jobs and Bill Gates © Wikipedia


But there were also the differences between them. As extraordinary as they both were as showmen and business titans, Steve was all about perfection and aesthetics never compromising for profit. Bill Gates was very focused on profit and simplicity of code. He has since been able to relinquished his throne to go on to global-community service. He last wrote his last lines of code in 1989. Steve battled through a liver transplant and pancreatic cancer while holding aloft the mantle of the brand for his firm, relinquishing the stewardship of it only when his health failed him. It was no more than a matter of six weeks between his resignation and passing.

Because I am an author with the Digital Brand Marketing Education Blog, I would like to focus my lessons learned from Steve Jobs on these four topics, Digital, Branding, Marketing, and Education.

Apple Logos © Wikipedia

Apple Logos © Wikipedia

Before the invention of the personal computer that Steve Jobs presented in his usual fanfare, pulling it by the handle out of a gym bag, mainframe computers took up entire rooms. The idea of a personal computer on every desk and in every home was viewed as preposterous if not impossible.

Apple I © Wikipedia

Apple I © Wikipedia

Steve acquired the original mouse technology from Xerox who could not commercialize on it but in an agreement let their engineers work with Apple in return for IPO offerings when it became commercial. The “GUI” (graphical user interface) allowed the development of graphics, images, and multiple fonts. It was the essential element that allowed the transition from a totally code and programmer based system to a user-friendly system. His team created the initial software and then other companies jumped on the bandwagon.

His leadership fostered a creative environment that let the team negotiate, innovate and create with a high standard.

The First Macintosh 1984 © Wikipedia

The First Macintosh 1984 © Wikipedia

Bill Gates was primarily a software man learning early on that he preferred more pedestrian, affordable PCs in contrast to the ‘elegant’ devices of Apple and then Macintosh. Bill’s goal was to mass-market software and for a while Microsoft was the proprietary software on all PCs. In contrast, Steve Jobs computers were and are geared to the connoisseurs in the industry.

Over time, the two companies did become more similar. With Windows, Microsoft adopted the more obvious mechanisms of the Mac, the mouse, and the programs in PC version and now Macs use the Intel processor. But Steve was the master of the brand. His mantra was perfection.

The Macintosh II © Wikipedia

The Macintosh II © Wikipedia

He would not let a product emerge from his laboratory into the public domain until he felt it had reached absolute perfection. The quality control with parts suppliers is one example. Perhaps this was a drain on his health compared to his, at least seemingly more laid back adversary, Mr. Gates. His interest was quantity over the level of quality that Jobs demanded without compromise. One wonders where Apple will be headed without Jobs. Microsoft seems unfettered by the resignation of Gates.

Jobs was a master at marketing. Just the mere rumor and then word of the emergence of a new or newer model of a product sent the Mac devotees to the stores where they would often camp out over night to be the first ‘kid on the block’ to have the latest version of whatever it was.

Apple Aficionados Wait in Line © Wikipedia

Apple Aficionados Wait in Line © Wikipedia

The presentations of his latest products were also impeccable examples of marketing and promotion. One year Ridley Scott, now a famed film and TV producer, was brought on board to create a memorable, even shocking Macintosh Super Bowl commercial. No one who has ever seen it will forget it.

When generations of the various Macs were born in irresistible, candy colored variations, potential consumers were tempted to not only purchase these mechanical wonders but agonized over which day-glow color to buy. That would be a major problem for me. I would want one in each color. Jobs combined perfection of design, streamlined elegance and hot colors.

1984, Superbowl XVIII Commercial  © Wikipedia

'1984' Superbowl XVIII Commercial © Wikipedia

Have you ever wondered why school systems buy and use Macs? If one is a student, there are special reduced price versions of the programs available and discounts on the computers themselves. What does that say about the quality of a Mac over a PC? I feel there is no more evidence necessary that ‘the proof is in the pudding’. Educational systems throughout the country chose to have their students learn on Macs, not PCs. They may have had to settle for PCs when their families both them their own. But the educational system provided only the best and most reliable quality control.

The iMac G3 1998 © Wikipedia

The iMac G3 1998 © Wikipedia

Steve Jobs has left an indelible mark on the world of technology and design. Much has been written about him before and since his passing. This post is but a peek at one small part of the universe he occupied. For me, his example showed there are some valuable lessons to be learned in Digital Brand Marketing Education.


What I learned from Steve Jobs by Guy Kawasaki

This Week’s Issue Of Time Magazine Has Steve Jobs On The Cover And The Story Behind His Upcoming Bio

The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs: One Last Thing; R.I.P Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs on Wikipedia

Apple Computer on Wikipedia

Macintosh Computer on Wikipedia

Bill Gates on Wikipedia

The iMac 2007 © Wikipedia

The iMac 2007 © Wikipedia

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