Creativity Spark From Masters Of Illustration

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Creative thinking is an essential part of design workflow. Whatever sketch you are working on, at some point you find yourself in the situation where you simply need some fresh ideas to find your path around the creativity block. Going away may help. Listening to the music may help. But particularly the works of the famous graphic artists may help. In fact, studying them very closely, you can not only explore new ideas, but also learn the smallest details – they form the profound foundation of every masterpiece.

In this post we’d like to present you an ultimate breakthrough for your creativity blocks; over the last weeks we’ve been searching for the most popular graphic designers, illustrators and artists around the world. We’ve selected some of their works to give you an idea what style they have and what details of modern design you can expect and learn from them.

So what do we have as result? Over 100 breathtaking illustrations from some of the best contemporary graphic designers, illustrators and artists; besides you’ll also find references to further (mostly unknown) sources for inspiration you can use on a daily basis.

Once you’ve selected the artist whose works you like, click on the image to get to his/her portfolio and explore his/her work in more depth. Please notice that most artists listed below are well-known in the worldwide design community (and so are their works); hopefully you know not all of them.

Please be patient, it may take a while until the images are loaded. Please be aware that it also may take a while until you’ve seen most of showcased images.

Further suggestions and ideas? Please comment.

Creativity Spark From Masters Of Illustration (Graphic Design)

1. Radim Malinic (UK)

Radim Malinic1

Radim Malinic2

Radim Malinic3

Radim Malinic4

Radim Malinic5

Radim Malinic6

2. Neil Duerden (Manchester, UK)

Neil Duerden7

Neil Duerden8

Neil Duerden9

Neil Duerden10

Neil Duerden11

Neil Duerden12

Neil Duerden13

Neil Duerden14

3. Büro North (Melbourne, Australia)

Büro North15

Büro North16

4. Evgeny Kiselev (St. Petersburg, Russia)

Evgeny Kiselev17

Evgeny Kiselev18

Evgeny Kiselev19

5. Maciej Mizer (Poland)

Maciej Mizer20

Maciej Mizer21

Maciej Mizer22

6. Pete Harrison (London, UK)

Pete Harrison23

Pete Harrison24

Pete Harrison25

Pete Harrison26

Pete Harrison27

7. Alberto Seveso (Rome, Italy)

Alberto Seveso28

Alberto Seveso29

8. Emeric Trahand (Saint Etienne, France)

Emeric Trahand30

Emeric Trahand31

Emeric Trahand32

Emeric Trahand33

Emeric Trahand34

9. Mario Sánchez (Newcastle, UK)

Mario Sanchez35

Mario Sanchez36

Mario Sanchez37

10. Peter Jaworowski (Warsaw, Poland)

Peter Jaworowski38

Peter Jaworowski39

Peter Jaworowski40

Peter Jaworowski41

Peter Jaworowski42

Peter Jaworowski43

Peter Jaworowski44

Peter Jaworowski45

Peter Jaworowski46

11. mcfaul (Emsworth, Hampshire, UK)

mcfaul47

mcfaul48

mcfaul49

12. Chuck Anderson (Chicago, USA)

Chuck Anderson50

Chuck Anderson51

Chuck Anderson52

Chuck Anderson53

13. Platinum, FMD (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

Platinum, FMD54

Platinum, FMD55

Platinum, FMD56

Platinum, FMD57

Platinum, FMD58

14. Seth Weisfeld (San Francisco, USA)

Seth Weisfeld59

Seth Weisfeld60

15. Kacper Spala (Poland)

Kacper Spala61

Kacper Spala62

16. Scott Pollard (Manchester, UK)

Scott Pollard63

Scott Pollard64

17. Adhemas Batista (São Paulo, Brazil)

Adhemas Batista65

Adhemas Batista66

18. Raquel Falkenbach (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

Raquel Falkenbach67

Raquel Falkenbach68

19. Tom Kan (USA)

Tom Kan69

20. Nicholas Ainley (London, UK)

Nicholas Ainley70

Nicholas Ainley71

Nicholas Ainley72

Nicholas Ainley73

Nicholas Ainley74

21. Drew Flaherty (Brisbane, Australia)

Drew Flaherty75

Drew Flaherty76

Drew Flaherty77

22. Alex Mapar (Melbourne, Australia)

Alex Mapar78

Alex Mapar79

23. Mark Verhaagen (Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

Mark Verhaagen80

24. Alex Trochut (Barcelona, Spain)

Alex Trochut81

Alex Trochut82

25. Alexander Radsby (Kalmar, Sweden)

Alexander Radsby83

Alexander Radsby84

Alexander Radsby85

26. Taobot (Mainz, Germany)

Taobot86

27. Gui Borchert (New York, USA)

Gui Borchert87

28. Si Scott (London, UK)

Si Scott88

Si Scott89

29. Alex Cherry (California, USA)

Alex Cherry90

Alex Cherry91

Alex Cherry92

Alex Cherry93

Alex Cherry94

30. Paul Hollingworth (Newcastle, UK)

Paul Hollingworth95

Paul Hollingworth96

Paul Hollingworth97

31. Jacques S Alton (London, UK)

The Preps98

The Preps99

32. Susanne Paschke (Berlin, Germany)

Susanne Paschke100

Susanne Paschke101

Susanne Paschke102

Susanne Paschke103

Galleries of Graphic Design & Illustration

  • DigitalAbstracts104
    A design community that strives to deliver a unique blend of content, discussion and creative inspiration to its army of readers.
  • 2Photo.ru105
    The projects showcases the best works of contemporary illustrators, artists and graphic designers on a regular basis. In Russian. More works on Designcollector.ru106.
  • Bak Magazine107
    A magazine related to digital photography, illustration and graphic design. 8 .pdf-issues are available for free download.
  • Artzmania108
    Artzmania is an independent venture showcasing outstanding international creativity and culture. 5 .pdf-issues are available for free download.
  • Cpluv.com109
    One of the most comprehensive resources related to digital photography, design and illustration. Dozens of categories, dozens of resources, hundreds of sources for inspiration.
  • NTMY – Nice to Meet You!110
    A growing gallery of resources (weblog) related to graphic design and illustration with hundreds of references to creative agencies and designers.
  • digitalthread111
    The designer’s arrivation point. A growing index of design-related resources and design companies.

Footnotes

  1. 1 http://brandnumedia.co.uk
  2. 2 http://brandnu.co.uk
  3. 3 http://brandnu.co.uk
  4. 4 http://brandnu.co.uk
  5. 5 http://brandnu.co.uk
  6. 6 http://brandnu.co.uk
  7. 7 http://www.neilduerden.co.uk
  8. 8 http://www.neilduerden.co.uk
  9. 9 http://www.neilduerden.co.uk
  10. 10 http://www.neilduerden.co.uk
  11. 11 http://www.neilduerden.co.uk
  12. 12 http://www.neilduerden.co.uk
  13. 13 http://www.neilduerden.co.uk
  14. 14 http://www.neilduerden.co.uk
  15. 15 http://www.buronorth.com
  16. 16 http://www.buronorth.com
  17. 17 http://www.ekiselev.com
  18. 18 http://www.ekiselev.com
  19. 19 http://www.ekiselev.com
  20. 20 http://mosk.pl
  21. 21 http://mosk.pl
  22. 22 http://mosk.pl
  23. 23 http://www.aeiko.net
  24. 24 http://www.aeiko.net
  25. 25 http://www.aeiko.net
  26. 26 http://www.aeiko.net
  27. 27 http://www.aeiko.net
  28. 28 http://www.recycledarea.co.uk
  29. 29 http://www.recycledarea.co.uk
  30. 30 http://www.stillontherun.new.fr/
  31. 31 http://www.stillontherun.new.fr/
  32. 32 http://www.stillontherun.new.fr/
  33. 33 http://www.stillontherun.new.fr/
  34. 34 http://www.stillontherun.new.fr/
  35. 35 http://www.aegis-strife.net
  36. 36 http://www.aegis-strife.net
  37. 37 http://www.aegis-strife.net
  38. 38 http://www.hejz.com
  39. 39 http://www.hejz.com
  40. 40 http://www.hejz.com
  41. 41 http://www.hejz.com
  42. 42 http://www.hejz.com
  43. 43 http://www.hejz.com
  44. 44 http://www.hejz.com
  45. 45 http://www.hejz.com
  46. 46 http://www.hejz.com
  47. 47 http://www.mcfaul.net
  48. 48 http://www.mcfaul.net
  49. 49 http://www.mcfaul.net
  50. 50 http://www.nopattern.com/nopattern/
  51. 51 http://www.nopattern.com/nopattern/
  52. 52 http://www.nopattern.com/nopattern/
  53. 53 http://www.nopattern.com/nopattern/
  54. 54 http://www.platinumfmd.com.br
  55. 55 http://www.platinumfmd.com.br
  56. 56 http://www.platinumfmd.com.br
  57. 57 http://www.platinumfmd.com.br
  58. 58 http://www.platinumfmd.com.br
  59. 59 http://www.in8design.com
  60. 60 http://www.in8design.com
  61. 61 http://www.evolved.pl
  62. 62 http://www.evolved.pl
  63. 63 http://www.designjump.co.uk/
  64. 64 http://www.designjump.co.uk/
  65. 65 http://www.adhemas.com
  66. 66 http://www.adhemas.com
  67. 67 http://www.raquelfalkenbach.com
  68. 68 http://www.raquelfalkenbach.com
  69. 69 http://www.tomkandesign.com
  70. 70 http://www.shinybinary.com
  71. 71 http://www.shinybinary.com
  72. 72 http://www.shinybinary.com
  73. 73 http://www.shinybinary.com
  74. 74 http://www.shinybinary.com
  75. 75 http://www.drewflaherty.com/
  76. 76 http://www.drewflaherty.com/
  77. 77 http://www.drewflaherty.com/
  78. 78 http://www.alexmapar.com
  79. 79 http://www.alexmapar.com
  80. 80 http://www.markverhaagen.com
  81. 81 http://www.alextrochut.com/
  82. 82 http://www.alextrochut.com/
  83. 83 http://www.aeform.net
  84. 84 http://www.aeform.net
  85. 85 http://www.aeform.net
  86. 86 http://www.taobot.com
  87. 87 http://www.guiborchert.com
  88. 88 http://www.siscottstudio.com
  89. 89 http://www.siscottstudio.com
  90. 90 http://vhm-design.com
  91. 91 http://vhm-design.com
  92. 92 http://vhm-design.com
  93. 93 http://vhm-design.com
  94. 94 http://vhm-design.com
  95. 95 http://www.flickr.com/photos/paulhollingworth
  96. 96 http://www.flickr.com/photos/paulhollingworth
  97. 97 http://www.flickr.com/photos/paulhollingworth
  98. 98 http://www.the-preps.com
  99. 99 http://www.the-preps.com
  100. 100 http://susannepaschke.com
  101. 101 http://susannepaschke.com
  102. 102 http://susannepaschke.com
  103. 103 http://susannepaschke.com
  104. 104 http://www.digitalabstracts.com
  105. 105 http://2photo.ru/
  106. 106 http://designcollector.ru/tags
  107. 107 http://www.bakmagazine.com/index.php?sayfa=index&language=en
  108. 108 http://www.artzmania.com
  109. 109 http://www.cpluv.com/
  110. 110 http://ntmy.org
  111. 111 http://www.digitalthread.com/designcompanies/graphic_design/

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Vitaly Friedman loves beautiful content and doesn’t like to give in easily. Vitaly is writer, speaker, author and editor-in-chief of Smashing Magazine. He runs responsive Web design workshops, online workshops and loves solving complex performance problems in large companies. Get in touch.

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  1. 1

    Inspiring work..

    .. seems to be the year of the swirls.

    0
  2. 2

    This is absolutely fucking INCREDIBLE.

    0
  3. 3

    Juan Manuel Lemus

    August 22, 2007 12:02 am

    WOW!

    0
  4. 4

    Peter Jaworski, not Peter Hejz

    0
  5. 5

    Some amazing pop art here. The detail is phenomenal.

    0
  6. 6

    Swirly colorful pattern overload. Puke.

    When you put them all toghether like this, I’d call it visual masturbation more than graphic design. It’s also why nothing designed in this style ever stands out when you see it in a magazine or a billboard. Overplayed.

    0
  7. 7

    Real Masters!!! Bravo – superb artwork

    0
  8. 8

    Hahaha. Between truck paintings and “wow this looks like a bjork video clip” style.

    I’ll wait for more mermaids and dolphins next year.

    0
  9. 9

    Glowing lines seem to attract graphic designers like rotten meat attracts flies

    0
  10. 10

    “Graphic Design” is communication using text and images. This is illustration, and only one single style of illustration, at that.

    0
  11. 11

    This style is so played out… Next!

    0
  12. 12

    Nice, but it does seem to be an overused style nowadays

    0
  13. 13

    Vitaly Friedman & Sven Lennartz

    August 22, 2007 1:31 am

    “Peter Jaworski, not Peter Hejz”.

    Thank you, me, fixed!

    0
  14. 14

    A lot of these artists seem to have the same elements and colors in their work. The swirly vector’s seem to be a modern day element that can be compared to that of art nouveau elements with similar swirly glamorous features. I can see this style being duplicated by a lot more designers in the near future.

    Even though their are a few trendy designers on this list it’s still a great source of inspiration and I’m glad you guys decided to post it.

    0
  15. 15

    I agree. Some of this is overkill… Die, vile swirlies!

    0
  16. 16

    Are these examples of a trend in graphic design, or is this a reflection of the personal taste of the author?

    They are all amazing but most are interchangeable. If I were picking an illustrator for a particular project, this style would either work or not work. With a few exceptions.

    They are great though.

    0
  17. 17

    Polish seem to totally own as web designers and graphic artits! Not only from the small sample of imagery, but from various art and design that I have been encountering since the beginning of the year.

    0
  18. 18

    It may be just one style but it is one I love – I’ve been following Radim Malinic and Chuck Anderson for a while now but thanks for turning me on to a lot more great illustrators/designers.

    0
  19. 19

    What about Vault 49 (Website). They should definitely be on there.

    0
  20. 20

    While scrolling through these, I ended up speeding through the last half because, as those ahead of me have stated, they’re all very much the same. Made me think of Thomas Kincaid lost in the land of the elves and fairies style of artwork. They’re pretty illustrations but I wouldn’t call the majority of them examples of graphic design. Each is an illustration – portraying no clear message to the viewer. Illustrators can be graphic designers, and graphic designers can also be illustrators, but they are not always the same thing.
    I did especially like the clean look of the German contribution (Taobot), and the child against the skyline from Alex Cherry of California. No swirlies…. Obviously, it’s just all in the subjective tastes of viewers!

    0
  21. 21

    @ Are these examples of a trend in graphic design, or is this a reflection of the personal taste of the author?

    I echo this sentiment. I feel that this post simply advertises the bias of it’s author and reflects a lack of understanding of objectivity in design. I am not assuming that these individual pieces were not the appropriate solution for their respective clients, but it does beg the question of whether the client simply wanted what was today’s trendy euro neon floral style. I expected more from Smashing.

    Beautiful pieces, but disappointing editorial.

    0
  22. 22

    Joshua Blankenship

    August 22, 2007 2:39 am

    1. This isn’t graphic design; this is illustration. I know the lines between the two seem to be quite blurry these days, but the bulk of what’s posted here (talented as it is) is pretty, swirly, flourish-heavy, colorful illustration. Decoration. Style.
    2. “Masters” is a tad subjective.

    0
  23. 23

    Thank you tons. This is some jaw dropping work and I’m going to have to now look at each and every link provided. This will deffiantely help me in my new A Level artwork.

    You helped more than you may believe :D Thanks!

    0
  24. 24

    The empty headed naysayers are missing the point. If you think “they’re all the same” you aren’t paying any attention to detail. You fail. Goodbye.

    0
  25. 25

    Francisco Hernandez

    August 22, 2007 3:16 am

    I made a Flek with these images, enjoy!
    http://www.flektor.com/webflek/view/_1187718071_815688_44621

    0
  26. 26

    It looks like to be a Master of Graphic Design, you need to download pictures of beautiful women and then put colourful stuff on top of these images… And that’s about it.

    0
  27. 27

    Reinier Meenhorst

    August 22, 2007 3:32 am

    I’d agree with Justin. Great examples of elaborate style, but most lack direction. While it’s impressive what these designers can achieve in a technical sense, only a few offer a real concept or convincing storytelling, in my humble opinion.

    0
  28. 28

    @ Smarmy

    Attention to detail by the designer is one thing, but it is second only to composition. The critics here are pointing out that the compositions are all very similar and lack originality.

    And if you don’t understand what I mean by composition, you should spare us all the ignorance of your empty headed remarks.

    Designers should stray from marrying themselves to a particular trend or style and rather ask themselves what the appropriate solution for the problem is. This is what separates designers from decorators. Peter up there said it best, you must remain objective. Otherwise, you just have a very unimportant cliche full of detail.

    0
  29. 29

    Smarmy,
    As a graphic designer, the first lesson I learned is that clients (and the viewers) are simply NOT going to spend time “paying attention to the detail.” That is for artists, they will appreciate the talent, time, etc., involved in creating an illustration like those shown. The client and marketing usually just want you to drive the point across – and if marketing is pushing the direction, you’re very lucky if you can do an illustration versus cramming in a ton of text. How many magazine or billboard readers are really going to study the detail? How many clients are really willing to pay for services of an illustrator or agree to the time spent creating these works of art? Not nearly as many as we would wish. Pretty much everyone here has had the “opinion” that they are beautiful, pretty, etc., however, the style is very much the same – there is nothing mean or insulting in those comments.
    Apparently, you’re not open for any discussion of differing perspectives and experiences… That’s fine. I pretty much view that as a failure (and arrogant) but then that’s just my opinion. I am entitled to my opinion, you know. As are all the other “empty-headed naysayers.”

    0
  30. 30

    These two quotes sum this posting up:

    “When you put them all toghether like this, I’d call it visual masturbation more than graphic design”

    “It looks like to be a Master of Graphic Design, you need to download pictures of beautiful women and then put colourful stuff on top of these images… And that’s about it.”

    Masters of graphic design? Yeah right. There are some talented people in this listing for sure, but let’s be honest — Chuck Anderson took this style and ran with it, and ever since then, people have biting his heels to redo the style that he enflavored (that’s a new word for you right there). Even Chuck Anderson though is not a “master of design”. How about some true masters like Wim Crouel, Otl Aicher, Herb Lubalin, Chuck Close, Wegman, Wildplakken, I mean come on…these aren’t masters. These are designers whose whole worth is a by-product of over-spending in marketing. This stuff isn’t even a style, it’s a mess. Graphic design is supposed to be about clarity of content and your message, not who can muddy up the stage the most.

    This is sad.

    And @Smarmy — great retort there. I’m the “empty-headed” one because I’m able to see through this visual clutter as being nothing more than “pretty.” I guess you probably look up to and are “inspired” by people like ElectricHeat who claim that graphic design is just about “making things look pretty.” You’re sad. You fail at life. Please eject yourself and do not try again. Do not pass go and do not collect any props. Maybe next time around in college you’ll learn a little something about concept and the meaning of design.

    And Si Scott deserves heaps of credit for pioneering his rendition of a classic type styling used in 14th and 15th century manuscripts, which has just been bastardized and abused ever since he broke into the mainstream with his stuff.

    Sad. This post really makes me sad.

    0
  31. 31

    wow wow wow. this is awesome work!
    may fovourite ist the first one of Paul Hollingworth. Nice idea

    0
  32. 32

    90% of all those are good yeah.. but together they look crap, they all look the same and without any imagination.. is pink mixed with 400 colours the new style in design illustration?

    theres only 3-5 outstanding peices of work there.

    0
  33. 33

    while your at it chek out.. http://www.rasterized.org more illustration rather then design.

    0
  34. 34

    I have to agree with both sides of the aisle- great visually inspiring work, but “Masters” they are certainly not. The overly layered swirly design will go down in design history as a chapter/phase, but no historical moments were made here. Where is my Paul Rand? Where is my Alvin Lustig? Those are the true inspirations…

    0
  35. 35

    With the exception of Paul Hollingworth, and maybe a couple others, they all look the same! They’re all people or things with junk floating around them. These are all by different people? Wow. We are just a bunch of copycats if this is supposed to be creative.

    0
  36. 36

    Beautiful images, I feel they are to be taken for what they are. It seems to be a genre of illustration that morphs with design and 3d. So many details! Not sure why, but some of them remind me of the Lisa Frank trapper keeper illustrations from the 80’s. Thanks for another great post.

    0
  37. 37

    Wow, amazing…

    To be honest, I’ve never acctully seen one of these images not plasted with ads for something….hehe

    10/10!

    0
  38. 38

    how about posting something without frigging fairies in it

    this doesn’t represent graphic design, it represents just one trend

    0
  39. 39

    I’m disappointed, like most of you. Smashing has been so good in the past, this seemed like a joke. Most of these designs look like they could have been made by the same person. And I guess that person thinks everything in the world could be improved by random floaty swirly stuff? What’s going on? Where’s the simple, effective, creative stuff I expected?

    0
  40. 40

    Only on the internet could a page of beautiful eye candy lead to a bunch of people putting each other down and trying to sound smarter than one another.

    0
  41. 41

    Leave the butterflies alone. A great deal of this work looks the same.

    0
  42. 42

    Crap.

    Don’t get me wrong I’m sure some work went into all this but its all pretty much the same and only inspired me to write that its not inspiring. I will say that there was some really interesting ones but for the most part very unimpressed. Better luck next time to the artists in my book anyway.

    0
  43. 43

    I don’t care whether you call it illustration, graphic design or any other name. I find these pieces very artistic and awe inspiring. I quote Kevin, comment #2

    “This is absolutely fucking INCREDIBLE.”

    This style of design, though it may be played out in the mainstream is something we don’t practice in a small company’s internal creative department and it is absolutely a breath of fresh air to me!

    Most people around here seriously devalue illustration and illustrated elements because they take too much time to create. We use photos instead. Though we have an absolutely amazing photographer, a lot of our work seems unbalanced to me in the use of different elements and layers to add interest. When I use stock swirlys in a project (we don’t have a staff illustrator), most people think that’s just my style, not a trend in the bigger picture.

    I think these are fantastic – thanks so much for the post!

    0
  44. 44

    @ John Moldybuns – Yeah, man. Exactly. Eye candy. That’s all it is.

    0
  45. 45

    Personally, my favourite designers are the Bazmark Design people – particularly Catherine Martin (Baz Luhrmann’s 2 x oscar winning wife) and her Head of Design Silvana Azzi Heras. Movies, Broadway shows, Books, TV commercials and I hear they’re even doing a homewares line. Everything they do is visually amazing!

    My only gripe is that it’s a bit tough to find all of their work in one place on the Internet. Maybe when they finally get that bazmark site working…

    0
  46. 46

    Wow, some of you guys seem to love moaning and complaining, no matter what. Look back through those images : it’s not ‘all’ swirly designs that look the same, there’s a lot of different styles there. Maybe there’s more swirls and neon than others things, ok, but it doesn’t mean that all if it can be so simply dismissed and lumped under the same category. You’re robbing yourself if you’re seriously interested in design and don’t go back through that stuff but just dismiss it all instead.

    Some of that work is really amazing.

    0
  47. 47

    @ Te

    It’s not the artwork that is the problem, it is the bias of the author. He should have demonstrated more respect for design history and shown us some kind of objectivity before making claims such as these being the finest designers of our time. It was how he categorized these illustrations that was the problem. Any formally trained designer can spot this author from a mile away as a self-taught (or maybe he just wasn’t paying attention in class) trend-following wannabe.

    With that said, yes, the work is amazing. The author needs to go buy a design history book, along with everyone else that’s drooling right now.

    0
  48. 48

    I agree, this work is beautiful illustration. As to if it is timeless Graphic Design – no it is not. To me these illustrations are all just reiterations of many artists from the 1970’s. Think album covers and New York City. The positive thing I can think of regarding this is that the marriage of Illustrator, Photoshop and various 3D programs have really taken us to the level of the Hyperreal. Perhaps Baudrillard was right? Why don’t we all whine a bit more and try and control this stuff from the comfort of our computers? :)

    0
  49. 49

    Amazing, why? Almost every single designer that I know can create designs that mimick that look to a T. Every single one of them. This is street-level, urbanized-niche design — it doesn’t communicate a message, and it is most CERTAINLY NOT timeless or of masterwork quality. Please people, stop bemoaning the negative comments, unless you have something facts-based to relay.

    To quote liquid06: “This style of design, though it may be played out in the mainstream is something we don’t practice in a small company’s internal creative department and it is absolutely a breath of fresh air to me!”

    That’s because you aren’t a trendwhore. You don’t keep up on design trends clearly, because if this style is something new to you, then for the last three or four years you’ve been living under a rock, protected by an umbrella of Helvetica and Avant Garde.

    0
  50. 50

    Here’s a great gallery if you’re into illustrations;

    Tom Ledin’s Gallery

    0
  51. 51

    this is some quality art work…

    i love the sunglasses and pepsi ones… i am amazed with the creativity of these people. Inspirations like this help me get ideas :)

    0
  52. 52

    these are some great illustrators!! where are the designers?

    0
  53. 53

    This is not a bad post, but doesn’t has a good title.
    We have to admit these swirling eye candies are very pretty and need a master to create them. No matter the graphics serve the purpose of the design or not, swirling and sparking are definitely a trend and getting strong reinforce by designers.

    0
  54. 54

    All these pieces look the same!
    These aren’t graphic design masters, they’re just Photoshop masters that are copying all the trendy shit.
    Boring!

    0
  55. 55

    Best gallery is devianart.com

    0
  56. 56

    “Masters of Graphic Design”, A.K.A. “Swirly Photoshop Images From Hell.”

    0
  57. 57

    I clicked through to just one of the portfolios of the designers linked above and found that he’s actually done a whole bunch of stuff that is different to most of the pictures in this post, so I’d suggest that it’s not that all these designers are turning out the same type of work, but that rather it reflects the author’s own particular bias as to what they like in graphic design.

    0
  58. 58

    Very technical, but it all looks the same. Nothing looks that original.

    0
  59. 59

    Most of this appears to be pop art, with very little meaning, scope or depth. That being said, I must applaud you for bringing Paul Hollingworth’s first image to my attention, as it is full of meaning, cultural significance and artistry. Thanks for the list!

    0
  60. 60

    OMFG… when i see that i think im just good for the the trash can

    0
  61. 61

    I have to agree with most of the others. This list is a disappointing scroll of similar styles and nothing original.

    “oh hey,..lets throw a female body outline and some glossy glittery swooshes in there.. and it’ll knock people out!! zomg 11s!!”…

    Its overdone and shallow.

    Whomever came up with this idea is probably the same person who came up with the “glossy screen” idea for laptops… totally weaksauce.

    Sadly… it seems like its popular because most people in society these days are more concerned about looks than substance. (omg, look at these sweet spinner rims with LED’s on them!!).. lame.

    0
  62. 62

    poor women…becoming object and object again. lack of creativity!

    0
  63. 63

    Masters of Graphic design? Nah, not really.
    Masters of Illustrations? Yes, although swirls seems to be very trendy now.

    0
  64. 64

    Nice use of layering. I’m a fan of the montage at the moment.

    I think some people looking at this forget that you’ll very rarely see these in any one place at the same time. Appreciation of these will be increased in there own advetising space and sites.

    We (designers) can all do these montages, its whether you think too…

    0
  65. 65

    Some smooth Photoshop masters.

    Would be nice to know the time frame a few took from Design to Development.

    Good Collection of talent.

    0
  66. 66

    Utterly stunning collection – no doubt there’ll be some contention within the comments, though. Sure it’s all been done before, women as sex objects, cry me a frick’n river, people will always find something to criticize. But when you take a step back from the intellectual and let yourself emotionally feast on what’s here, that’s when you actually get the point of what many of these people (presumably) tried to create – a lush, rich, visual world where even the least creative person can still lose themselves.

    0
  67. 67

    I’m in agreement with many others. First off, labeling them all under graphic design is terribly misleading. Define graphic design? Many of the above I know are not. Another point; being a graphic designer myself, inspiration doesn’t “just” come from looking at others graphic works, but from life, dreams, photography, fine art etc etc…..really, designers aren’t that shallow! lol

    Admittedly there’s alot of talent here, but masters? Aren’t you just trying to play for popularity, while misleading others? Very weak-sauce.

    0
  68. 68

    Nice nice nice!!
    I’m like at dreamland. Very fantasy picture.

    0
  69. 69

    Some more individually styled illustrations can be found in Candy magazine.
    http://www.candycollective.com/issues.html
    PDF dowloads available.

    0
  70. 70

    Although I appreciate all the hard work and excellent detail that went into these – I have to agree that they do all follow a similar trend that is a little played out. Pretty woman + fireworks and swirls.

    0
  71. 71

    WOW!!!!!!!!!!!! ..no words for me!!

    0
  72. 72

    Three talented designers from Poland. Nice:)

    0
  73. 73

    Vitaly Friedman & Sven Lennartz

    August 22, 2007 4:33 pm

    Dear friends and critics,

    first of all thank you very much for your constructive criticism. We really appreciate it – there is nothing more valuable than expert opinions when it comes to improving the quality of a magazine.

    Dan Loffler, rietz, Susan Hurt, Peter: thank you for your input.

    However, we’d like to point you to one aspect of this article you have probably missed. The thing is: we didn’t want this post to be some kind of a gallery; instead it was supposed to give our readers an opportunity to select one of the artists and explore his/her work in more depth. Definitely, if you take a look at all of the images listed in the post, you will find similarities – and to be honest, maybe sometimes too many similarities, but actually it’s not about comparing artists to each other. It’s about some artists you can choose to explore new ideas – and you’ll probably find them once you’ve checked their portfolio.

    Besides, do you really think that it’s fair to say that all artists listed here “produce” the same work? So, for instance, compare the work of Evgeny Kiselev, Alberto Seveso, Peter Jaworowski, Nicholas Ainley, Alex Trochut and Susanne Poschke. There are some similar elements, but would you call their work “the same”?

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  74. 74

    Vitaly Friedman & Sven Lennartz

    August 22, 2007 4:36 pm

    Justin:

    “Swirly colorful pattern overload. Puke. When you put them all toghether like this, I’d call it visual masturbation more than graphic design.”

    This post wasn’t supposed to be a gallery. “Once you’ve selected the artist whose works you like, click on the image to get to his/her portfolio and explore his/her work in more depth.” You can learn from the details in each and every one of the works; the works have similarities, though.

    0
  75. 75

    Before I went to university, I would be psyched on this page, but now, I have higher expectations. To reiterate the words of others, this is more a gallery of serifs than of “masters”. Then again, 14 year olds won’t know the difference anyway. long live diggg.

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  76. 76

    Only one word to say…. great! Thank You for this listing!

    0
  77. 77

    This is a really depressing list.

    This is not graphic design. I do not see any communication. I see one hollow, overplayed, utterly derivitive style of illustration. Shame on the person who compiled this.

    0
  78. 78

    There’s a few good designers in there, definitely. That said I also agree that most of the designs shown are very close to each other, which takes away a lot of the power each individual design has(or had), and the styles feel very temporary. Finally I can’t help but notice there are a few notorious designers missing in there: Crouwel, Build… just to name a few.

    0
  79. 79

    I agree with 80% of the comments here. It most certainly is NOT graphic design. I’d struggle to even call this illustration, try wikipedia for a definition if you’re stuck.
    There’s a couple of names on the list of merit – the rest are weak, over techincal derivatives of ONE style. It’s chocolate box decoration, nothing more. Sure, there’s some pretty incredible photoshop skills on display but seeing them all bundled together here shows the sheer unoriginality that is rife in visual communication these days.

    0
  80. 80

    fu.ck.in amazing..
    i personally don’t like that kind of art, but this is ART!

    0
  81. 81

    I am happy to see the huge negative response against this silly post. There apparently a lot of real designers out there who are also offended by the misuse of the term “masters of graphic design”

    Thank you author, for changing that in the post.

    0
  82. 82

    awesome. getting jealous…as I do not create such sort of work.

    0
  83. 83

    In a word: Wow. Really stunning imagery.

    0
  84. 84

    Does anyone know of some tutorial illustrations that demonstrate these techniques and styles?

    Thanks,

    I really enjoy these illustrations and high fashion photography. Do most of them have a variety of vector designs on hand and a library of elements to build these type of designs or is this all crafted?

    0
  85. 85

    @ Vitaly Friedman & Sven Lennartz

    I appreciate your willingness to receive criticism and hope that you are indeed passionate about improving this magazine, as I appreciate and rely on it heavily.

    However, having worked in the publishing industry, may I offer something based on your defense of the post? You say that your intent was to get us to explore in further depth the work of these artists, but I assert that it is the responsibility of the author/editor to make sure that the editorial content is objective and well-researched. The problem is, you have given your audience too much credit in expecting them to do the research. If you wanted to show us the breadth of these artists’ portfolios, you could have just as easily selected the more diverse works that you alude to over the monotonously illustrative pieces that you did end up selecting. I’m afraid that this obvious fact makes your defense shallow and transparent, and only makes it even clearer that you are trying to communicate that this style is preferable. What you select communicates much more effectively than what you say.

    It is the duty of the editorial staff to exercise objectivity & depth, and not a fair expectation to assume that your worldwide audience will correctly interpret your intent. So, better to play it safe in the future.

    0
  86. 86

    Lot of work to compile this. However, all I can see are just illustrations, I cannot call them designs.

    Also, on top of the lists, most illustrations are women – little or no creativity.

    0
  87. 87

    KEN:

    Computer Arts (http://www.computerarts.co.uk/) gives detailed tutorials on this and other trendy/popular styles.

    agree with earlier posts – not graphic design, most not particularly contemporary anymore. still fun to look at though, just like a hot pink convertible.

    i’m surprised no one is really subverting this yet, been around so long…

    0
  88. 88

    [subvert meaning] ^^ like maybe a turd with some swirls, flowers and glow :)

    0
  89. 89

    wow there is some real talent there… [borat] very nice! [/borat]

    0
  90. 90

    All my favorites are on this list!
    Great work from people that I’d never heard of up until this point.

    0
  91. 91

    wow cool article, this was great thanks again!

    jeff

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  92. 92

    This list is skewed in all possible ways. I don’t see why using photo realism in illustration automatically equates to “contemporary” or how mastering particular new trend leads to masterpieces.

    I don’t know how much these illustrators are paying you guys to advertise on your “blog” but I just want to inform the digg users that this list is incompetent and there are tons more illustrators out there in the world that deserves “Master Of Illustration” title. These illustrations are merely one particular style out of many. I personally like to call these illustration trend, “busy” art.

    Like they say, don’t follow the trendy tattoos because trends go away and you’ll regret it later down the road.

    Define your own style, not mirror others.

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  93. 93

    amazing! Great inspiration

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  94. 94

    i love that you can scroll through this entire thing, and think that 1 person made this.

    what a pathetic “creative” spark.

    0
  95. 95

    My, my. Quite the firestorm. Art is passion, after all. “Illustrators” works better in the title than “Designers,” I’m glad to see the change. I can appreciate the work and the portfolios of each of the artists. We all have our own tastes, styles, etc. What drove me to comment at all in my earlier post was the “You fail. Goodbye.” comment from Smarmy. I love differing viewpoints and trying to see what somebody else sees in art; why they like or not, what it “feels” like to them….Shutting out other perspectives creates the sameness that kills creativity.
    I enjoyed the post as much for the commentary going on here as the portfolios (far more interesting than just the illustrations shown on this first page).

    0
  96. 96

    Weak. The 90s are over, friends.

    0
  97. 97

    I’m going to give my $0.02 here.

    I don’t know if I’d go so far as to say that these designers are “masters” per se… but I can guarantee you that the works showcased here are certainly not something your average Photoshop user could ever hope to achieve. Many of these designers (such as Pete Harrison, Peter Jaworowski, Nick Ainley, and Mario Sanchez) have deviantArt accounts with a great deal of people who follow and try to emulate their designs. And fail miserably at it.

    Yes, many of these designs are very similar. But to say they are interchangable is to do absolutely no justice to the hard work that was put in to each and every piece.
    Look closer.
    Some of these artists put a lot of emphasis on typography. Others put a lot of emphasis on fitting a variety of abstract thoughts into a single piece. Others are just created as eye candy for various art groups online, and dont require any real substance since that was not the intention of the artist.

    And I guarantee you, as I follow a majority of these designers, the pieces showcased here were not representative of the best of the designer’s portfolios. This blog’s choice to show only those pieces which pander to the same genre really does these artists no justice.

    Rather than chalking it all up to one uniform lump of overdone crap, rather than stating that it all looks like one person’s work, rather than trying to convince yourself and the rest of the commenters that you know what you’re talking about while discounting the talent on display here, I implore you to actually LOOK at the artists complete portfolio and you will see that there is indeed individuality and talent to be inspired by. Damn that was a long runon sentence. But its a rant, so I’m allowed.

    Thanks for your time.

    Yes. The style is played out. Admittedly, I too have created designs that follow the same trend. Am I a trend whore? Abso-freakin-lutely! But, these artists are the best at what they do, so if I aspire to make some awesome eye-candy for my desktop background, then I will be looking to these guys to set the bar. These are the guys I guage my work with.
    A lot of the pieces showcased were designed for specific clients. (Many of which were high profile with large budgets and a large target audience)

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  98. 98

    This is so boring! No personality in most of these.

    0
  99. 99

    hello everyone, nothing much i can say..all image looks perfect, 99 over 10 :D

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  100. 100

    It’s Neil Duerden, not Neil Durden. And the first image is a collab with Mathew Star Thomas. I think it should be credit too ;)

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  101. 101

    C’mon guys, this is a good article. As an entity – every single graphic designer is attached to his style. But that does not mean that the other design techniques are wrong or not good. Those artworks are quite good and if the client was happy with the work – 2 thumbs up.
    By the way – Stop Complaining

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  102. 102

    can i make a guess? people that condemned this masterpiece to be none other than pretty woman and swirl are the same people who think gradient, sticker-like “BETA” graphic, pop -up ajax image and BIG HEADLINES is very web2.0.

    get a life. web 2.0 is not everything. this is ART; digital art. not a web design.

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  103. 103

    Some nice stuff there, but the selection is WAY WAY too homogeneous, there’s a lot of variety in good illustration out there to be found.

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  104. 104

    I do agree with all the comments that these artists have similar styles. And do see the point of Vitaly & Sven that this should not be used to compare the artists but to explore them.

    I think it is rather interesting though that the trend (at least for these webdesigners and let’s say the Web 2.0) goes to exactly these colors and shapes.
    Especially interesting is the complexity of all presented images here. I believe that will be the next step in commercial art of having very complex pictures with many different aspects compiled to form some kind of real-life beauty as it ain’t simple either.

    Am I making sense?

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  105. 105

    peter jaworski not jaworowski

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  106. 106

    Peter, Jaworowski is ok ;)

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  107. 107

    the master’s of tutorial anad tips…. please please please find sumthin (a tutorial) to remakke atleast one of them… they are sooo amazing…. goooooooooooooooooooooood work..

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  108. 108

    I thought this was intended to possibly provide inspiration to designers who are stuck in a rut. If you don’t find it inspiring or thought it too homogenous, that’s fine – but don’t complain about it, BE about it. If you have other examples that you find more inspiring, by all means post links!! I for one would love to see them.

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  109. 109

    @ Reejo

    No one is going to write up a tutorial on how to use the Blur and Smudge tool, combined with the Glow and 3D Shadow effects. There are hundreds of them out there. Pick up a mouse and keyboard and L2photoshopz, nubcakes.

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  110. 110

    I agree with Kevin (#2 comment) minus the uncalled for language!

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  111. 111

    Not bad.. Not bad at all… Nice stuff!

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  112. 112

    Wow!

    All the images are beautifull… amazing, never seen!

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  113. 113

    You guys who said that this is nothing than pretty woman with swirl; show us your works so that we can now WHAT GRAPHIC DESIGN really is

    you guys should learn to differentiate between WEB DESIGN (y’all took it for granted in this case) and GRAPHIC DESIGN

    it’s an art. ART for god’s sake.

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  114. 114

    I don’t know why there are so many haters posting. They should post their work so we can crit the hell out of it and how they copied so and so.

    Every piece in here is awesome. You must really look at each one for a while to notice all the details.

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  115. 115

    Richard Francis Kay

    August 24, 2007 4:00 pm

    This is the reason I really like S’Magazine! For me as a professional designer, this is the place to be: inspired.

    Keep it up. I’ll keep it bookmarked.

    Richard Kay

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  116. 116

    love this post! many thanks!

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  117. 117

    Is there any tutorials about this? it’s wonderful. I like it!

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  118. 118

    Every time i see the work of these guys makes me kinda depressed :) they really are the greatest artists of this world.

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  119. 119

    Amarjeet Singh Rai

    August 24, 2007 9:49 pm

    Please could you post this as a PDF?

    Thanks

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  120. 120

    Nice collection of designers! Creativity floweth!

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  121. 121

    “I don’t know why there are so many haters posting. They should post their work so we can crit the hell out of it and how they copied so and so.

    Every piece in here is awesome. You must really look at each one for a while to notice all the details.”

    I don’t think it haters posting, while at least I like a lot of this stuff, but it is all in a similar style mostly, collages of photo and vector with colour effects and I think an article on top illustrators could have featured a wider variety of illustration styles.

    Dont really want to post links to stuff I feel is good, as it might be considered spamming.

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  122. 122

    Sorry, but this got a little bit of “hype” illustration style.
    A real good illustrator is Stephane Manel with his atemporal works!

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  123. 123

    lolz dis wikked pics gonna mek meh myspace look sweet as bro
    gonna pimp myspace designer styleeee wuuurrd up

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  124. 124

    Although some of these (all!?) are amazingly good, I would like to add another great artist to this list.
    His name is Mário Belém and he’s done some amazing work. You can see his work here.

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  125. 125

    Dennison Uy - Graphic Designer

    August 25, 2007 3:03 pm

    Awesome, but could use a little variation. A downloadable version would be very handy.

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  126. 126

    any tutorial links on how to do this stuff?

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  127. 127

    Oswaldo Gallo Cuba

    August 25, 2007 11:04 pm

    Wow!!!, my eyes and my mind are in shock!, it’s a great work, thank you and congratulations to you and artists!

    …….. wow again!

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  128. 128
  129. 129

    lol, pretty bullshit list here..

    1st its not graphic design
    2nd its illustration
    3rd they look all the shame

    and wtf is this Maciej Mizer (Poland) ??? how can that be upper than guys like Drew Flaherty or Chuck anderson..

    who made this list anyway?

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  130. 130

    Damn, is this guy above me pissed off or what

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  131. 131

    They look pretty amazing to me… I’d love to knw how to make some of these…a lot of guys here seem to find them easy or monotonous… well I guess I’m the untrained eye…
    anywhere where I can find tutorials of this type of art??

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  132. 132

    hello guys
    im Sara frm Pakistan,i see thesework n i become crazy,its mind blowing,amazing,i have no words,i knw photoshop,illustrator n many others softwares,plz help me,how can i do work like this.
    my id is …@…com

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  133. 133

    is there any tutorials how to done this?

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  134. 134

    nice,really amazing.these works are really inspiring;full of color and joy.i want more.
    plz visit my site ishfak.blogspot.com;you will find some good advice.

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  135. 135

    Maybe it’ll be on-topic :) I have made a small selection: designers and artists with passion spark.

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  136. 136

    VagabondoDigitale

    August 28, 2007 11:00 pm

    Very Very fantastic images… Great !

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  137. 137

    This is artistry at its best!

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  138. 138

    Some great stuff on here, but can people not illustrate without hot girls these days?

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  139. 139

    Not knocking on graphic design/illustration here, but it is one of the visual arts, not the fine arts. So to defend these illustrations as “they’re art, and if you don’t get them, you just don’t get art” is b.s. Illustrators work on commission, at the request of their clients. And few clients care about artistry in the works they commission. What they care about is advertising that works. Artistic or not, an ad that is overly detailed and looks just like every other ad out there will not work. This trend cannot last because it is information overload.

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  140. 140

    Wot? No Asians?
    Anyway, I think this falls along the lines of commercial illustration. I totally appreciate the effort put in by the designers, you have to say that it’s pretty damn good illustrations. It’s not graphic design in it’s entire context, tho. Cheers to them, and the authors efforts in putting this out in the first place.

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  141. 141

    This is one of the most gorgeous collections of color I’ve ever seen. Thanks so much for this. Color makes me happy, and my happy meter is up. Sigh. Now I have 32 more sites to visit :)

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  142. 142

    friend of mine gave me link to this article.

    it’s a pleasure for me to see my picture is used in very first design of this list, and used so professional way.

    feels good. thanks for choosing my work to be part of your good work, Radim.

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  143. 143

    Someone just linked me to this via email, I’m honoured! But I have to say I am for Murcia (Spain) not from UK! :)

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  144. 144

    How come electricheat.com is not included?

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  145. 145

    The pieces by Radim and Neil are colorful, eye catching and engaging. What’s more, for all of the motion and excitement, it is easy to center attention on the product. We’re big fans over here.

    And thank you, Smashing, we are using this list as a point of departure for exploring talent.

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  146. 146

    I was at talk with about a dosen people seeing Si Scott, as he talked he sketched an image, he is truely unbelievable but simplist at the same time. Fan of his work

    0
  147. 147

    Rietz said:
    “@ Reejo

    No one is going to write up a tutorial on how to use the Blur and Smudge tool, combined with the Glow and 3D Shadow effects. There are hundreds of them out there. Pick up a mouse and keyboard and L2photoshopz, nubcakes.”

    Holy shit, rietz, what crawled up your arse and died? Not everyone here is a serious, professional graphic designer or a skilled photoshop user, moreover not everyone here gives a fuck about graphic design artistry or whatever.

    Even though you dislike this style of illustration (as do I) there’s absolutely no need to be rude to some photoshop amateur who was asking an innocent question that has nothing to do with you. And, you know, he might not even be a graphic designer/illustrator and doesn’t have to care whether it’s good illustration/art or shit.

    He might be a noob but you’re a pretentious, condescending wanker and everything you say is as worthless as these swirly oversaturated crap you so hate.

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  148. 148

    Wow, amazing…

    To be honest, I’ve never acctully seen one of these images never & never
    iam very inspred when see these images really amazing……
    NO ONE BEAT YOU and NO ONE REACH YOU
    ALL THE BEST FOR UR TEAM

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  149. 149

    it’d be nice to know what their software of choice was…

    0
  150. 150

    Brand Nu - Radim Malinic

    September 5, 2007 2:11 am

    Hello lovers and haters,

    thanks to the author for including me on the list, ever more enjoyable I didn’t have to scroll too far down :)

    I just wanted to let you all good people know (so you don’t miss out) that I am releasing my debut publication with more that 50 selected pieces of my best work from last few years.

    The book is now for pre-order at http://www.brandnu.co.uk. Get yours now, they have been flying out. Only 500 copies in this edition.

    Radim

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  151. 151

    Bravo ! Great ! Brazil images is very very fantastic !

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  152. 152

    Very good. Congratulations!
    Saúde e paz!

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  153. 153

    wow these are absoluetly amazing. i like some of the more abstract peices on this page though. very intriguing.

    0
  154. 154

    amazing blog

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  155. 155

    they’re really perfect and the best i’ve ever seen!!

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  156. 156

    breathtaking…

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  157. 157

    awesome! they make 4 cool backgrounds a skool! keep makin them :)

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  158. 158

    …I think some of you are too hung up on the “trend”
    everything is a trend.
    why don’t you all let us see how you design and then we’ll see what trends you guys are following?
    Nothing is completely origional. That’s art. And these guys are artists.

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  159. 159

    Are you sure that these aren’t all by the same person? BORING!!!!

    There is some fabulous illustration work out there – but this stuff is going to look so dated in a couple of months. Honestly, you could write an applet that slapped a few vector swirls around some vacuous model and it would generate this pap automatically.

    0
  160. 160

    These are realy Great! Congratulation!

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  161. 161

    you also suggested music (in the introductory article) as a way to break through a creative block. nice idea. how about a blog post on the music people listen to when they are creating.. here’s my playlist.. link opens in itunes

    http://n90.mediamaster.com/myradio/brate/64/barak.pls

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  162. 162

    Very nice artwork but looks like everyone is copying to the each other… all looks the same.

    0
  163. 163

    Hi, my name is derick onzere, from Nairobi, Kenya. This is very good stuff.

    Am impressed.

    regards.

    0
  164. 164

    Steffen Kasperavicius

    September 18, 2007 1:45 am

    Yep, all looks the same, I’m very bored of seeing these swirls, lights, Rohrschach-attitudes and crestshape-revivals… at that moment, design is stuck

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  165. 165

    -First off, I want to truly express my appreciation to the Editor of This Article for presenting us a diverse collection of illustrations from various artists.
    -Second I want to point out to the fact is most of us argue about these works whether or not the Terminology of Graphic Design-ers/ Illsustration -ers fit them or how cliche and similar these works are.
    -To be honest, I’ve reached these artists’s works before I read this article, and I was a little bit upset or just a thought : shoot, we and most the audience would perceive them as …. trendy,cliche,copycatted. Perhaps the selection wasn’t very diverse…..
    Anyway, I am sure it’s worth to explore these artists individually and you will find something unexpected and orginginal.
    I would perceive these works as ART/Illustration than Graphic Design. And please don’t make them try to define what the terms are ^_^

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  166. 166

    Awesome work.
    I really love those colours and sparks that Chuck uses. Anyone that have some tuts? :D

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  167. 167

    i think that these works are pretty, well designed, but they look the same. now this style is starting to become a fad. i’ve seen most of these designers before stumbling across this link. i guess on their own you can go ooohh and aaaahhh but when you lump them together it really shows how we’re being fed the same ol, same ol. i like my illustration/design with a lil kick to it please.

    0
  168. 168

    what a wonderful site. so glad i ‘stumbled’ upon it.

    0
  169. 169

    Richard Francis Kay

    October 1, 2007 5:22 pm

    Really brilliant designs, I really like the way how the designers put in the emotion with the use of colors… passionate work guys! Keeps me motivated to excel.
    And I really like SmashingMagazine for bringing these kinds of (high) creativity input and other interesting resources.
    You guys are my nr.1 resource page! Keep up the creativity knowlegde sharing!

    0
  170. 170

    By looks of Sara from Pakistan’s grammar and juvenile verbiage I suspect it is probably a 40 year old studio worker from CBS–blogging in character. They are “trolling” for the next season of “Pedophile Caught on Tape”.

    DON”T EMAIL HER.

    lol

    0
  171. 171

    Interesting photoshop effect perhaps, but no, not “masters of graphic design”. I consider this type of design on par with what airbrushers did, when poeple still did such a thing. Slightly above mall-rat work, sorry.

    0
  172. 172

    Truly interesting artworks – some are very cool
    somehow very equal too – somehow too digital
    I miss the wonderful simple art and graphic design and the roots to non digital art

    0
  173. 173

    Wow very incredible…Master of all Master…Very Inspiring…

    0
  174. 174

    Hello,
    can someone tell me, where i find tutorials for so beautiful illustrations?
    i have search via google but i don’t found anyone :/

    Please help me :)

    0
  175. 175

    0.o

    Muito bom, ótimos trabalhos…

    0
  176. 176

    Hahaha, you people being all pretentious and condescending about this post are exactly why everyday average people hate dealing with “designers”.

    Yes this post was definitely biased towards the style du jour. You shouldn’t be surprised at all.

    Get over yourselves. If you acted that snooty in real life in another industry towards someone else’s work you’d get a face full of knuckles.

    0
  177. 177

    Excellent entry. Thank you very much.

    0
  178. 178

    This is totally wicked!!!!!

    0
  179. 179

    It takes a good deal of work and attention to detail to make illustrations like this come together. While I wouldn’t go as far as saying that they are ‘masters’, I can easily give credit to their great technical ability.

    At first glance it all seemingly looks like a plethora of eye candy, but to suggest (as previous posts have suggested) that a number of it are illustrations created only to satisfy the creators impulses and have made something for pure aesthetics, is a bit much.

    Despite the fact that some works may not have been successful in communicating their message to you, who are we to say that they haven’t tried and rob them of that notion that they attempted to visually communicate something to their audience? In essence that’s the objective of graphic design isn’t it?

    So how can we just assume on everyone else’s behalf and say they’ve failed and furthermore go on to think that it hasn’t been able to speak something to someone else out there? I’m not a fan of all the work displayed here but I don’t think I could conclude by stamping them as being nothing more than illustrations that over-stimulate the retina.

    0
  180. 180

    woow! i can’t stop looking at theseee!! sooo amazing …. just luv ‘em!

    0
  181. 181

    I’m starving for a glimpse of new stuff. New that’ll be old soon, like this one. Like you, like me. People stop being depressed and use this nausea to feed your creativity.
    Good post. neat picture of today oldest news.
    Keep exploring people. Good luck.

    0
  182. 182

    This is a real modern art using a full imagination.

    Let me know how do you do this fantastics images. you have some guides or tutorials for follow.

    0
  183. 183

    If you acted that snooty in real life in another industry towards someone else’s work you’d get a face full of knuckles.

    Got nothing to do with the industry being discussed; it’s the nature of the Internet, innit? If people said in real life half the stuff they say online, the hospital wards would be full of battered bodies. ;)

    0
  184. 184

    Simply W.o.W !

    0
  185. 185

    “The thermometer of success is merely the jealousy of the malcontents”.

    Simple Amazing

    0
  186. 186

    all look so wonderful!! awesome… so some people dont call this graphic design… so i invite to post a link to check your stuff… maybe after that we can call crap this work….

    0
  187. 187

    There is an alternative reaction to this… lots of contemporary illustrators are doing beautiful work that moves on from this homogenous current trend — it’s just a matter of art directors and designers having the imagination and guts to commission something different.

    0
  188. 188

    some of them are art

    0
  189. 189

    wow Very good Bellissimi

    0
  190. 190

    well done technically, extremely unoriginal otherwise. enough is enough, come on now.

    0
  191. 191

    Margarida Lencastre

    December 23, 2007 4:13 am

    Nice Pics !!!

    Awesome… This is Art!

    0
  192. 192

    i like your designs.

    FROM CHINA

    0
  193. 193

    i love it…..
    but where did you get all the nice brushes ?

    gadden

    0
  194. 194

    The shame about this is that few people will realize that a lot of the influence for these artists was a guy on Deviantart called ‘Silveryn’,who basically pioneered the nature/silhouette/floral style around 2002 that shows clear signs of being in some designs here. His ‘Change of Seasons’ piece that had thousands of favs on DA is probably one of the single most imitated/ripped/cloned pieces in digital art history. It’s a pity that those rippers basically made him give it all away.

    0
  195. 195

    Really amazing pictures. I hope the OLED-Display technology comes and i can change the pictures from you!

    0
  196. 196

    really amazing stuff…….

    0
  197. 197

    really amazing stuff…….should be inspiration for every designer in the world…..

    0
  198. 198

    Amazing jobs, i not have to say. Thanks for post these works.

    0
  199. 199

    It is only when they are all put together like this that you see how alike alot of them are in z z z z z z z z .

    0
  200. 200

    Why are these people the ‘masters’ when it’s all cliche same old adobe cs shit ?

    0
  201. 201

    But it’s excellent and good looking Adobe CS shit :) anyone can call themselves masters, but true masters will always stand out somewhere else.

    0
  202. 202

    When did graphic design become the art of putting swirly patterns around things in photographs? Lame.

    0
  203. 203

    Nisrod, could you shut the F**k up with your lame hateful comments? Are you retarded or what?

    0
  204. 204

    wow, this is great

    February 24, 2008 12:01 pm

    people love kitsch since mankind, this is the kitsch of today, fellas.

    0
  205. 205

    woooooooooooooooooooooow
    i can’t say any thing about this unblivabol designes

    0
  206. 206

    awesome! I’m stunned.

    0
  207. 207

    yawn!

    dont get me wrong they look beautiful but are you not completely and utterly bored shitless of swirls and curls?

    Everywhere you look, they’re there……what happened to bold and kooky, eye catching and interesting?

    I feel a bit bad that this dude who posted all these has had so much shit…..and then I thought so what!

    he he

    0
  208. 208

    TO ALL COMMENTS ABOVE WHO HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THIS PAGE “AS GRAPHIC DESIGN”
    READ THE FUCKING TITLE OF THE ARTICLE YOU FUCKING MORONS.

    love all the work, it’s superb, art is all about trends..and this is a current illustration trend..which is excellent eye candy. The reason it is everywhere IS because it looks great..other styles are out there that have no swirls, curls, grunge, florishes, circles drips and splats…but why aren’t they popular..??..The fact is that whatever becomes popular does so because the masses admire it..the same as Music, Sport, Film & Literature.

    If you hate this work, go produce something else,,don’t bitch and moan about how much you hate it. To above comment..change is good, design evolves, all these works are eye catching and interesting..the trend will eventually go away…if your bored shitless..produce your own work..be a trendsetter…. but this is doubtful, because just as you followed everyone else’s comments here…you probably do the same in your work. he he…destined to be a follower and bitch about being a sheep but never straying from the herd…just another button monkey hey!!! lol

    0
  209. 209

    read the article title dipshit

    0
  210. 210

    It’s new to me. I’m not a huge follower. Why you want to rain on my parade?? ;-)

    0
  211. 211

    nisrod, you cant compare Silveryn to these guys, if you think he can then theres something wrong with your monitor or your eyes.

    People that ‘Hate’ comment should just stay out of this because you are just proving yourself that jelouse because your not a master at Designs. In Design you cant do this in Photoshop alone, you would need other programs. they are called masters for a reason

    0
  212. 212

    really! great work n great post

    0
  213. 213

    Guys,
    First up – thank you – great post. I know some ppl say its repetitive but it all comes down to personal taste. I luv them – so again thank you !
    Also interested to know if any one some some GOOD links to tutorials that show how to do this kind of art !!
    Thx much

    0
  214. 214

    Jerk….don’t be like that. These Designs are all freaking awesome. The more the better. If it WAS horrible it would never have grazed our gaze…

    0
  215. 215

    Does anyone have any good tutorials similar to style #20? The 3d text i love!

    0
  216. 216

    Nossa!!
    Incrível essas imagens…amei!

    0
  217. 217

    there are no words to decribe that you have done …
    this is really amazing …
    Keep it up…
    i think you are one of the few people left in this world
    smart, creative…

    0
  218. 218

    they are all really very good illustrator, it is really an Art, but i admit its true that they are all in the same style., swirls and curls are over used, everywhere i look now here in the Philippines there are vector swirls and curls, ads, banners, TV ads brochures, its too much but most people appreciate it, xD its a trend and no body can stop that unless you create a new style a new trend…. lets start making our own styles now ^_^

    yes they are Masters! and its all about the trend!

    0
  219. 219

    WOW!!!!!!! nice work…….real art , but i’m seeing too much of this……maybe me need to do some of this too…..hmmmmmmm..maybe a dog taking a dump with mucho swirls and flies coming out of swirls…..hmmmmm. ok gotta go to work

    0
  220. 220

    I LOVE YOU

    0
  221. 221

    Super super super…………………………………………

    0
  222. 222

    the best graphic work I had ever seen! They really inspire me. I’d dream that I can do something like that.

    0
  223. 223

    yeah…! cool…!

    0
  224. 224

    really really trendy. we’ll see if this has any lasting appeal.

    0
  225. 225

    Thomas Conn Hartley

    June 25, 2008 5:57 pm

    I have to agree with the chorus of too-much-of-the-same. It’s all very impressive, but taken one after the other you start to realize how the genius for originality doesnt necessarily come with technical skill.

    0
  226. 226

    Ya its tooooooooooooooooo good graphics.

    0
  227. 227

    “Bad design is frequently the consequence of mindless dabbling, and the difficulty is not confined merely to the design of logos. This lack of understanding pervades all visual design.” -Paul Rand

    0
  228. 228

    It’s so cool…they are profestional graphic design…
    I love it…- Bogie from Thailand

    0
  229. 229

    Well to ‘P’ and ‘PS’ (gee,thats original)…you totally missed the point of my comment and i was on no way ‘hating’ on these pieces,just pointing out obvious influence. However,the obvious seems to be something you missed.

    0
  230. 230

    some are great, some are just chaotic visuals. It’s art, not design.

    0
  231. 231

    naice super works maind bloyng fantastic

    0
  232. 232

    very nice graphic designs… …..Bishan Rathore

    0
  233. 233

    I swear if I see another ‘Swirly-vector-light-effects’ piece I’m going to be sick

    0
  234. 234

    “Give me excess of it that, surfeiting, the appetite may sicken and so die.”

    It reminds me of when people started using airbrushes (pre-photoshop -actually before computers had monitors) and discovered how to do chrome effects. Very beautiful, but ultimately without an underlying point: Or -moving forward 30 years- whenever adobe introduced a new filter or effect, suddenly it was used everywhere without any real thought.

    The best of the above is founded on great photography/strong typography. This remains constant, whilst the surface adapts to the ebb and flow.

    0
  235. 235

    wow, everything’s so.. exactly the same.

    0
  236. 236

    I must admit that a few years ago I was crazy over shit like this, but university definitely changes ones perspective, learning the history of design and actually seeing the astonishing work that came before us goes to show that what is represented here in this gallery is a very popularized urban pop art style that lacks substance. Design is about communication it’s intellectual, and although i’d now consider some of these very nice illustrations i cannot respect them as design pieces. they are eye candy, and thats about it.

    0
  237. 237

    adorably beautiful pieces of art, for a while I felt in heaven..thank you for publishing.

    0
  238. 238

    Too gorgeous for words.Truly inspiring <3

    0
  239. 239

    A thousand designers are doing the same thing. Trendy ornamentation that hides behind clutter instead of solid idea. Trend followers not idea leaders. Every one of those designers already knows what they are going to do before they even see the brief, >template>insert>save>Aw, shucks thanks guys

    0
  240. 240
  241. 241

    hahahaha , the year of the swirls LOL, thanks guys

    0
  242. 242

    goddddddd they are imagine , im really impressed. hope i’ll be able to be good as them one day as a graphic designer!!

    0
  243. 243

    this is very inspiring work. i love art like this.

    0
  244. 244

    Some concepts are good. The overall look is typical mind based human creativity>sexist to the extreme in most cases. I bet most of these guys cant think past their dicks. Look at all those plastic whores that is portrayed in their work. Im sick of it. Reminds me of the 70’s airbrushed vans.
    GET OUT OF YOUR BOX or more appropriately stop thinking with your dicks

    0
  245. 245

    Nossa, as artes são muitíssimo boas. São até motivadoras.

    0
  246. 246

    tacky, trendy pish.

    0
  247. 247

    Its funny to see how outdated these images look already, after 2 years. Certainly not withstanding the test of time very well.

    0
  248. 248

    what software is being used to make a bright glow colour effect?

    0
  249. 249

    i love the designs… good work!

    0
  250. 250

    It’s amazing i love the designs and is the good reference for the designers.

    0
  251. 251

    Awesome work really really inspiring!!!!!!!!!

    0
  252. 252

    goood

    0
  253. 253

    If this is what I am up against I best get practicing every day! Amasin work here!! I am more than impressed. why not visit my site and see what i have to offer…
    daviescreations.synthasite.com

    0
  254. 254

    Well done. Bravo.

    0
  255. 255

    smashing again

    0
  256. 256

    very inspiring design… so amazing nice and creative design, beautifully done!

    0
  257. 257

    exelente mix , felicitaciones desde argentina.

    0
  258. 258

    Gustavo Pimentel

    June 10, 2009 5:15 pm

    Excelente. Um dia chego a este nível.

    Gustavo Pimentel.
    Porto Alegre – RS. Brasil.

    0
  259. 259

    exelente !!!!

    salu2 from santiago d3 CHILE !!!

    1
  260. 260

    hey supeb man

    0
  261. 261

    Independent Web Designer

    June 29, 2009 9:48 pm

    Stunning images, How can we become a graphic artist to that level? amazing.

    0
  262. 262

    TOTALLY INCREDIBLE!!! I know bacicly that these people use photoshop and whatever but it just seems soo impossible to create such beautiful pictures!!!

    0
  263. 263

    “It’s all so beautiful”

    0
  264. 264

    Guys its awesome !!! Real inspiring work !! :)

    0
  265. 265

    … boring… overused style. Was awesome for the first… six month – but now im so desensitized to it all. Shame.

    1
  266. 266

    karolina calderon

    September 6, 2009 7:54 am

    excelente trabajo!!

    Saludos desde Perú

    0
  267. 267

    Don’t you think everybody designs the same like the same???? there aren’t authory or some touch of originality…. some design using analogy. that’s just illustration and ??? do they think are DESIGNERS??? BORING., overused style, shame. the coment above mine I agree.

    0
  268. 268

    So wait, every single one of these is by the same person right?

    The internet again showing us how it doesn’t foster creativity, but sameness.

    ick.

    0
  269. 269

    What a load of computer generated bollocks, can anyone actually draw by hand any more, instead of yet more lifeless static photoshop poop

    0
  270. 270

    ok…am i`m MEXICAN and i saw every photo if this page…and it`s really amazing…so fuckin amazing…and i think is beautiful everything…geniales las fotos de vdd!!
    super lokaz muy xidaz eh la neta!!!
    xaoo

    0
  271. 271

    ayazdesigner@ymail.com

    October 29, 2009 8:12 pm

    hi i check very deeply and note every thing in pictures, not sure that work is very hard and good but i feel some over usage tools and mismatch combination of theme. So, really designer that one who ? I think he is real artist when sketch 1 single line and viewer see many different angle feel different look.

    1
  272. 272

    really i’m very impressive your illustration….

    i love your creativity.

    0
  273. 273

    Alright, so I’m not even out of high-school and even EYE can tell what the difference between actual creativity and the effects of “pretty colors” are. Nothing on that page stuck with me because it was all the same (maybe the exception of #7 thats the only one I seem to be able to remember). What we need is something that is totally the opposite from this crap. I’m sorry, it’s like a kid decided to grab his crayon box and jack up his dad’s issue of PLAYBOY (harsh? maybe…). But yeah I can agree that this web page has helped me and inspired me on what to avoid. THANKS EVERYONE!!!

    0
  274. 274

    good
    very inspiring design
    thank you

    0
  275. 275

    Yes I wish they could pay more attention to illustrations made without computer help, but times change it can be help.
    PS.some of the photos or posters whatever you want to call them are good.

    0
  276. 276

    Brilliant work, balance of colour, shapes and styles are amazing

    0
  277. 277

    This is like a repetition of the same no-idea thousands of times.

    1
  278. 278

    I just dont get how an over crowd of random cutouts and decorative shapes can make people want to buy something. :/

    0
  279. 279

    smashing designs….!

    0
  280. 280

    I’m not sure how I can classify all of these as illustration, but rather a merger of photo and graphic design. The only bit of “illo” are the vectors pulled from Adobe Illustrator or a 3-D program. I’d be more impressed if there was less photography showing through on many of them.

    I call many of these “photo manipulation”… not that there’s anything wrong with that… just not illustration. I saw similar work in photo mags from the 70s and 80s. It just wasn’t classified as illo.

    I like those that are truly illustrated throughout.

    0
  281. 281

    this is not graphic design. please get your facts straght.
    and the only true illustrator here is si scott.

    0
    • 282

      Tony: a difference of opinions, no doubt. I can’t say that you’re knowledge of the vast field of illustration could be summed up in one person’s work, albeit SI Scott. I’m a member of the SI too, and don’t think these are all classified as illustration. Photo manipulation and graphic elements can’t be other than good graphic design, in my opinion.

      0
  282. 283

    excellent

    0

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