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40 Excellent Illustrations In Web Designs

In website design, there are an endless amount of possibilities, styles and techniques that can be used to make a beautiful design that flows with the content. One of these styles is an illustration-heavy layout, which can take a website to a whole new level. Illustrations are becoming more and more popular, and some designers are really pushing the limits with some beautiful ones. [Content Care Dec/01/2016]

Below you’ll find 40 designs that feature skillful and beautiful illustrations, integrated properly to create a visually pleasing style.

Also consider our previous articles:

Beautiful Illustrations In Web Designs from 2009 Link

DivVoted
An all-around beautiful layout, with some beautifully colored illustrations to accompany it.

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The Alamo Basement
A nice, colorful illustration that has a comforting air.

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StrawPoll
StrawPoll has a beautifully illustrated landscape, with an extremely clever layout.

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Green Globe Ideas
A high-quality and very creative illustration in the header.

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old loft
A very nicely illustrated layout, with good coloring and contrast.

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Pixele
Pixele has a colorful and rather funky header that works well with the rest of the website.

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Radu Ceuca
Another very colorful and grungy layout, with a painted effect.

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ten24 Media
A beautiful yet simple illustration that looks excellent against the brown background.

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Silverback
A very skillful and detailed illustration on a nice green layout.

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Banjax
A simple but powerful illustration in the header, amidst a minimalist layout.

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Neweracaptalk
A unique, flowing illustration that doesn’t detract from the content.

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Dean Oakley
This is a great portfolio with a very creative horizontal layout. The illustration looks very nice with the layout.

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K4 Laboratory
A very colorful illustration mixed with interesting moving Flash objects and some cool effects.

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Visit Cascadia
A very detailed header background illustration.

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Galan
A beautiful and brightly colored portfolio, with nice hand-drawn illustrations.

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Branded07
A very clean website with some blue minimalist illustrations and really cool penguins.

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WP Coder
A very clever design with a nice, detailed, semi-realistic illustrated machine.

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Africa Tour 2008
An excellent mixture of grunge and clean styling.

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45royale Inc.
Another elegant header design that looks great with the clean layout of the rest of the website.

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Fatburgr
A few skillful illustrations in a very cool overall layout.

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Drink ZZZ
This Flash website uses grungy illustrations and smart Flash effects to create a fun user experience.

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Ali Felski
Another website with grungy textures and fancy colors.

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DrupalCon DC
A colorful background graphic with a unique style.

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LightCMS
The LightCMS website is known for its awesome coloring, textures and graphics.

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Sourcebits TangledDecals
A very beautiful website, with colorful illustrations across the background, great type and grungy graphics.

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GoMediaZine
A nicely detailed and colorful illustration the doesn’t detract from the content. This is also a good example of how colorful shapes can be mixed with black and white graphics.

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STUDIO7DESIGNS
One more very popular website, because of the breathtaking background illustration.

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Phizz
A mainly black and white illustration mixed into a colorful website.

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answerJam
A very colorful minimalist website with simple shapes for illustrations.

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Adit Shukla
A cool illustration that uses many different shapes but not too many colors, thus achieving a perfect balance.

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Iceberg
Nice shapes and beautiful blue colors create a flowing design.

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Marchand de Trucs
A quite stunning and extremely realistic illustration.

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Erguvan Platin Evlri
A stylish watercolor background and a realistic illustration with interactive features.

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Starbucks
Hand-drawn and illustrated graphics in a beautiful Flash-based layout.

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Viget Extend
A colorful and creative header illustration.

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Vimeo
A few simple graphics on a peaceful blue background.

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Go Glamping
A cool layout with distinctive shapes and good color scheme.

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Twither
Subtle cloud illustrations on a nice layout, with a great landscape illustration in the footer.

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IL FRUTTETO
Simple shapes, great colors and gradients combine to make a completely illustrated website.

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Umbrella Today?
Very realistic and detailed graphics with a great background design.

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Further Resources Link

You may be interested in checking out these further articles and related resources:

(al)

Footnotes Link

  1. 1 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2012/11/freehand-style-in-web-design/
  2. 2 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/02/10-steps-to-the-perfect-portfolio-website/
  3. 3 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2010/06/the-process-behind-good-illustration-part-1/
  4. 4 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2010/03/100-beautiful-illustrator-artworks-by-artists-around-the-world/
  5. 5 http://abduzeedo.com/web-design-illustration

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Matt Cronin is an avid graphic designer, web designer/developer, Cocoa programmer, photographer, digital artist, and the like. He also enjoys writing, and does quite a bit of writing for Smashing Magazine. He is currently working on a startup called VAEOU, which will have new services coming soon.

  1. 1

    Nice one…. I personally a big fan of using Illustrations into modern designs. Although it’s not to easy to create these type of Illustrations in general but it all depends upon the priority level.

    Thanks Matt for this selection.

    DKumar M.

    1
  2. 2

    Some of this stuff seems recycled from other SM articles, but I like that Alamo Basement Illustration.

    -1
  3. 3

    A very inspiring list as always. Thank you for listing WPCoder, I really enjoyed working with WPCandy on that project.

    1
  4. 4

    What’s up with the ugly, aliased Windows font rendering in all your screenshots? It really takes a way from a lot of the cool designs you post.

    0
  5. 5

    Excellent examples. Thanks for the inspiring roundup :)

    0
  6. 6

    I hate being “that guy” who points out something left off the list but the little illustration on http://ushahidi.com/ is quite nice.

    0
  7. 7

    very inspiring illustrations.

    0
  8. 8

    an inspiring list. i’ve always liked vimeo’s. and now i’m a fan of twither (those moving clouds rock)(and did you notice you can’t right click on them – does that mean they are not flash?) and dean oakley.

    0
  9. 9

    Those are puffins, not penguins on Rob Palmer’s site ;)
    Otherwise, very nice piece and rather inspirational designs :)

    0
  10. 10

    I love cartoons and I like this kind of illustration. My daughter and son love it too. Technically I know how to do it but to come up with a creative idea, I’m blank at this point. I’m a System guy but I like creative things.

    0
  11. 11

    @ sergi

    Twither does in fact use an embed flash object to create the cloud movement.

    @ Jonners

    Sorry, I’m a designer not a zoologist! I wouldn’t know the difference :)

    0
  12. 12

    Floris Fiedeldij Dop

    February 19, 2009 5:23 pm

    MacHeist web site is always gorgeous – graphic wise.

    0
  13. 13

    Simon Harlinghausen

    February 19, 2009 5:28 pm

    I love this article.

    0
  14. 14

    so apparently you have to illustrate in vector to be “excellent”

    0
  15. 15

    I like those

    0
  16. 16

    Wanna know a secret? Go to the Silverback site and resize the window horizontally. You’ll see the vines move in perspective.

    0
  17. 17

    What a wonderful selection, and great source of inspiration :D
    Take care guys!

    0
  18. 18

    I dunno, speaking as an illustrator I have really mixed feelings about this post. On one hand, it’s awesome to see illustration get some recognition, especially as used in web design where it’s not as commonly seen. On the other hand, the similarity in style here is depressing. I know vector illustration is the big thing with web 2.0 style, but after a while it all starts to look the same to me. There are a few examples that don’t fit the norm, but overall there’s a lot of sameness here. Throwing a texture on a vector illustration may make it a bit grunge, but it doesn’t make it look natural. Some different styles would be awesome to see, and if there not out there, well… maybe they should be.

    1
  19. 19

    Really rich websites being showcased here. Extremely mesmerising and informative. Thumbs up for the listing!

    0
  20. 20

    Sandie Sørensen

    February 20, 2009 12:18 am

    Nice examples

    0

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