Breaking Out Of The Box: Design Inspiration (November 2016)

About The Author

Vitaly Friedman loves beautiful content and doesn’t like to give in easily. When he is not writing, he’s most probably running front-end & UX … More about Vitaly ↬

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It’s the season of hazy mornings, and beautiful warm color palettes. In this month’s collection, Vitaly Friedman gathered a couple of illustrations and photos that express this seasonal feeling. The illustration presented above shows a brilliant way of how to spend your days before winter arrives. It’s time to go outside and soak up all those warm colors nature has to offer, especially the vibrant golden-yellow leaves that can now be found almost everywhere you look!

With autumn starting to show its full glory, there is really no reason to stay inside and drink your hot cacao. No, it’s time to go outside and soak up all those warm colors nature has to offer, especially the vibrant golden-yellow leaves that can now be found almost everywhere you look. It’s the season of hazy mornings, and beautiful warm color palettes. In this month’s collection, I’ve gathered a couple of illustrations and photos that express this seasonal feeling.

Downtown Fixie

Another one of the beautiful bicycles in the Cyclist Series by the DKNG Explorers Club. The shadow depth and color choices are simply ace.

Image credit: DKNG. (Large preview)

These collections of cutout items in combination with real ones is so beautiful if done right. Mostly something that is done when there’s animation involved as well.

Image credit: Radio. (Large preview)

Pioneer Mode

Poster for a conference that discusses the social, environmental, and organizational issues plaguing the fashion industry. Some beautiful gradients in an inspiring organic shape.

Image credit: Marius Roosendaal. (Large preview)

Weagle, Etc.

So many great pieces in here! Lovely retro color scheme and typographical inspiration.

Image credit: Bethany Heck. (Large preview)

Mr. Porter

Smart how the sofa is adjusted towards the person lying down. Makes it a centrepiece in this illustration.

Image credit: Andrea Mongia. (Large preview)

Stockholm 67

Bob Lundberg is an illustrator from Sweden that draws inspiration from objects he comes across in everyday life. The result is a harmonious testimony to design objects.

Image credit: Bob Lundberg. (Large preview)

Cannes Collection

Illustrating the richness of Cannes. Drilled down to just the basics so the eye-catchers get all the attention.

Image credit: Bob Lundberg. (Large preview)

Tycho Fonda LA Concert Poster

Concert poster that is part of the design/color system that Scott Hansen has going since the release of his latest album ‘Epoch’. Be sure to read the story about the meaning and origin of the artwork of Tycho.

Image credit: ISO50. (Large preview)

The Walrus /// Cover

Just wonderful how white space is presented here, and how your mind fills in the blanks. The shadows are equally well done.

Image credit: Pascal Blanchet. (Large preview)

Taste The Colors

Conceptually just perfect. Wonderful idea by Ester Grass Vergara, a photographer based in Amsterdam.

Image credit: Ester Grass Veraga. (Large preview)

Five Lakes Trail

Another example of the pure beauty that Switzerland has to offer. The Five Trail, Zermatt. Onto the bucket list.

Image credit: Kevin Faingnaert. (Large preview)

In The Bedroom

This one is created for a fashion editorial in Marie Claire Italia. It’s part of a series that explores the lives of four sisters, their relationships with each other, and their individuality. The eyes are the attention grabbers, maybe even a little creepy. Wonderful water-color work. Be sure to check out the rest.

Image credit: Kelly Beeman. (Large preview)

Deep Run Roots

Lovely illustrations for a cookbook. The textures are very well done, and so are the highlights and shadows.

Image credit: Tatsuro Kiuchi. (Large preview)

Wired - Sam Chivers

Great to see how the mountain roads have been translated here with all the different structures. The fluo wheels are a nice touch, and also the way the pink is applied everywhere to add this sunset feeling.

Image credit: Sam Chivers. (Large preview)

Gastro-Bar Barri de Gràcia

An inspiring and colorful visual ID. Love the typography and the moiré print textures.

Image credit: Design à enporter. (Large preview)

Cityscape Style Frame

Great atmosphere and the color combinations are top.

Image credit: Matt Carlson. (Large preview)


You don’t have to be a baseball fan to appreciate everything in here. The typography is so on point. These are also hard colors to pull off just right. Be sure to admire them all.

Image credit: Bethany Heck. (Large preview)

Two Cans

A nice composition with simple shapes in combination with some smart color usage.

Image credit: Sophie Nemethy. (Large preview)

Autumn Rays

Sad that summer is over but one comfort is that light is usually very pretty this time of the year. This photo proves it. Just look at this. Quite spectacular imho. It’s just like a painting.

Image credit: Jørn Allan Pedersen. (Large preview)

Chanel N°5 L’Eau

The illustrations of Elodie are super beautiful, almost like real photos sometimes. Great textures and subtle use of pastels.

Image credit: Elodie. (Large preview)

Sunday - Nutsa

So how does a cozy Sunday look like when it is raining outside. Exactly as illustrated here. Some nice shading going on. The light creating this warm feeling is so perfectly done.

Image credit: Nutsa Avaliani. (Large preview)

ABC Poster

A lovely poster created for Pottery Barn Kids. The colors are just perfect, so soothing. Lovely cute illustration style.

Image credit: Sol Linero. (Large preview)

Jimmy Hendrix

The little details such as his shirt, jacket and textures are what’s making this one work for me, plus the expression on his face.

Image credit: Anna Grimal. (Large preview)

Bank Of America Student Survival Guide

Beautiful new work from DKNG. This one is part of 15 illustrated tips for students as they embark on their college career. That luggage!

Image credit: DKNG. (Large preview)

All Ristretto

Now that’s a good looking menu! A great background combined with some lovely typography, especially the menu items one.

Image credit: Sébastien Nikolaou. (Large preview)


Smooth surfaces and good looking color tones. The boat in the foreground is the icing on the cake.

Image credit: Ole Hendrik Skjelstad. (Large preview)

California Modernism

Created as a tribute to mid-century modernism in California for Focus Magazine. Superb style and color usage. Beautiful shadow and highlight at play. You feel the light of the sun.

Image credit: Chruschiform. (Large preview)


Admiring the soft colors pencil style in this illustration. Oscar’s illustrations are a reaction to designer and founder of type foundry Letters from Sweden. Göran Söderström’s typeface called Funkis, which is influenced by the aesthetics from the early years of Scandinavian functionalism.

Image credit: Oscar Grønner. (Large preview)


Nice identity for an electromagnetic therapy company specializing in show/racing horses.

Image credit: Benjamin Garner. (Large preview)

PrescribeWellness - Delivery

Loving it! Going from flat to 3D is so well done here. Be sure to view the full animation. Such a cool illustration style!

Image credit: Seth Eckert. (Large preview)

Melbourne International Film Festival 2016

Illustration for the 2016 Melbourne International Film Festival. It’s a beautiful mix of colors to get that Andy Warhol effect.

Image credit: WBYK. (Large preview)

Sailing, Møns Klint

There are still some lingering thoughts that won’t accept fall. Queue a beautiful summer day with a magical view like you see here. Such a perfect scene with that tiny sail boat in the centre.

Image credit: Robert Paul Jansen. (Large preview)

Explorers Club: Durango

Wouldn’t mind going on an adventure with this mountain bike called “Durango”.

Image credit: DKNG. (Large preview)

OMF Beer Labels

Some great patterns that could have been inspired by stained church windows but translated in a modern way. Neat work!

Image credit: Justin Pervorse. (Large preview)

Alp Impressions

The mountains and their magical attraction lure. Love how you can see the clouds, and how the sunlight shines into the haze and over the tress.

Image credit: Lukas Furlan. (Large preview)

Uber Visual Identity Redesign

An example how a billboard could look in the Uber visual identity redesign. All the other elements of this redesign are worth a look as well.

Image credit: Uber Design. (Large preview)

Breakfast - Bailey

A collage of how breakfast could be. The pretzel is the eye-catcher here together with the texture usage and color choices.

Image credit: Bailey Sulivan. (Large preview)

Theodore Roosevelt National Park

This illustration was submitted to Type Hike, a collaborative design project that includes 60 designers and typographers, all celebrating the National Parks Service centennial in the USA. Love how the yellow touches are applied to create this moonlight effect.

Image credit: Micheal DeKay. (Large preview)

Falling In Love With Your Colleague

What an inspiring color palette! The texture of the wood is also refreshing. All textures are in fact very well done. Love the disproportion of their bodies too.

Image credit: Jenna Arts. (Large preview)

The Lake District

Added another one to “the places I want to ride my bicycle” list. My friends are not lying when they say, “It’s not LIKE riding through a painting — it IS riding through a painting — up a very, very steep and twisting painting”.

Image credit: Jered Gruber. (Large preview)

Dit Is (G)een Verhaal

This illustration almost looks like a painting. It’s refined in its simplicity. Love the light brushstrokes and the melancholic feel to it.

Image credit: Milou Trouwborst. (Large preview)

Autumn Books

Speaking of brush strokes, this lovely cover for the Autumn Books section of the Wall Street Journal is also very well executed. Perfect autumn feeling.

Image credit: Ping Zhu. (Large preview)

Fall Hike

The trees have just started to turn on their color show around here so this is a very appropriate illustration. Colorful!

Image credit: Matt Carlson. (Large preview)

137 Second Avenue

It has been a while since I last had a look at the ‘Windows of New York’ project. Time to rectify this with this beauty from 137 Second Avenue in East Village.

Image credit: Windows of New York. (Large preview)

Fuller Street, London

Lovely illustration of an old Victorian shop front with proud proprietor outside. Great color palette and typography.

Image credit: Neil Stevens. (Large preview)


New work in the swimming pool series from Maria Svarbova. It’s such an inspiring thing to watch. Brilliant in its simplicity. That red accent is just brilliant.

Image credit: Maria Svarbova. (Large preview)

Just Be Yourself

More wonderful brushstrokes to admire. Studying all those facial expressions, and poses done with just minimal elements.

Image credit: Kirsten Sims. (Large preview)

Airport Of The Future

I love illustrations that tackle the future. It’s such a great way to see imagination at work. Here you have a concept of how an airport terminal of the future could look like. Love the color palette and subtle gradient shades.

Image credit: Sam Chivers. (Large preview)

Icelandic Horses

These horses of Iceland are so recognizable. I absolutely adore the color tones in this photograph.

Image credit: Rob Sese. (Large preview)

Freeze! Sky Police!

Love the line and pattern work that is going on in this illustration. Just look at his chin, fingers and elbows.

Image credit: Scotty Reifsnyder. (Large preview)

Further Reading

Smashing Editorial (il, mrn)