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

Time moves pretty fast. A new year will be upon us soon, and most of us probably haven’t even realized it. So while we’re almost ready to leave the autumn season (and 2016!) behind, let’s refuel our inspiration for another month and start working on our New Year’s resolution list. Observe closely at the following techniques used, and how the colors have been applied to add contrast and character. As always, there is a lot to learn.

I hope that these illustrations and photographs will inspire you to get creative and get ideas which you can apply in your own projects. Go ahead, don’t let anything come in your way, and let your artistic juices flow so you can create something beautiful and unique yourself.

Let’s begin.

Go Outside & Run Link

One of my own shots taken while I was out riding my bicycle. Fall usually has these foggy mornings; when the sun peaks through, you can get lucky and discover a scene just like this one.

1
Image credit: Veerle Pieters2

Nobody Could Hear It Link

I love discovering the many layers of imagination and humor in the work of the Spanish brothers operating under the monicker Brosmind.

3
Image credit: Brosmind4

Windy Morning Link

Magnificent shot of a sea view at sunrise in Finland. Great light and perfect timing with the waves breaking on the rocks.

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Image credit: Pete Huu6

Centaur Realness Link

Some great details in this one. Such as the markings on the chest and how the saddle is done.

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Image credit: Justin Middendorp8

Explorers Club: Malibu Link

Another one from the Explorers Club’s bikes series. This time a proper beach bike called ‘Malibu’. Admire those details and perfect color choice!

9
Image credit: DKNG10

Falling: Round Things Link

New startup image for the Photoshop CC 2017 update. In case you are wondering how it is done here’s a tutorial11 explaining it all. I love the feeling of being drawn into this round hole into the light.

12
Image credit: Amr Elshamy13

Artists For Education Link

Some lovely brand assets. Curious to see how the Artists for Education further evolves.

14
Image credit: Steve Wolf15

Voedingssupplement Link

Illustration to accompany an article in a newspaper about food supplements. It’s always refreshing to see how an illustrator translates it. Love the shape of the rooster.

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Image credit: Bram van Rijen17

A Place For Your Butt Link

I adore the mid-century feel to this great example of what can be accomplished with just a couple of colors and strong lines.

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Image credit: Justin Mezzell19

The Things I Ate In Japan Link

A beautiful simplification of what you can eat in Japan. Bright colors used, but still refined enough.

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Image credit: Andrea Nguyen21

Tycho: Honolulu Link

The design system is working nicely with every concert poster Tycho releases.

22
Image credit: ISO 5023

Old Fashioned Link

The typography on this design to celebrate the Old Fashioned, Louisville Kentucky’s official cocktail is ace.

24
Image credit: Bryan Patrick Todd25

Caffe Demetré Link

Orginal menu cover illustration with some inspirational shadows, textures and patterns. Some fun and interesting shapes and details in, too.

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Image credit: Dave Murray27

nFusion Halloween Link

Loving the color and lay-out. It has some really slick typography going on.

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Image credit: Jacob Etter29

Scotland: Joshua Link

Wish I was the person enjoying this beautiful sunset. The spectacle that nature puts up still amazes me every time.

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Image credit: Joshua Earle31

Exploring Iceland II Link

The colors in this photo are amazing. Taken in beautiful Iceland. Be sure to watch the 4K drone video32.

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Image credit: Lukas Furlan34

Insider Guides II Link

Part of several heads series that covers various aspects of student life in Australia, from adventure to food, nightlife to fashion. Love the half-tone textures.

35
Image credit: Kindred Studio36

The Lake Superior #Badgehunting Club Link

I’m a fan of badges and I’m glad I can feature one this month. Badges are a great exercise to play with typography and color. Allan Peters is a master in this field.

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Image credit: Allan Peters38

Dale’s Diner Link

Tough aesthetic to do right without being cheesy. This definitely strikes a nice balance.

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Image credit: Bethany Heck40

Milestone Institute Illustrations Link

Loving the style of these illustrations for the Milestone Institute. Great to analyze the use of simple shapes. Great colors, too!

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Image credit: Jones & Co42

Familia Link

Great concept. It’s a family united by the line. Not easy to keep everything recognizable.

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Image credit: Martin Azambuja44

Africa Is Awesome Link

Just looking at this makes me happy. Something to get the travel bug going. It’s all fun discovering everything that’s in there.

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Image credit: Jones & Co46

The Less I Know The Better Link

2016 cover art submission for the Secret 7 exhibition for Tame Impala’s “The Less I Know The Better”. The cover was inspired by Henri Rousseau’s jungle paintings.

47
Image credit: James Gibbs48

ESPN: Goatbusters Link

Nice duotone work. That goat is just so adorable. Be sure to go see the animated version49. You’ll not regret it.

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Image credit: Elias Stein51

More Energy. More Lives. Link

The details in this illustration for Duracell are amazing. The imagination of the illustrator is powerful.

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Image credit: blindSALIDA53

New York Times Editorial Link

Editorial illustration for the New York Times. A complete different style so it’s inspiring to see how the buildings and vehicles are done.

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Image credit: Remko Heemskerk55

A Study In Scarlet Link

Riccardo Guasco is a regular on my inspiration hunting expeditions. The geometry and use of light and shadow make these so dynamic.

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Image credit: Riccardo Guasco57

Secret 7s Link

Collage with several interesting pieces.

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Image credit: Jack Bedford59

Just Fired Link

This one made me laugh. Funny interpretation of the traditional “Just Married” signs. Only here’s it is “Just Fired”. Great colors and lovely style.

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Image credit: Steve Scott61

Hot List Link

These 3D letters are gorgeous! The texture and inside structure is beautifully executed. Such perfection!

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Image credit: Jeff Rogers63

Los Caminantes Link

This is so wonderful! The colors, the faces, the cloths, the subtle shadow behind them… When I see something like this, it itches and I want to start illustrating just right away.

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Image credit: Santiago Oddis65

Golden Glow Link

When the mind needs cleaning there’s always this friend you can count on. Lovely golden glow!

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Image credit: zioziegler67

Woolworths Metro Link

Great style and inspring usage of textures. Part of a flexible suite of imagery to be used primarily as murals and point of sale in each of Metro’s inner city, urban and beachside stores. See them all here68.

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Image credit: Andrew Fairclough70

Uinta Contrail White Beer Link

A well-done concept for a brewery. Perfect mix between illustration and typography.

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Image credit: Emrich Office72

Adobe Illustrations Link

Admiring the not-so-common color palette. The perspective used in this illustration is also quite inspiring.

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Image credit: Steve Scott74

Elie Saab SS16 Couture Link

This illustration for fashion is so wonderful. Just look at those patterns on the dresses. Those details!

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Image credit: Kelly Beeman76

Bar Link

Who needs a drink? Beautiful colors, perfect depth and hard-edged drop shadows.

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Image credit: design á emporter78

Autumn Paragliding Link

Wouldn’t mind being up there enjoying the view. Lovely touches of bright colors.

79
Image credit: Philipp Medicus80

Iconic Fog Link

San Francisco’s iconic fog sure looks stunning from above. You would almost think it isn’t real.

81
Image credit: Wired82

Kajak & Mountains Link

Such beautiful scenery! I love the pastel color palette in this photo.

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Image credit: Cody Priebe84

Saturday, 3PM Link

Inspiring combination of illustration and typography.

85
Image credit: Neil Stevens86

Directory Of Illustration #33 Link

Great interpretation of a Greek god. Great lines!

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Image credit: Owen Davey88

100 Things To Do Over The Weekend Link

A super-duper color palette to begin with and loads to discover in this editorial illustration for the Wall Street Journal. With all this action going on, you won’t be able to stop looking at it.

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Image credit: Steve Scott90

REI End Of Summer Link

Beautiful illustration celebrating those special skies that you get to see during autumn. Be sure to read how the piece came together91.

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Image credit: Brian Miller93

Pinterest / What Is A Pin? Link

Illustration that is part of a 3-month project to create an inspiring and informative motion piece named “What is a Pin?”. Love the style and colors. You can watch the movie here94.

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Image credit: Matt Stevens96

Bar Graph Exploded View Link

Lovely metaphor of analyzing a bar graph.

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Image credit: Jan Cavan98

Triangeln Station Link

What’s not to like about this? Look at all those overlapping lines in perfect symmetry with the escalators.

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Image credit: nihilisten100

Revelstoke BC II Link

Love the trees particularly. Textures and very subtle gradients are on point, too.

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Image credit: Steve Wolf102

RetroJet Postcards Link

These postcards are so tasty! Imagining what Jetblue would have been like if it existed during the golden age of travel.

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Image credit: Bailey Sullivan104

Using Design Principles To Find Happiness Link

Beautiful color palette, and interesting drop shadows. Something that I can relate to.

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Image credit: Chris Selas Neal106

Footnotes Link

  1. 1 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/go-outside-and-run-big-opt.jpg
  2. 2 https://twitter.com/vpieters/status/792291078611341312/photo/1
  3. 3 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Nobody-could-hear-it-big-opt.jpg
  4. 4 http://www.brosmind.com/work/nobody-could-hear-it/
  5. 5 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Windy-morning-big-opt.jpg
  6. 6 https://www.flickr.com/photos/petehuu/17195443426/
  7. 7 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Centaur-Realness-big-opt.jpg
  8. 8 https://dribbble.com/shots/3064878-Centaur-Realness
  9. 9 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Explorers-Club-Malibu-big-opt.jpg
  10. 10 https://dribbble.com/shots/3041025-Explorers-Club-Malibu
  11. 11 https://www.behance.net/gallery/42147369/How-I-made-it-(Round-Things)-PS-tutorial
  12. 12 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/falling-round-things-big-opt.jpg
  13. 13 https://www.behance.net/gallery/36216499/(Round-Things)-falling
  14. 14 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/artists-for-education-big-opt.jpg
  15. 15 https://dribbble.com/shots/3046232-Artists-for-Education
  16. 16 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Voedingssupplement-big-opt.jpg
  17. 17 http://www.bramvanrijen.nl/work/newspaper-illustrations/
  18. 18 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/A-Place-For-Your-Butt-big-opt.jpg
  19. 19 https://dribbble.com/shots/3048141-A-Place-For-Your-Butt
  20. 20 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/things-I-ate-in-Japan-big-opt.jpg
  21. 21 http://www.andrealikes.to/#visitjapan
  22. 22 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/tycho-honolulu-big-opt.jpg
  23. 23 https://twitter.com/ISO50/status/793907016364265472
  24. 24 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/old-fashioned-cocktail-big-opt.jpg
  25. 25 http://bryanpatricktodd.com/work/#/old-fashioned/
  26. 26 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Caffe-Demetre-big-opt.jpg
  27. 27 http://davemurrayillustration.com/#/caffedemetre/
  28. 28 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/nFusion-Halloween-big-opt.jpg
  29. 29 https://dribbble.com/shots/2324978-nFusion-Halloween-2015
  30. 30 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Scotland-Joshua-big-opt.jpg
  31. 31 https://unsplash.com/collections/136279/scotland
  32. 32 https://youtu.be/tOPpClmuVSk
  33. 33 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/exploring-iceland-II-big-opt.jpg
  34. 34 https://www.behance.net/gallery/44808655/Exploring-Iceland-II
  35. 35 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/insider-guides-II-big-opt.jpg
  36. 36 http://www.kindredstudio.net/#/insider-guides/
  37. 37 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/the-lake-superiour-big-opt.jpg
  38. 38 https://dribbble.com/shots/3081808-The-Lake-Superior-Badgehunting-Club
  39. 39 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/dales-diner-big-opt.jpg
  40. 40 https://dribbble.com/shots/3059981-Dale-s-Diner
  41. 41 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Milestone-Institute-big-opt.jpg
  42. 42 https://www.behance.net/gallery/44573303/Milestone-Institute-illustrations
  43. 43 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Familia-big-opt.jpg
  44. 44 https://dribbble.com/shots/2888673-Familia
  45. 45 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Africa-is-awesome-big-opt.jpg
  46. 46 https://www.behance.net/gallery/37682167/Africa-is-awesome
  47. 47 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/The-Less-I-Know-the-Better-big-opt.jpg
  48. 48 http://james-gibbs.co.uk/work/secret-7/
  49. 49 https://www.behance.net/gallery/43794013/ESPN-Goatbusters
  50. 50 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/goatbusters-big-opt.jpg
  51. 51 https://www.behance.net/gallery/43794013/ESPN-Goatbusters
  52. 52 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/more-energy-more-lives-big-opt.jpg
  53. 53 https://blindsalida.fr/#work
  54. 54 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/New-York-Times-editorial-big-opt.jpg
  55. 55 https://www.behance.net/gallery/33356487/Editorial-Illustration-series-New-York-Times
  56. 56 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/A-study-in-Scarlet-big-opt.jpg
  57. 57 https://www.behance.net/gallery/35130953/A-study-in-scarlet
  58. 58 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Secret-7s-big-opt.jpg
  59. 59 http://www.jackbedford.co.uk/#/secret-7s/
  60. 60 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Just-Fired-big-opt.jpg
  61. 61 http://stevescott.com.au/editorial-projects-june-july-2016
  62. 62 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/hot-list-big-opt.jpg
  63. 63 http://www.howdyjeff.com/cond-nast-traveler/
  64. 64 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Los-Caminantes-big-opt.jpg
  65. 65 https://www.behance.net/gallery/24835007/Los-caminantes
  66. 66 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/golden-glow-bicycle-big-opt.jpg
  67. 67 https://www.instagram.com/p/BM5PDsVhSRW/
  68. 68 https://www.behance.net/gallery/44504471/Woolworths-Metro
  69. 69 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Woolworths-Metro-big-opt.jpg
  70. 70 https://www.behance.net/gallery/44504471/Woolworths-Metro
  71. 71 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Uinta-Contrail-White-Beer-big-opt.jpg
  72. 72 https://dribbble.com/shots/2104308-Uinta-Contrail-White-Beer-Rejected-2
  73. 73 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Adobe-Illustrations-steve-big-opt.jpg
  74. 74 http://stevescott.com.au/adobe-illustrations
  75. 75 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Elie-Saab-SS16-couture-big-opt.jpg
  76. 76 http://www.kellybeeman.com/?lightbox=dataItem-iqwfo2wp1
  77. 77 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/bar-big-opt.jpg
  78. 78 http://designaemporter.tumblr.com/post/152471447633/juri-zaech
  79. 79 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Autumn-Paragliding-big-opt.jpg
  80. 80 https://www.flickr.com/photos/p_medicus/24647673746/
  81. 81 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Iconic-Fog-big-opt.jpg
  82. 82 https://twitter.com/WIRED/status/785224514456150016/photo/1
  83. 83 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Kajak-Mountains-big-opt.jpg
  84. 84 https://twitter.com/rebeccapatience/status/788439824013352962
  85. 85 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Saturday-3PM-big-opt.jpg
  86. 86 http://neil-a-stevens.tumblr.com/post/136738007452/saturday-3pm-by-neil-stevens
  87. 87 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Directory-of-Illustration-33-big-opt.jpg
  88. 88 http://www.owendavey.com/Directory-of-Illustration-33
  89. 89 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/100-things-to-do-over-the-weekend-big-opt.jpg
  90. 90 http://steve-scott.tumblr.com/post/152765213114/illustration-for-the-wall-street-journal-100
  91. 91 https://www.behance.net/gallery/43627461/REI-End-of-Summer
  92. 92 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/REI-End-of-Summer-big-opt.jpg
  93. 93 https://www.behance.net/gallery/43627461/REI-End-of-Summer
  94. 94 https://youtu.be/1QkMOdW0Kyc
  95. 95 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/What-is-a-Pin-big-opt.jpg
  96. 96 http://hellomattstevens.com/#/pinterest-what-is-a-pin/
  97. 97 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Bar-Graph-Exploded-View-big-opt.jpg
  98. 98 https://dribbble.com/shots/2212412-Bar-Graph-Exploded-View
  99. 99 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Triangeln-Station-big-opt.jpg
  100. 100 https://www.instagram.com/p/69QMRHIFJJ/
  101. 101 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Revelstoke-BC-II-big-opt.jpg
  102. 102 https://dribbble.com/shots/3091798-Revelstoke-BC-II
  103. 103 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/RetroJet-Postcards-big-opt.jpg
  104. 104 https://dribbble.com/shots/3089144-RetroJet-Postcards
  105. 105 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Using-design-principles-to-find-happiness-big-opt.jpg
  106. 106 http://csneal.tumblr.com/post/151338795366

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Veerle is one of the fascinating minds behind Duoh!, whose love for design in all its various forms shines through. She is a graphic/Web designer hailing from a small but beautiful European country called Belgium. You can follow her on Twitter and read her blog at http://veerle.duoh.com/.

  1. 1

    Academic Papers

    December 6, 2016 11:47 am

    Awesome collection,I think this is very helpful for every blog has to need this useful info.

    -1
  2. 2

    Very good!

    0
  3. 3

    Mudasser Akram

    December 6, 2016 7:39 pm

    informative for me. Thanks for Sharing!

    0
  4. 4

    That made me happy. Thank you :)

    0
  5. 5

    great(๑>؂<๑)

    0

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