When it comes to web design, it doesn’t matter what CMS you’re using. It doesn’t matter if your site is put on a WordPress or Joomla hosting service. What matters is if the design of your website makes a positive impression on your visitors and a big part of that is your graphic design. Many designers have turned to illustration graphics for their projects as they stand out online, are versatile and add a personal touch to your site. If you’re planning on working on your own illustrations after you set up your WordPress, Drupal or Joomla hosting, here are some pieces that will inspire you.

1. Forests of Wonder

This illustration by Poked Design Studio is like a cross between Nightmare Before Christmas and Monsters Inc. It uses beautiful rendered graphics done in a 3-D animation style. The illustration features many unique characters and an intricate background that keeps you interested.

2. Mnk Never Die

This piece is a great study on character illustration. If you pay close attention, you’ll find that the artist uses simple shapes for the entire design. What makes this such an awesome piece is all the little details from the clothing patterns, accessories, to the facial expression.

3. Konrad Kirpluk

It’s always interesting to look at the different styles that are used in graphic design. In this example, the artists uses a graffiti style for his illustrations. In fact, his work reminds you of the famous graffiti artist Banksy. The way that the background elements look like stenciled in creates a great contrast to the colored elements in the design.

4. Ricardo Gavinhos

This illustration is inspired by pop up books that you often see in children’s books. Every object has a white border around it to indicate that it is in a different plane. The designer also put in the effort to add tabs that the user can pull out with their mouse just like the real pop up books.

5. Voltron Commission

Voltron commission is inspired by the Japanese anime series of the same name. It combines the Japanese anime style with a retro look for an awesome tribute that fans will really appreciate. It uses rendering to achieve a 3-D like effect but still manages to maintain a classic look.

6. Dee Dee Kid

This artist has a very offbeat style. His creations can be described as a cross between retro cartoons and 90’s comic books. You can see that there’s a lot of personality in his work. It seems that he incorporates elements from a wide range of eras for one of a kind illustrations.

7. Niark1

Niark1 has many graphic design projects but this particular one is a real illustration that stands out. It combines pencil, ink, acrylic paint and sprays in one canvas. This results in a piece that has many different layers, shades, colors and textures to it.

8. Paranoidme

This artist uses photography, illustrations and visual effects to create a piece rich with contrasts. It reminds you of artwork that you’d find in an album cover or a video game cover. Multiple perspectives are used to add different layers under one shape.

9. Ideamatic

Ideamatic designed their website using flat design and illustrations. They bring their illustrations to life with fun transition effects and interactive elements that make you want to continue exploring all the way to the bottom of their site.

10. Animal

Animal uses funky characters and a moody background for their main website. The characters are set in perpetual motion which makes it seem like you’re watching a real cartoon. The moving fireflies and paint drop at the top also help to immerse you into this beautiful illustration.

11. Malika Favre

Malika Favre’s work seems to be inspired by Andy Warhol’s pop art. But there is a lot of mystery in her work. You can see that a lot of the pieces use an espionage theme. Her work is also very inspired by fashion. They use a wide range of shapes and colors which adds a ton personality.

12. Joydeep Chowdhury

Joydeep Chowdhury channels surrealism in her pieces. She tends to use a lot of shading and lighting to create perspective. The colors in her pieces are vibrant but very balanced which allows the focal point of the designs to shine.

13. Lighthouse Brewing

Lighthouse Brewing combines illustrations and die cut shapes for their website design. They use perpetual illustrations and parallax design to create an immersive and interactive experience. The color scheme of the site is spot on and really does a great job in communicating their brand.

14. Yana Moskaluk

There’s really no easy way to describe this artist’s work. Her work is made of unique layering, patterns and intricate hand drawn illustrations. It’s not every day that you see something that’s as original as her work, so you should go check out her site yourself.

15. DesignWorkLife

This design is a typographic piece but it’s more like a design created by combining business signage. It is inspired by signage from different eras and different places (traveling circus, Las Vegas, Broadway) and uses small accents to bring it together.

16. Barcamp Omaha

The web design used for this event uses a water paint styled design. It’s unclear if an actual water paint was scanned or if the artist tried to imitate the look. Whatever the case is, the loose, fun and imperfect style adds a lot of personality and charm to the website.

17. Hungercrunch

The illustration of this website is very reminiscent of the famous cartoon Samurai Jack. It uses simple shapes, sharp ends and a minimalist presentation that lets both the atmosphere and the characters shine at the same time.

18. The Beast Is Back

This artist uses a style that’s been used in many TV cartoon shows. You’ll automatically notice that his work is very vibrant and detailed. His characters are always full of emotions and it seems like he likes to put his own twist on many beloved pop culture characters.

19. Julian Dorado

This is another great example that shows that great animations really lie in the small details. You’ll notice that the designer uses simple shapes throughout the design. What makes it stand out are the fine hairs, antennas and facial expressions of his characters.

20. Chris Leavens

Chris Leavens creates his designs entirely on Illustrator. He uses a lot of textures, unconventional shapes and colors to bring his work to life. A big theme that you’ll find in many of his pieces is anthropomorphism which makes you want to invest in his characters.

These illustration graphic designs should get your brain firing off in all cylinders. There’s no limit with what you can do with illustrations, so you owe it to yourself to really push the boundaries with your design.

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