Websites that Use Illustrated Graphics Effectively

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Designing a web page involves endless possibilities with different styles, techniques, and layout that can be employed to create a page that will hold the viewer’s attention. One of the styles typically used by modern web designers is the use of illustrated graphics, which when done properly takes the entire appearance of the page to a whole new level of attractiveness.

Using illustrated graphics in web design either makes your website more visually interesting or directs the attention of the viewers to where it’s supposed to be, or both. The following are a few of my favorite websites that achieve both of these accomplishments with illustrated graphics.

Joystick Generals

The graphics, even the color scheme, are pretty simple. However, the use of repetitive characters to create a contrasting backdrop makes the use of illustrated graphics more interesting and eye-catching.

New Era Cap

The site features a high contrast design with interesting graphics that stays true to its name. Everything on this site is “new era,” even the caps themselves.

K4lab: the Magic Starts Here

The landing page of this site is purely magical with elements that re-create fantasy. The graphics are beautifully illustrated (and I particularly love the fireflies!). When you enter the site, you’ll see more fantastic illustrations that do justice to what the site is all about.

Green Globe Ideas

Pastel colors and smooth graphics create an illustration that is both easy on the eyes and lovely to look at.

Galan Design

The entire site features a high contrast color scheme with very minimal design. The hand drawn design creates the perfect backdrop which also contrasts the squared off edges of the site.


The illustrated machine is cleverly designed that bests illustrate the word “creative projects.”

Tangled Decals

This site has very wonderful graphics in grunge textures and matching fonts. The images are impressive and very modern.

Studio 7 Design

You can’t advertise creative web design if your site is not creative enough. True enough, this site does a lot of justice to the service being featured. The radiating globe is amazing in its green and blue scheme that seems to fade at the middle of the page.

Marchand de Trucs


The graphics on this website are stunning. Notice the lamp that seems to give a mystical glow on the page—truly amazing.

Starbucks Coffee at Home

The dark wood background provides a homey feel to this entire site. The hand drawn designs glow in color when the mouse is hovered on them and the sound effects make the page more visually entertaining. Indeed, a better way to enjoy coffee.

Meomi Design Studio

The house concept as the design studio is a very creative way to showcase this site. The Flash graphics and moving animals creates a dynamic illusion that gives the house  a distinct character.

Deborah Cavenaugh

The owner of this website is an artist, so what better way to convey your interest and talent than through illustrated graphics that showcase your own work?

The Great Bearded Reef

The blue monkey on this site is really cute, the colors are sharp, and the design is entirely minimal. Crisp and refreshing, the page reminds me of summer thrills. I can almost feel the warm water in this graphic.

Tara Hornor has a degree in English and has found her niche writing about marketing, advertising, branding, web and graphic design, and desktop publishing. She is a Senior Editor for Creative Content Experts, a company that specializes in guest blogging and building backlinks. In addition to her writing career, Tara also enjoys spending time with her husband and two children. Connect with @TaraHornor for more design inspiration and marketing help.

  • Nice compilation Tara! my favorite is the one you used as a feature, “Marchand de Trucs”, too bad I can’t read any of what’s written there.

    My problem with illustrations is that it almost always give an “unprofessional”, somewhat childish looks. When that isn’t the case, and the illustration is appealing, it can add greatly to a website’s design.


  • Tara Hornor

    @S.K. – It does seem to take some trial and error to get illustrations to look “cool” on websites, which is why I love finding those sites that have successfully incorporated illustrations into their web designs.

    Apparently, Marchand De Trucs is a website that sells products for card dealers and magicians. It’s a very interesting site to visit. I wish I could read French since I’m sure some of the charm is lost in Google’s translator tool.

  • I love almost all of these. I especially like The Great Bearded Reed site.

    I think good illustration can be difficult to create, particularly while remaining professional looking on a site (as S.K. pointed out is often not the case) but I love it when it’s pulled off well. I relied heavily on custom made illustrations though-out my own business site (Immersus Media) in order to tell a story and to come across as that elusive combo of professional yet approachable. My favorite thing is the little details in illustration that can often be missed upon first glance and then the discovery of something new upon revisit.

  • Oh, just noticed I misspelled “reef” as “reed” above. Oh well.

    Thanks for the list!

  • Tara Hornor

    @Alan – I also love the little details in illustrations; to me, the details that you see only when you take the time to look is what makes an illustration so impressive. I also love when illustrations tell a story, like you did on your own site. Thanks for sharing!

  • Meomi Design Studio website is so cute!! and i really like The Great Bearded Reef site. the blue monkey on this site is really cute. :)

  • Tara Hornor

    @unlockedphones – The blue monkey was a wise move on the part of the designer…definitely a favorite. Thanks for commenting!

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  • Very useful info & great pics, Thanks for your information.