Name this (illustration / graphic design) style!
January 8, 2008 2:54 PM   Subscribe

I know you've seen this style of illustration (example, another example). But what's it called? There are a bunch more illustrations in the same style on each site, but I can't for the life of me figure out what the style is called. Any ideas?

I am asking because I want to learn to do some of these (simpler probably, at least for the start) illustrations myself. But I can't find an illustrator /photoshop tutorial on them, because I can't describe what I want. So if you have tutorials on this, that'd be great too. But I still want to know what they're called....
posted by zpousman to Media & Arts (15 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
It's called vector art.
posted by ISeemToBeAVerb at 2:59 PM on January 8, 2008

Just looks like ubiquitous Illustrator elements. Have seen it used everywhere.
posted by brautigan at 3:00 PM on January 8, 2008

Here's one site with tutorials Vexel, there are literally TONS more. Do a simple Google search for vector art tutorials and you'll be in hog heaven. Also, Computer Arts Magazine has a bunch of good tutorials, but you have to pay for some of them.
posted by ISeemToBeAVerb at 3:02 PM on January 8, 2008

I've heard that kind of stuff derogatorily referred to as trendwhore. This is obvious, but how about just vector art? Some of what you're seeing may just be the result of brushes, although the sunset piece looks hand drawn. Maybe someone will come up with a better term.
posted by theiconoclast31 at 3:05 PM on January 8, 2008

It is vector art, but that doesn't describe the style, which is what the poster is asking. "Trendwhore" is probably as close as you're going to get, as I'm guessing it has no actual name. It's just a current popular look. Sort of an urban-retro thing. But calling it vector art as the style is inaccurate, since vector art can be absolutely anything. I mean, this is vector art too, but totally different. Cute, though.
posted by FlyByDay at 3:59 PM on January 8, 2008

Response by poster: Yeah, thanks. I'm most interested in *that* particular, "trendwhorish" style. The gritty urban + 70s funk + clouds made from circles + dots and shit. Designers republic from 2001 is not good enough.
posted by zpousman at 4:35 PM on January 8, 2008

Best answer: I've seen similar illustrations described as "grunge" - try searching for vector + grunge.
posted by Metroid Baby at 4:44 PM on January 8, 2008

I call it "vector wanking."
posted by kpmcguire at 5:03 PM on January 8, 2008

It's strongly derived from earlier forms of pop art. As far as a genre name, geometric abstraction is as close as anything. It was enormously popular (using pre-digital techniques, of course) in the sixties and seventies, with the best known artist being Peter Max (though he's deemed fairly lowbrow).

See also crop circles ....
posted by dhartung at 5:14 PM on January 8, 2008

Concentric circles, solid circles, dotted lines, horizontal lines, transparency, high contrast images of dripping ink, stars, silhouettes. Nothing there is particularly difficult to make, and you should find plenty of tutorials for the individual elements you may be having trouble with.

For gritty urban: scan an image of a degraded wall, or some dripping paint, and use the threshold tool in Photoshop to make it high contrast. Or manually adjust the contrast. Or use some of the rough brushes in Illustrator.

For 70s funk: I believe it comes from the colors. You can try searching Google.

For clouds made from circles: make some circles in Illustrator & move them around to form clouds.

For dots: make smaller circles or squares.
posted by kidbritish at 5:20 PM on January 8, 2008

Best answer: This mag has had lots of tutorials on this style; some back issues available.
posted by dpcoffin at 6:31 PM on January 8, 2008

Best answer: I call it rococo nouveau, but no one listens to me (vector art, also).
posted by klangklangston at 7:10 PM on January 8, 2008

Best answer: It seems almost like faux-screenprint. Solid bold colors in solid shapes, printed over each other. The first example especially... it even has ink splatters.
posted by smackfu at 8:07 PM on January 8, 2008

Calling the style "vector art" is like calling all photoshopped images "bitmapped"
posted by delmoi at 11:52 PM on January 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Just now (er, a month ago) on metachat as well.... They like post-Nouveau and other art nouveau inspired appellations.
posted by zpousman at 5:36 AM on January 9, 2008

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