When you think of illustration, your mind might go first to children’s storybooks, but in recent years illustration has become a huge trend in web design. These arty sites that include illustrated elements bring a little extra whimsey to the everyday web experience.
Whether you’re an illustrator looking to update your portfolio or get inspiration for your client work, or a brand looking for creative new ideas, make sure to check out this collection of some of the best illustration websites.
Basic & Beautiful Illustration Portfolio Websites
If you’re an illustrator trying to get work in today’s digital world, you have to have an online portfolio. And, while we’ll get into some really wow-worthy sites later, it’s worth remembering that some of the best illustration portfolio websites are the simplest, giving your work plenty of space to speak for itself.
1. James Olstein
The simple grid is a classic structure for illustration portfolio websites for a reason: It makes it easy for prospective clients to quickly see a variety of your work. Plus, especially if you have a well-defined style, it creates a visually appealing site, as seen on illustrator James Olstein’s portfolio.
2. D’Ara Nazaryan
D’Ara Nazaryan uses a slight twist on the grid approach on her illustration website, using different image widths to create visual interest as you scroll down the page, and bright, colorful backgrounds to make her work pop.
3. Tania Qué
Another simple format for your illustration portfolio is to list your projects in a menu on the side of the page, leaving the rest of the space to show off each piece in a big way. As you can see on Tania Guerra’s portfolio, not only does this allow viewers to take in her work without distractions, it also gives you a quick glance of her most impressive clients.
4. Timo Kuilder
Artist Timo Kuilder demonstrates another way to give your work space for people visiting your website to enjoy it—literally space it out more. All of this white space, plus the addition of movement on the page thanks to his illustration work, makes you curious to keep scrolling.
5. Jarom Vogel
Jarom Vogel sticks with the standard grid for his online illustration portfolio because it works, especially considering how unified his style is. The addition of small animated illustrations throughout—like in his header and on his about page—seal the deal by infusing his skills and style throughout the site.
Illustration Portfolios With a Little Something Extra
While many of the following illustration websites use a similar structure to the ones above, the addition of interesting details or useful features really sets them apart. Peruse them for a great reminder that it doesn’t take much to make your portfolio stand out from the pack!
6. Mimi Chao
While illustrator Mimi Chao’s online portfolio uses a simple grid, it stands out for her in-depth process pages for each of her projects. Better yet, the site is made using Adobe Portfolio—a portfolio builder available free to Creative Cloud subscribers—proving how easy creating a stunning illustration website can be.
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7. Jing Wei
Illustrator Jing Wei takes the standard grid and shakes it up a bit—literally. The unique layout of her stie matches her irreverent style, and the experience of scrolling through gives you a feeling of playful exploration.
8. Marylou Faure
Another take on the grid structure, illustrator Marylou Faure’s website has her work slowly scroll across the screen. Not only does this help visitors see more of her work, it shows it off in a truly mesmerizing way.
9. Jennifer Xiao
10. Malika Favre
Illustrator Malika Favre’s website features colorful backgrounds and a full-width grid that make her bold work feel truly immersive. The pièce de résistance? Click the eye icon in her menu bar and you can sort her projects by theme, style, or even color.
11. Marie Sahy
Sometimes, a splash image is the way to go when you want to grab people’s attention. While you can scroll down on Marie Sahy’s website to see plenty of her past projects, having this bold, cheeky image take up all the space above the fold says a lot about her skills and style.
Next Level Illustration Portfolio Websites
The following arty sites go the extra mile to make illustration an integral part of their design or show their work off in an entirely different way. If you’re ready to push the bounds of your illustration work, look here for inspiration.
12. Andrew Khosravani
Artist Andrew Khosravani combines his illustration and animation work in a whimsical way that creates movement and energy as you scroll down the page. The black background is a particularly bold choice, and one that pays off in helping the neon colors of his work stand out.
13. Chungi Yoo
Even if you aren’t an animator, it’s possible to create movement to catch the viewer’s eye as they scroll down the page. Illustrator Chungi Yoo achieves that on her website using parallax scrolling. Plus, including work of different sizes creates visual interest and allows you to appreciate different details of her technique.
14. Samuel Day
Designer Samuel Day has used his skills to create an immersive website that moves and shifts as you scroll through the page. While it doesn’t immediately show off past work, the website itself is an illustrated masterpiece. Pro tip: When you reach the train, click on each passenger to see some of Day’s client websites.
15. Jade Purple Brown
Jade Purple Brown’s portfolio is a delight to explore at every turn. With color-shifting backgrounds, a collage-like design, and plenty of subtle details that show off her retro-inspired style, you’ll leave her site a little happier and with a perfect sense of the type of work you could hire her for.
16. Mariano Pascual
Artist Mairano Pascual’s portfolio isn’t just a website—it’s an entire experience. He’s created a mock desktop in his signature style that you’re free to click around and explore, learning about his past work along the way. Not only do you get a sense of the illustration work he’s able to do, you’re unlikely to forget his creative website anytime soon.
Other Illustrated Websites for Inspiration
Below you’ll find some of the best illustration websites for, uh, illustrating the different ways this art form can be used in web design. They could inspire your portfolio, your client work, your brand’s design strategy, or just your next brilliant idea!
While the illustration work on Oscar’s website is a basic style, it’s a beautiful reminder of how illustration can be integrated into a brand’s visual language to help humanize complex topics and bring playful energy to more traditional industries.
Snapsound’s full-width illustrations give you a sense of immersion into these calm, whimsical landscapes—just as their sound design aims to give listeners an immersive experience into different places. It’s a delightful example of how illustration can help evoke a brand’s mission or feeling, even if the brand itself has nothing to do with the visual arts.
This clever website made by creative agency Nice and Serious uses interactive illustrations to help you feel the annoyance of plastic pollution. You can move your mouse around to try and get rid of the pile of trash cluttering your screen—and then explore ways to reduce your own waste.
20. The A-Z of AI
The illustration work on this A-Z of AI website shows off the power of this type of imagery to make technical topics more understandable and even a little more fun. There’s a reason this sort of visual language is used to educate children—and the same approach can be used to help make complex ideas more approachable for adults.
The monochrome line illustrations on Tide’s website may be simple, but they’re also effective in showing off the story of what the brand is here to do. It’s especially notable how the line draws your eye down the page, connecting one illustration to another in one long narrative.
22. Culturally Connected
The Culturally Connected website uses organic forms and basic shapes in bright colors to evoke a feeling more than exhibit a specific idea. It’s a good reminder that illustrations don’t have to actually illustrate anything specific in order to be an effective visual tool.
23. Browser History
There’s still so much room to push the envelope with illustrated websites, and this project from Squarespace shows off some of the possibilities for using illustration to create immersive spaces online. Scroll through the site to explore this hand-drawn wonderland, and imagine new ways you could integrate art into your work.