Even those who’ve never heard the term “isometric artwork” before have probably seen it without even realizing it. From infographics to logos to magazine illustrations, 3D art, which is the umbrella under which isometric art falls, is everywhere.
It’s also a fun, easy technique for even novice artists to practice. Here, you’ll find the basics of isometric art, beautiful examples of isometric illustration, and ways to learn even more.
What is Isometric Art?
At its core, isometric art is the way in which artists render 3-dimensional objects on a 2-dimensional plane to create realism. Isometric artists use what’s called “parallel projection” to make their flat designs pop, and the result is an illusion that will appear to be the same size regardless of viewpoint.
Isometric art differs from perspective art, which is typically most closely associated with realistic art, in that it does not have a vanishing point. This allows isometric shapes to maintain their composition no matter where the viewer is standing or sitting when observing the isometric art.
You may have noticed isometric art in advertising, in digital or infographics, and within your favorite video games and illustrations. Isometric art icons have also become increasingly popular for their ability to make standard icons appear more realistic.
Easy Isometric Art in Illustrator – An Illustrator for Lunch™ course
A crash-course in isometric art.
Examples of Isometric Art
Isometric art includes icons and simple shapes, as well as more involved designs and animations. Illustrations can be black and white or full-color and involve varying levels of design detail. Despite the wide range of creative approaches to isometric illustration, works are always flat and two-dimensional.
Here are some Skillshare student examples we love:
We love Emi’s isometric illustration of the word “YEAH,” which includes whimsical clouds and hot air balloons in addition to the traditional isometric art properties.!
2. Isometric Block
We adore this colorful, layered cityscape, which the artist created by starting with an isometric sketch. The windows are a great use of repetition within a design.
3. Isometric Home
This illustration by Mila, a lettering artist, is still a work in progress. We love the way she has exposed her creative process to date, including before and after versions of her design that demonstrate the process from sketching the image to designing it to filling it in with color.
4. Isometric Arcade
Camila’s colorful arcade game is a great example of isometric art. From the floor to the game console itself, Camila has incorporated different shapes, shading, and text to create this visually fun scene!
5. Lemon Cocktail
This fun illustration project depicts a tall glass of something wonderful, garnished with perfectly isometric lemon slices and a sprig of rosemary. It’s hard to believe that the artist created this isometric art on a 2-dimensional plane!
Why Are Artists, Designers, and Illustrators Interested in Isometric Art?
Isometric art gives artists a lot of versatility within their designs. And because it’s based upon shapes, isometric artwork is created through a surprisingly straightforward process. It’s also a lot of fun!
Novice illustrators can use simple geometry and shapes to create basic illustrations in a matter of minutes, while advanced artists can add more creativity to their work by compiling different shapes and snapping them to an artwork. A cube quickly becomes a decorative box or crate, and shapes can be pieced together to create something more detailed, like a city skyline.
Many creators are able to save time on detailed illustrations by setting up smart guides in a program like Adobe Illustrator; this helps them automate design steps and save time on tedious, repetitive actions for complex work. They often finish by rounding out their work with extra elements, like color, to give it flair or brand personality.
How Do Artists Create Isometric Art?
How can you begin creating isometric art in a program like Adobe Illustrator on your own? While illustrators create the designs using different methods, tools, and programs, they all start by encouraging beginners to think “cubically,” or imagining flat shapes like a cube. This technique is helpful because most isometric art calls for using a shape’s three planes: its top, left, and right sides.
Many illustrators are surprised by how quick and easy it is to create isometric art. Creative Director Von Glitschka, who has taught tutorials on isometric art for Adobe Illustrator recalls, “I said to myself, that’s it? That was easy! I had expected a more complex process.”
Now that you’re familiar with what isometric art is, what isometric art looks like, and the different methods for creating isometric illustration, you’re ready to take on some fun and exciting isometric artwork exercises!
Design Your Dream Room
Isometric art is often used in building and interior design because it allows artists to plan a structure or space without having to construct a 3-D model.
You can design everything from the color of a room to the furniture you want to buy, and this exercise is a great way to familiarize yourself with the design tools that isometric art affords.
Create an Isometric Logo
Isometric art is also popular among graphic designers who work with infographics and logos. Isometric methods allow these artists to create depth and dimension with an otherwise flat illustration, which makes them more memorable and easier to recognize. (One famous logo example: Dropbox!)
If you’ve ever thought about creating your own logo, this course will make it easy to whip one up.
Create an Abstract Cube Using Isometric Art
If you’re looking for something a little less structured, try creating an abstract isometric cube. This course touches on all of the finer points of isometric artwork, from geometry to mapping, but also gives you a little more control over the uniqueness of your final rendering by removing the traditional parameters of isometric art within the graphic design setting.
Isometric Buildings and Illustrations for Map Making
A fun course in isometric-style buildings and map making