Custom Illustrations – A Quirky and Human Design Trend

Custom Illustrations in Web Design

The use of custom illustrations has been a big trend recently that is not likely going anywhere soon. The deal is that artistic approaches, like old habits, always die hard. Every tendency that involves creativity and demands artists to push the limits always stays for a while, since web designers, as well as web developers, adore letting their imagination run riot. Custom illustrations are one of those situations.

They are quirky, human, and meaningful — custom illustrations are not simply gaining momentum but also evolving. First, we only saw simple takes on the trend with regular vectors drawings. Today, these hand-drawn images surprise with the diversity, idea, and content. Most of them please the eyes of the visitors not just with skillful implementation but also with dynamic components that help to strengthen the message. Let’s dig a little bit deeper by exploring real examples to see for yourself to what extent the trend has gone so far.

Peak Education

Peak Education is a good example of custom illustrations

We are going to start with the so-to-say classic example of the trend. It is featured on the homepage of Peak Education.

Here, you can see human illustrations that were and still are increasingly popular among web artists. Note two important things. First, subjects are not ideal: some of them puffy, some of them have a drastic haircut. This concept appeals to the audience since not all of us have a supermodel silhouette.

Second, you can feel the emotions in the image. While some creatives prefer to use faceless subjects, in the case of Peak Education, you can see big broad smiles that bring a positive mood to the composition and, ipso facto, transfer it to the people behind the monitor. As a result, the homepage naturally draws attention and makes visitors stay for a while.



Masstraffic shows us another representative example of the trend which has been taken to the next level this time. Here, you can see not just static custom illustrations but also dynamic ones.

This motion helps to draw extra attention to the visuals as well as make the message clearer to the audience. Used as supportive material, it performs its role perfectly well.

Moreover, there are several things to note here. First, faceless subjects. Second, the use of both genders. Third, animations are short yet to the point. Fourth, the use of both human and non-human illustrations made in one style. Finally, drawings can be seen everywhere. In this way, the team provides a consistent artistic experience throughout the homepage as well as establishes a sense of diversity and universality.


Postcards is an example of custom illustrations used in a website

Much like in the previous example, the team behind Postcards uses custom illustrations in which humans play the first fiddle. They have gone for a faceless approach, non-ideal silhouettes, and even some quirky and funny traits. All these imperfections bring the visuals closer and make them more appealing to online readers. Also, the dynamic component is barely perceptible, but it still adds to the overall impression.

Postcards is an excellent example of how to use visuals to explain the concepts and features of the product to potential customers. Note that instead of intimidating the audience with the complexity of the application, the team has shown the benefits in all its glory. Very smart.

Another vital thing to note is that many teams around the world that promote their products adopt this approach these days. It is here where custom illustrations, especially the ones that involve humans, revealing their true potential.



Okay, let’s abstract a little bit from human illustrations that are trend within the trend, and focus our attention on other themes. Consider, for instance, WeRecycle and our next example MetaMusic. Both of these websites have outstanding takes on outline vector drawings.

The team behind WeRecycle bets everything on the natural landscapes that, thanks to the skillful play with coloring and ultra-thin realization, look amazing. It instantly appeals to the audience as well as brings home the proper message. Simple yet clever.



MetaMusic is another website where line-styled custom illustrations impress visitors with a powerful charisma and sophisticated implementation. Here, artificial objects occupy the lion share of the composition, however, it still feels human. The deal is that after a while, you can see a human face and hands skillfully incorporated into the artwork that gives the image a warm personal touch.


Yaroflasher is an example of custom illustrations used in a website

All the previous examples have one thing in common: they all have a meaning that is seen with the naked eye. However, not all modern custom illustrations can boast of this. Some of them are a bit quirky and bizarre that ignite interest and make the audience think. Consider Yaroflasher first.

The personal portfolio of New York-based creatives features a series of offbeat vector drawings. Some of them are comical, while others are quirky. It is here where you need to practice your wit and cleverness to read between the lines. Although the website requires some effort from the audience, it stands out from the crowd.

Personal Portfolio of Ray_eum

Personal portfolio of Ray_eum

The homepage of the personal portfolio of Ray eum  feels a bit freakish and grotesque, however, it certainly plays into the artist’s hands. Note how just one custom illustration manages to create the entire mood, get the overall attention, and make the audience believe that Ray_eum is the artist who lives up to the highest professional standards. Brilliant.


Custom illustrations are a huge trend in web design that started last year. As you could have seen from the provided examples, the tendency is evolving, and it certainly hasn’t reached its limit yet. Therefore, it will certainly stay a trend in the coming years as well.

We hope this collection has given you some inspiration to enhance your website with some quirky or human custom illustrations.


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