The Design Block

If you're looking for the latest in advertising and marketing, design related technology and lifestyle tips, and art or design highlights then you're in the right place. Find all this and more with the Design Block blog.

Designer shares animated Illustrator cheat sheets for creating icons

Icons and symbols are powerful tools that have been used by humans to communicate ideas for over 100,000 years. Computer-based illustration tools like Adobe Illustrator have made creating icons easier than ever.

Artist creates amazing 3D sketches of famous landmarks

Pietro Cataudella is an Italian artist who takes urban sketching to the next level. He offers a new perspective of famous landmarks by using his talents to combine his architectural drawings with photos of their real-life surroundings.

Faded Footprints illustrated series highlights destroyed landmarks

The landscape shapes our sense of place on Earth, yet it’s constantly changing. The forces of wind, water, sun, and, yes, humans, combine to transform the world around us. In fact, in the last 50 years alone, hundreds of scenic natural landmarks around the world have…

Winners of the World Illustration Awards 2017

Every year the UK’s Association of Illustrators (AOI) brings together their World Illustration Awards. Now in its 40th year, the winners for the 2017 awards have been announced. The World Illustration Awards showcase 50 shortlisted projects across eight different categories. The exhibition will be held at Somerset House…

Doodles become neat line drawings instantly with Google’s AutoDraw

If you’re like me, you probably remember doodling away on the computer using Microsoft Paint, or even Corel Draw. So it’s ironic with all of the amazing things we can do on our smartphones and tablets these days, that creating a decent drawing is still difficult. However, Google’s…

Street artist turns dirty vehicles into four-wheel masterpieces

The snow and slush of early spring are gone, but things are still a bit dirty. And chances are that your car could use a good wash to get off the dirt and grime its accumulated over the past season. Those who should, but don’t…

Humorous illustration uses pirates to depict terrible clients

You can’t blame your clients for not knowing what is and isn’t good design – that’s your job to show them. You can’t, however, forgive them for assuming that your time is free.

Funny holiday cards based on popular Twitter topics

After a not-so-great 2016, website Roasted Nuts decided to lighten things up with a collection of testy holiday cards. In an attempt to unite the world, they searched out their favourite Twitter topics and turned them into cards.

Monochrome stencil illustrations brought to life with graffiti

Fighting back against the mundane, artist Martin Whatson uses colour to bring urban scenes to life. He accomplishes this by interrupting these monochrome urban settings with explosions of vibrantly painted graffiti. 

Cute offensive animal greeting cards

Are you one of those people who love to hand out greeting cards? Well, I’m not. There’s nothing as impersonal and insincere that you can receive on a special occasion. If you’re going to give a greeting card, make sure it says how you really feel. So…

Artist uses water drops to create dress designs

Plenty of fashion designers have a muse, so it’s no surprise that illustrator JaeSuk Kim employs the same idea in his stylish paintings. JaeSuk enjoys experimenting with watercolour and water drops.

Artist creates monsters next to subway passengers

If commute on the subway, you either stare at your phone, the floor, or enjoy the pleasures of people watching. It can be interesting to observe people’s emotions and expressions. And the New York subway can be a pretty strange place, even at the best of times. Sometimes the expressions of these strange…

3D chalk art playfully interacts with street objects

Sidewalks are boring. If you live in the city, you’ll walk a lot of them and it’s usually not very interesting to look down. Usually. For nearly thirty years, Michigan-based artist David Zinn has created temporary illustrations with chalk and charcoal.

The unintentional exercises designers do while working

It takes a lot of work to get a chiselled look and rock-hard abs. The way I see it though, who needs a six-pack when you have a keg. That being said, physical activity has a positive impact on brain health.

Fashion Illustrator uses his environment to complete his designs

You may remember a previous post about an illustrator who uses food items to finish his fashion sketches. This time I’m featuring Shamekh Bluwi, a Jordan-based architect and fashion illustrator. He uses clouds, buildings, and whatever else he finds to decorate his dress designs.

Unique GIFs distract users while page loads

These days everyone is in a rush. We’re so used to getting everything instantly at the click of a mouse that we’ve become impatient. Unless you’re over 30, you probably don’t remember the days of dial-up internet. We’d have to wait patiently for a few minutes…

The realities of modern life in funny, honest illustrations

Life in the modern world isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. Chances are that if we received brochures before being born that we’d say uh-uh, no thanks. These illustrations by Mexican artist Eduardo Salles poke fun at the realities of modern life. You might…

Illustrations portray the death of unlucky cartoons

Dark humour or black comedy makes light of serious, disturbing and/or taboo subject matter. And it also happens to be the subject of some of Illustrator Ben Chen’s work.

Common design terms taken literally

Graphic design, like any profession, is full of terms and acronyms that not everyone is familiar with. Most people don’t understand what crop marks are or what bleed marks mean, because they don’t speak designer. However, if you’re in the design industry, words like typeface or letterpress are quite ordinary.

Tiny detailed illustrations on pencil tops

Do you love to draw or sketch? If so, then you’ll want to check out this wonderful series from studio 1924‘s illustrator and designer Christian Watson. What’s amazing about this series is how small they are – and by that I mean they’re micro.

Creative fashion illustrations finished with food

For those who like to play with their food, you might want to check out the works of Armenian illustrator Edgar Artis. Edgar takes his creative fashion illustrations and uses food to complete his sketches.

Start the week with humorous Monday Punday illustrations

Do you dread having to drag yourself into work on Monday? A lot of people do. Justine Morrison is a Sydney-based graphic designer and illustrator is one of those people with a hatred for Mondays. So to give people a laugh on the dreaded first day of the week in…

Witty comic shows how differently ideas are perceived

The process from idea to design to final product is rarely a smooth one. This is especially true when designers have to juggle between what the Creative Director explains and the customer wants.

Rude greeting cards that feature funny illustrations

Conventional greeting cards are meant to convey positive feelings and best wishes for someone you care about. However, these cards by de-motivational speaker Paul Gandhi are anything but conventional.

Artist creates animal portraits on wooden canvases

I’ve previously posted about paintings on tree logs that mirror their surroundings. Now, an illustrator and tattoo artist Kirsten Roodbergen from the Netherlands has created lovely animal portraits on slices of wood from cross-sectioned tree trunks.

Cute illustrations about random fun facts

Are you the kind who likes to collect random fun facts? Maybe you watch a lot of Discovery Channel? If so, then you’ll definitely enjoy the Instagram page of children’s book illustrator Mike Lowery, where he posts his #randomillustratedfacts.

Designer creates an adult colouring book

Do you miss the simpler days when you were a kid and you could waste hours colouring in your colouring book? Designer Sara Bigwood of Pixie Rah Designs aims to recreate that feeling for adults.

Burger King launches illustrated Christmas packaging

With the Christmas season kicking into high gear, Burger King has announced their limited edition packaging for the festive holiday. The illustrated packaging features several colourful motifs.

Learn how to leave work early with these 6 tips

Where’s the worst place you can possibly be at 4 pm on a Friday? The office, of course.

8 funny charts illustrate everyday life

There are certain expectations associated with everyday life, like eating a good meal or sleeping well. However, expectation and reality are often two very different things.

How to hide the fact that you’ve just farted

What’s the best way to hide the fact that you’ve passed gas, farted, tooted, broke wind, or cut the cheese? With Thanksgiving coming up, I figured that this funny series from College Humor would come in handy.

Funny puns containing the true meaning of words

Every word has a definition, but that doesn’t mean we use them in their proper context; the true meaning of words aren’t always the same as what we say. As part of an ongoing project, Sam Omo—better known as DOWNSIGN—has illustrated the meaning of words,…

The 2 types of email users: Which are you?

All email users have their own unique habits, it seems. I’ve known some who have to read every single email that comes through their inbox. And I’ve known others who have completely opposite habits, only checking what’s at the top… sometimes.

Adorable, brutally honest circle of life illustrations

Mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds, fish, insects and other invertebrates each have their own unique circle of life. And while all animals need to be safe and to reproduce, they also need to eat; one animal feeds off of another to survive—that’s just how it is.

How parents can make a difference in a creative child’s life

There are many ways to define creativity; putting things together in unique ways, or seeing the a given problem with fresh eyes. And while we all solve problem in creative ways, encouraging it in others can make a big difference.

What different generations used for wasting time

Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow. With nearly all of us owning some type of smart device, we can spend endless hours wasting time online. 

IKEA instructions humorously depict handling real life situations

Are you having trouble figuring out exactly how to behave in certain situations? Have no fear, IKEA is here. Actually, UK-based artist James Chapman is here with a humorous illustrated series of IKEA instructions. They demonstrate the dos and do nots of handling situations in…

Witty uninspiring posters about life’s lows

For most of us, that uninspiring or depressed feeling comes and goes. But when sadness persists it affects your ability to function at work, at home, or in other aspects of your life. So if you’re currently in a funk, you might want to avoid…

Humorous superhero mashup illustrations

The superhero genre has never been more popular. From Batman to the Avengers and X-Men, there’s a story for everyone. But what would happen if they started to crossover with pop culture, comics, or even famous personalities?

Why owning a PC is like owning a dog

Did you know that PCs and dogs have lots in common? Well, OK, owning PCs and dogs are mostly similar – until you get to the part where you have to consider buying a new one. 

The history of famous cookies from around the world

Cookies were first made after sugar became available as a baking ingredient about 1400 years ago. And did you know that over half of the cookies baked at home today are chocolate chip? But what about other famous cookies?

What the world looks like, before and after a breakup

Saying goodbye to the person you were once close with after a breakup can be a hard thing to do. Chances are that we’ve all been there or know someone whose been in that situation. When it happens to you, it’s devastating. And while people can relate,…

Humorous comic depicts the styles of writing

No matter what the genre, a good writer needs to set the mood for their readers. Understanding the different styles of writing can give perspective into taking a blank page and figuring out how to mix things up to get the words flowing.