Cartoon-Inspired Designs Are Taking Over the Internet

Posted inFollow Friday

If the metaverse has contributed anything to the current state of the internet anything besides confusion, it’s the use of juvenile cartoons. We’ve all seen the bored apes and the creepy meta-Zuckerberg, so maybe tech is the best explanation for the great rise in animated graphics. The designs connect the internet as we know it with the questionable world of Web3, in more digestible and approachable manner.

This week, I’ve rounded up five artists sharing cartoon-inspired work on Instagram. Each has an individual aesthetic that may or may not be suitable for the metaverse, because, really, does anyone know what the future of the web looks like? I certainly don’t.  

Susie Hammer | @susie_hammer

If the word “happiness” turned into an Instagram account, it would look just like Susie Hammer’s feed. The illustrator and children’s book author uses simple shapes and electric colors to create wonderfully magical works. While Hammer’s work is designed for a younger audience, the result is approachable to those of any age range. This collection of cheeky animated cartoons create an account that’s a world of wonder.

Bernardo Henning | @holamaybe

Bosque Studio co-founder Bernardo Henning is an illustrator and designer who has created works for a range of high-profile clients such as Starbucks, Nike, and Häagen-Dazs. His mysterious work often features drawings that obstruct photographs, creating a distinctive style. Henning has a unique eye for texture and color combinations, and while his drawings incorporate a cartoony style, he also makes great use of collage techniques. The bright hues and fun details allow Henning’s otherwise simple, straightforward work to come across as expansive and optimistic.

Tiny Tidy Tide | @tinytidytide

Yu Yu is a visual artist based in South Korea whose Instagram feed is beautifully one-dimensional and full of bright colors. I appreciate the pure simplicity of the account, since Yu Yu only shares what’s necessary to an image while beautifully conveying a deeper thought or emotion. I also think the feed’s consistent color palettes create a cohesive feel that clearly marks Yu Yu’s distinct style.

Valeriia Potaichuk | @valestrator

Valeriia Potaichuk is a Polish graphic designer whose illustrations convey a dreamy, nostalgic outlook. They feel detailed, yet soft around the edges through her use of upbeat, animated color palettes. Her light, playful work sometimes provides an interesting contrast to more mundane or dense subject matter, like the pictured characters she created for the business solutions brand Xolo.

SJ | @sung_cheng_jie

Cheng Chieh Sung is a graphic designer based in Taiwan who makes gorgeous, nostalgic illustrations. Sung’s work is distinctive for muted, minimal color palettes that still manage to feel playful and jaunty. While cartoons can often be juvenile, this type-driven designer proves that this style can be confident, mature, and understated.

Header photo by Balázs Kétyi on Unsplash