Diverse Illustration

Programming - Mar 31, 2024

Hey gang, #BlackLivesMatter.

One tiny way I thought we could help here on this site, aside from our efforts as individuals, is to highlight some design resources that are both excellent and feature Black people. Representation matters.

Here’s one. You know Pablo Stanley? Pablo is a wonderful illustrator who combines his illustration work with modern design tooling. He has these illustration libraries that come as Sketch and Figma plugins so you can mix and match characters and their clothes, hair, skin color, and such.

Like Humaaans! Look at the possibilities:

Or OpenPeeps that has a different style but the same spirit:

Pablo and a team of folks are building Blush, which brings these things together into one product. Not just Pablo’s work, but the work of more illustrators like Susana Ortiz, Elina Cecila Giglio, Isabela Humphrey, and Else Ramirez to name a few so far.

I literally needed some people illustration the other day for an upcoming project, so I signed up and had a great time with it. I didn’t even know plugins like this were even possible in Figma!

Notice how absolutely non-white-centric all this is.

What I needed for my project was business-style people doing vague business-like things, and when I shopped around my usual stock art place, I get results like this:

It’s not that this company didn’t have diverse illustrations too. The more I looked around, I found plenty of good stuff, but the search results really did have a heavy tilt toward illustrations of groups of white people. That certainly would not have been appropriate for my project, which is ultimately going to be a part of a social experience for a very global product. I’d think a flock of white-only people as a graphic is rarely a good fit for any project.

If you take issue with that paragraph I just wrote, here’s some diverse Buttsss that you can kiss lolz:

And speaking of diverse illustrations, how about getting straight to it with Black Illustrations.

There’s some free stuff, and things you can buy, which cover design aspect that also suffer from lack of representation, like icon sets:

unDraw from Katerina Limpitsouni has great stuff too!

This last thing isn’t an illustration example, but y’all CSS people are likely to get a kick out of it:

100% of the proceeds of that shirt go to to the Black Lives Matter foundation.

I know, I know, ID’s can’t start with a number. If an element had an id="000000", you’d have to select it with #\30 00000 in CSS because it’s just weird like that. But the point is still made ;).

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