illustration of a man

I'm wondering what you would call the style/technique of the picture above? It looks similar to linocut, and is halftone but neither of those terms are specific enough.

I'd love some advice on how to apply such an effect to a photo in Illustrator or Photoshop as well (can't google it yet because I'm not sure what it's called)

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    If you like the woodcut style, spend some time exploring classic German woodcut art. Of the Germans, Albrecht Dürer is probably the most famous, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff is a personal favourite for something more expressionist. Also check out Dong Jiansheng, and the quite different but also amazing Japanese style woodcuts (Moku hanga). Commented Oct 1, 2012 at 22:37

2 Answers 2


It's a style meant to emulate old engravings (look at the portraits on american paper money for an example). Traditionally it was done by an engraver, cutting into the plates.

The example above appears to be done via a PhotoShop filter. There's several on the market that can do that. It's often a form of a halftoning filter.


"Wall Street Journal style." :) Also referred to as woodcut and the WSJ's proprietary HedCut. If you Google "wall street journal illustration style" and read some of the articles, there are suggestions about how to recreate the look.

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    This isn't quite correct. The WSJ has a long history of using stippling techniques for their portraits. That's a different technique/style than the example. Stippling is (traditionally) done with pen and ink and the illustrator uses dot density to create the various shades.
    – DA01
    Commented Nov 16, 2011 at 22:16
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    You're right; HedCut is more dots and the example is lines. Commented Nov 17, 2011 at 1:42

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