What is this kind of art style? Is there even a name for it?

It looks like "flat" design but yet it isn't. Are there any guides or tutorials for these?

Where do they gather these kind of gradient colors that fit so well?

How does the designer know where to place those shadows and lights?

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  • 2
    Not everything has a "name". I don't think either of the posted images are so general that there would be some stylistic name for them.
    – Scott
    Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 17:02

2 Answers 2


The style doesn't necessarily have a name; they're simply illustrations with a limited color palette.

Where do they gather these kind of gradient colors that fit so well?
How does the designer know where to place those shadows and lights?

You have to learn how to represent light and shadow. There are countless books and tutorials specifically on this subject, but you can start by look at objects and scenes around you.

See how light goes through the arches and columns in this photo:

Arches and columns

In this other photo, look how light and shadow create an almost monochromatic scene where the different tones help you perceive the depth:mountains

If you want to be an illustrator, learn how light, shadow and depth behave in the physical world first so you can transfer that to a 2D medium.


One beautiful thing about them is they are monochrome. For a very general style I would call them vector art.They are not flat art because of the gradients ( I think).

The gradients look so great because they use one color, going from light to dark. The top effect was created once and duplicated many times for the depth.

The bottom image took a lot of creativity and skill. Basically you put the darker end of the gradient away from the light and the lighter end of the gradient towards the light for a natural, 3D look.

This type of work is what illustrator is best at. For guides and tutorials I would just search for basic and intermediate tutorials on drawing with illustrator. Keyword gradients.

  • 5
    These images are definitely not monochrome. Commented Feb 6, 2017 at 16:50
  • Yeh they both use a very limited palette but neither are monochrome
    – Cai
    Commented Feb 6, 2017 at 16:51
  • I see one color in each with tints and shades = monochrome.
    – Webster
    Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 3:04
  • 1
    "Monohue" would probably be closer to what you mean, but even then it wouldn't be correct. On the first image the hue clearly shifts from blue to coral. And there ae gradients everywhere, "monochromatic" would really describe it very poorly. Commented Mar 28, 2017 at 19:22

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