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Black and White Design Inspiration

 

Black and white never gets outdated. This golden rule is known by fashion designers, graphic designers, filmmakers, as well as many other creatives. Whichever creative field you currently work in, you can always count on the reliability of black and white design projects. Let’s see how good they can be!

Cool Black and White Design Examples

Black and white, this timeless color duo is incredibly flexible for designs of any kind. It refers to the classics and its space always gives out a neat impression. Moreover, black and white style is versatile, easy to use, and very effective for various types of designs. Also known as the monochromatic, black and white palette is ironically ‘colorful’ as it has a plentitude of tones. It may not seem like it for a lot of people, hence why oftentimes it tends to be considered as the less viable option.

However, let’s take a look and some examples of how black and white can be used to create such stunning designs!

1) Chanel’s Perfume Parody

Chanel doesn’t need exceptionally good publicity. But look at this vintage interpretation of the brand’s specialty by this Portuguese artist and imagine the same perfume bottle drawn in a different color palette. It completely changes the mood. Black and white designs, even used in a simple sketch, keep the design chic and unique.

Chanel’s Perfume Parody

Image source: Behance

2) Lost In Space Comic Book

Another design that can serve as a spectacular inspiration for black and white design is this book cover illustrated by Mike Terrora. Of course, the world has seen some of the more bold and colorful comic book covers, especially those of the famous ones. Yet, this humble and simple black and white sketch fit perfectly for this kind of comic book which everyone loves to read.

 

Lost In Space Comic Book

Image source: Behance

3) The Assassin Nuns and the Pirate of Peppercorn Bay

Want to leave a lot of space for imagination? Book designs (not only covers) tend to have this classic approach in order to put creative thinking into being. Check out Sukanto Debnath’s design of The Assassin Nuns and the Pirate of Peppercorn Bay to understand whether the black and white’s classic feeling of nostalgia and familiarity is something you would like for your design.

The Assassin Nuns and the Pirate of Peppercorn Bay

Image source: Behance

4) Vincent Mahé’s Sketches

Some types of appeals can never be achieved with the use of casual means. That’s why some additional effects of negative space or black and white cartoon sketches should be applied freely in order to increase the artistic yet humble feeling of your design, just like how a Parisian graphic designer, Vincent Mahé, did in his sketch below.

Vincent Mahé’s Sketches

5) Nomada Type Collection

Nomada Type Collection in all its extent. Maybe stripping your design’s palette back to just black and white might not have been something that has crossed your mind, but look what the newest animation tricks can do. Isn’t it enchanting? If you do the same thing with colors it obviously gets even more crazy, but here, using just black and white, it shifts the focus of the design to being all about shapes.

Nomada Type Collection

Image source: Behance

6) Four Season Portraits

Graphic designer Iain Macarthur really had a lot in his mind while drawing ‘Four Season Portraits’. These top-notch complicated designs are best in a black and white palette. They need to be simple in their tone, but at the same time maintain the whiff of mysterious mastery and complexity, and this exactly what the black and white colors help them achieve.

Four Season Portraits

Image source: Behance

7) General Logo and Mark Examples

The best graphic design is a combination of fascinating imagery and a good starting concept. Sometimes, you just don’t need anything more, not even colors. Add some moving images to the whole initial idea, and you will see that colors are not necessary to add more value to the design. Black and white works perfectly.

General Logo and Mark Examples

Image: Behance

8) Postcard Design by Kata Moravszki

Similarly like before, a visually elaborated design doesn’t necessarily need a complex color palette. You will get what we mean by this when you see the work by Kata Moravszki. Her sophisticated touch to designs that have limited space, such as the postcard below, make the whole picture unrepeatable and memorable.

Postcard Design by Kata Moravszki

Image source: Behance

8) Must Have

Must Have

Image source: Behance

It’s hard to imagine a logo simpler than this one. Yet, the ‘Must Have’ design by Obys graphic agency has something above average to prove. Fortunately, no colors are involved in this logo design project at this stage, which allows for the classy two letter logo to give off a completely nice and slick, classic impression.

9) ‘Life Lessons’ Digital Artwork by Jacques Vledder

‘Life Lessons’ Digital Artwork by Jacques Vledder

Image source: Behance

Now, this one is definitely one that you probably won’t come across in real life! Jacques Vledder is an experienced designer who focuses on painting, mixed media, digital art, and photography. With his artwork, he purposely wants to evoke the feelings of pleasure and fear at the same time. His anxious designs wouldn’t be able to elicit such emotions out of his audiences if it were to be in colors. Hence, black and white stylization is exactly what the design needs.

10) Pierre Kleinhouse’s Animal Design

Pierre Kleinhouse’s Animal Design

Image source: Behance

Among many examples of exquisite graphic designs, we will find this retro-like, yet genuinely modern, black and white inspiration ideas from the works of Pierre Kleinhouse. By removing the additional colors from them, you will then discover the vast intricacy of simplistic drawings. Try playing with Illustrator or Photoshop and modifying this variable. You may be surprised by the results of such experimentation among your graphic design projects.

11) Cafe Logo and Packaging Design

There is nothing like a smooth and clean, almost school-like design. In the field of graphic design, simplicity as well as black and white styles of design don’t need to be questioned. This combination has always been considered to be chic and on-trend. When this Russian cafe asked for a plain design and got the black and white graphic design response, it became of the best results they’ve seen for a logo project. It’s visually smart and works very well for a cafe and all of its packaging.

Cafe Logo and Packaging Design

Image source: Behance

12) ‘Polarization’ Event

Looking for another inspiration? The whole visual identity of an event can be black and white, and yet, attract a lot of attention. It happens especially if the concept of the design and the form in which it’s created goes hand in hand. In this case, the project was called ‘Polarization’. It circled around the idea of divergence, dichotomy of views and opinions, stratification of a community, and the division of opposing groups.

It was explained that ‘polarization’ is a process caused by the differentiation of attitudes in the face of significant problems and in extreme situations that cannot be ignored. As a result, this event aimed to bring people together to share their thoughts and beliefs in order to set innovative strategies together. Whereas everyone can understand and discuss the subject in his or her own way, the idea of using black and white design was perfectly materialized and adapted to the concept of polarization.

‘Polarization’ Event

Image source: Behance

13) Konti Street Food Menu

Here is another design that is useful, smart, and pretty casual at the same time. There are restaurants and contemporary bars that just need this particular kind of design for their menu. A bit of a witty, stylish, but also a ‘we are professionals’ kind of appeal. This project by Viktor Csete for Konti Street Food wins for its elegance and consistency of use on plenty of means for the restaurant!

Konti Street Food Menu

Image source: Behance

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Christiaan

Written by Christiaan

Besides having grown up in the design Industry, Christiaan has advised some of the world's largest companies on their branding & packaging designs. Has been the resident judge for design awards, and has spoken at numerous global design & marketing events. Christiaan founded the London office of the award-winning Cartils agency, and has founded the DesignBro.com platform.

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