There’s a soft spot in my heart for nostalgic design. Like many creatives, I’ve grown up with the internet, and it’s been fun to witness its growth and influence on traditional design and art mediums.
And since we’re celebrating ten years of awesome tutorials on Envato Tuts+, let’s walk down memory lane and look back on the last decade in design.
Where were you ten years ago?
The Beginning of More Connection
I remember how “social media” sounded like a foreign word back then. But soon, Facebook and Twitter showed us how much more connected we could be.
As we slowly grew out of the era of overloaded Myspace pages, social media sites reminded us that less is more. Apple’s iPhone inspired designers worldwide with its clean aesthetics and advancements in mobile design.
Mad Men fans may also remember the premiere of this new series. A dramatic portrayal of NYC’s advertisement firms in the 1960s, the TV show reinvigorated all our love for vintage design!
A familiar design website also emerged! Envato Tuts+ launched in 2007 with educational tutorials on freelancing and Photoshop. With a few simple steps, you could learn how to create cool metallic styles from the site’s first instructors.
Because of the popularity of Flash at this time, design often featured bright colors and a focus on gradients. Here are a few of our very first tutorials!
The year of 2008 also brought incredible political art. We can’t forget how the iconic Barack Obama poster by Shepard Fairey nearly broke the internet. Recreate the amazing style using this Adobe Illustrator tutorial:
Touchscreens made us one step closer to living like the Jetsons. Everyone wanted an iPhone to be connected to the future.
Smartphones made us care a lot more about the way we look, too. We studied the art of the perfect selfie and used advanced techniques to post-process like a pro.
Apple continued to influence design trends as well. Fans recreated Steve Jobs’s skeuomorphic aesthetics for icons and more. This meant that icon design mirrored the actual appearance of familiar, everyday items.
Many designers were undecided about the style but couldn’t avoid its impact. It stayed a popular trend for quite a while before modern flat graphics took its spot.
Remember your first iPhone? Try out this awesome vector illustration from Nikola Adzic.
To compensate for the growing number of different devices, designers began focusing on responsive design. They began to question the future of web design as it applies to our individual user experiences.
Web designers responded with incredible modern websites that resized to your device. This year also delivered the boom of the Parallax! Now, you could endlessly scroll your favorite new blogs or trendy Tumblr profiles.
I personally love how YouTube has changed things. Like many self-taught artists, I’ve spent hundreds of hours watching speed painting videos and more. Learning online is so essential these days for aspiring designers.
At this time, social media continued to change design too! The pursuit of followers and likes became a real part of online marketing tactics and forced a push towards picture perfect visuals.
Adobe’s Creative Cloud also gave us access to more options. Now, artists could dabble in 3D art, especially if they hadn’t already with other software.
Just like many of Photoshop’s features, learning 3D takes time. But you can conquer these tools with exciting tutorials in the meantime, like this fun text effect.
Many important events also had an impact on the design world.
The U.S. finally legalized same-sex marriage, and the creative community celebrated with colorful, magical designs. Our instructors showed support too! Just explore the site to see many inspiring tutorials.
Learn how to create amazing cartoon icons for an important cause. Check out this tutorial: