Creating Clean Iconographic Illustrations with Tim Boelaars

Tim Boelaars takes the definitively clear characteristics of logo design and applies them to his illustration work. The results are satisfyingly precise forms, formulaic angles, and powerful curves intertwined in vibrant images.

The geometric qualities Tim brings over from his design work give his illustrations a level of contrast and simplicity that makes for impactful images even when they are more narrative and complex.

Icons need to make a memorable impact with a small amount of visual information after all, so extrapolating that into grander designs serves his work well.

Tim talks about how he found his way to this aesthetic as well as sharing some images of his dream studio set up in Amsterdam with us.

“My name is Tim Boelaars and I’m a freelance illustrator based in Amsterdam. I specialise in icon, identity, logo and packaging design, as well as illustration and art direction.”

“I’ve always been interested in drawing. As a teenager, I created an interest in the dynamic letterforms, use of color and thick lines in graffiti. In college, I got more interested in illustration and working in Photoshop and Illustrator. Since 2009, I’ve worked as an independent illustrator.”

“In 2017 I set up a small co-working space in Amsterdam that I share with 7 other creative freelancers.”

“At the start of any project, I usually start out a project by making a list of keywords, ideas of style and rough sketches. After that, I will work out drafted ideas into Illustrator.”

“Most of the things I make are designed on a grid system, and I always strive to create clean and interesting work.”

All images © Tim Boelaars

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