Review of the Year 2020: Top 25 Illustration

From lovable characters to sexy colouring books via grin-inducing comics and lovely emojis, this year produced some top-notch illustration work.


Eclectic, fun and emotive, our most-read illustration stories of 2020 show the breadth of the medium and its expressive power. Among the 25 articles below, we cover iconic illustrative work such as that of New Yorker cartoonist Ed Steed, Miffy creator Dick Bruna and Olimpia Zagnoli, who we interview for our In Conversation series. We also profile incredible lesser known (but not for long) talents such as Lauren Martin, Vanessa Lim, Oriane Jeanselme and Martcellia Liunic, examining their unique and innovative work and its inspirations.

The list also proves the prominent role illustration took this year in documenting the moment and lifting our spirits. For example, a collection of rainbows commissioned by It’s Nice That and created by various artists including Crystal Zapata and Kris Andrew Small. Mariano Pascual’s lockdown chronicles hit home, as did several campaigns employing the drawing talents of industry stars, such as the British Red Cross campaign I Have the Power and one particularly sexy example of many great colouring book projects, Out of Line.

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