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Pixel Art Echos in Web Design

Pixel art is a form of a digital art that is created is any visual editor, the principle is quite straightforward – the image is created pixel by pixel. The term pixel art emerged in 1982 by the Xerox Corporation by Adel Holbertom and Robert Flegal, while the graphics of this type have already been used for 10 years in the same Xerox Company.

To some extent we can consider embroidery a pixel art all those beautiful oriental Asian carpers and clothes with stitched pattern is also pixel art. Major amount of people for the first time saw the pixel graphics on the screens of their TVs while playing Super Mario, Tanks and other Nintendo and Sega's Mega Drive console games. At that time it was the only available method for displaying computer graphics.

While technologies became more advanced there appeared 256 color palettes which gradually displaced pixel graphics from video games and computer operating systems. Most designers of the first 256 color interfaces predicted the death of the 8-bit graphics, but everything turned out not that simple.

However, it took quite some time, began to appear all the more advanced graphics, and now designers deliberately started using pixel drawings as a special effect. Years have passed since that time and lots of designers started using pixel art as some special effects.

The target audience are those grown up boys and girls who grew up playing Super Mario Brothers – plumbers which saved the princess, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (inspired by American cartoons), Robocop, Contra, only these names will arise a storm of emotions in the hearts of people who spend hours every day trying to pass couple more levels.

pixel art web design

That is why, pixel art, for these people causes a wave of nostalgia, and if there is a demand, there will be a supply.

If you thinks that pixel is not that complicated, well you’re quite mistaken, even relatively simple drawings require hard work, because pixel art is drawn from start to finish using only manual editing. Each pixel is drawn manually using the pencil tool. Most ardent fans of pixel graphics insist that the pixel drawing should be portrayed not only without using anti-aliasing, but only with pencil, without using the fill tool.

While their opponents insist that using these features in no way affects the quality of images, but only accelerates this time-consuming process. Also, a good habit is to use 16 standard colors that are available on most video subsystems. Not surprisingly, that being so labor-intensive process, most of these drawings are quite small, but there can be found really huge illustrations that took almost a year to be drawn.

pixel art web design

Pixel art poster by Eboy

Nowadays pixel art is not used as a necessity (as it was before, when there was only a concept) but as a certain kind of a fashionable feature or a digital art trend. Thus, we can conclude that not a single technology can destroy pixel art - all those smartphones with excessive screen resolution will easily home pixel icons, pixel badges and any other design elements, they will remain as an art everyone likes so much, as some sort of stylish images for advertising and more - for a good image can always be adopted.

Even though pixel art is rearly used in web design there are some really nice and clean examples of website that use this digital art trend. Below you will find number of websites that implement pixel art. Go check them out.


A powerful sprite script created by Matías Martínez. FatPixels requires jQuery library to run properly.

pixel art web design

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Major Output

Major Output as a personal online studio for pixel artwork. You can register for a free account and start creating pixel art right away.

pixel art web design

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Pixel Art Tool

For an online tool, pixelArt is a very powerful example of a browser-based software. Some of the older archives are simply mind-blowing when you consider how these bits of artwork are created. If you have an interest in anything isometric then give this resource a few minutes of your time.

pixel art web design

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Pixeljam Games

Here you can find great amount of pixel games that are still popular among fans of retro stuff.

pixel art web design

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Eboy is a really talented digital artist, this is hs store where you can by his pixel posters in huge resolution.

pixel art web design

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Pixel Deviant

This is a personal webste of digital artist specializing in pixel art.

pixel art web design

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Effect Games

Another website with pixel games, actully this is a canvas animation created with pixel graphics, check out the demo and listen to the waterfall.

pixel art web design

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The Spriters Resource

This is a website where you can search through all the various gaming systems for sprite sheets. These can include maps, buildings, menu screens, character sprites, icons, and pretty much anything!

pixel art web design

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Army of Trolls

Army of trolls is the portfolio of London born, videogame obsessed artist Gary J Lucken.

pixel art web design

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The Sand Box

Create your world in pixel blocks with The Sandbox. Build or Destroy, Create pixel art, play with laws of physics, make electricity or chiptune music!

pixel art web design

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But was always some sort of a charm and style in pixel art, and I believe that pixel will remain as a certain kind of a conceptual art in graphic design.

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Alex Bulat

Writing a blog post or building a micro niche WordPress website is something Alex can do bare-handed. You're welcome to contact him via Telegram, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

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3 responses to “Pixel Art Echos in Web Design”

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