(for 1 month access)


Any Level


Linda Eliasen

Skills you will learn

Adobe Illustrator, Composition, Illustration, Sketch, Typography

About this course

The mid-20th century was an amazing time for design and illustration in America. Space was on the horizon but technology was still a little behind, so hopeful illustrators used the tools that they had to mimic a new way of thinking through simplification, bold colors, and abstract shapes to welcome the future.


This class is for intermediate illustrators and designers who know their way around Adobe Illustrator and are up for the challenge of illustrating tomorrow's yesterday. Students will create a postcard of a city of their choosing. The postcard will be a greeting from the future to the past (today). The style of the postcard will be "vintage", but the city itself will be the way you think it will be in the future. (So it's like if Doctor Who went to New York City in 3013 and sent you a postcard of NYC illustrated in a 1950s style.)

This class will be broken down in a few phases.

  • First, we'll look at old illustrations to take cues from the old masters. We will spend a little bit of time making shapes and playing with opacity layers.
  • Second, you will choose a city. You'll collect images that you feel really represent the city well.
  • Third, you will sketch a composition of your city and get creative by implementing some futuristic components. You should keep typography in mind during this process and start to think about a color palette.

Finally, you'll bring it all together in Adobe Illustrator (30-day free trial available at This includes finding templates from the US Post Office or, setting up files, picking colors and brush strokes, etc.

We have a lot to learn from the illustrators of the midcentury. They were masters of simplification and spunk. They had a knack for making something look simultaneously sophisticated and fun. Today's visual world is getting more simplified and full of color, so this class is a deep dive into the world that inspired ours. 

Looking forward to seeing what you come up with!


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