Sam Peet’s illustrations are seemingly simple. Based on vector shapes and lines, and relying most often than not on a restricted color palette, his work is minimal but dense, with his pieces overflowing with characters.
Since graduating with a BA in illustration from Cambridge School of Art in 2008, Peet’s style has gradually evolved, starting out very layered and handmade, and ending up with a more “clean” and polished look.
“I like to think, even though my work is vector illustration, that the way I work is pretty organic,” he explained in an interview with New Now. “I plan out pieces by doing roughs, then working directly into Illustrator I recreate my sketches. I always end up refining a piece for a while, moving things about until I’m happy with a composition.”
With commissioned work, on the other hand, Peet’s creative process is naturally more structured. “I usually produce more consolidated roughs, sometimes with colour, and supply a few options or creative routes for the client,” he says. “If the theme is complex, I start off with finding a visual cliché.”
According to Peet, his goal is for his characters to tell a story, adding extra expressions and mannerisms that add a bit more dialogue. “I’m really bad at leaving a piece alone,” he admits, “so I do find myself adding in lots of extra elements to reinforce the message it’s trying to portray.”
But with clients that include giants like Apple, Twitter, FC Barcelona, and GQ Magazine, his hard work clearly pays off.