Category The Desktop Wallpaper Project

The Desktop Wallpaper Project featuring Nancy McCabe

The Desktop Wallpaper Project featuring Nancy McCabe

1280×800 • 1440×900 • 1680×1050 • 1920×12002560×14403840×2400iPhone 5iPhone 6iPhone 6+ • iPad

When I come across a well-designed pattern I tend to marvel at the time and effort that must have taken place to achieve such perfection. In my mind I see it as an artist creating a jigsaw puzzle in their head without the photo on the box to guide them. One such master is Nancy McCabe, a surface designer from Chicago who runs No Ocean, a design studio that specializes in surface designs and prints. She sells her patterns for commercial uses such as fashion, home/interior, print and web design, as well as a beautiful series of graphic scarves.

For Nancy’s wallpaper we decided to go with her Ink Dots pattern. I love the texture and complexity, I love that it’s graphic and bold. I’ve had this on the background of my iPad for a week now and have received several positive comments, to which I responded, “It’ll be on the site soon.”

The Desktop Wallpaper Project featuring Andy J. Miller

The Desktop Wallpaper Project featuring Andy J. Miller

1280×8001440×9001680×10501920×12002560×1440 • 3840×2400iPhone 5 • iPhone 6iPhone 6+ • iPad

It’s always fun visiting with old friends. That’s today’s vibe as we feature a new wallpaper from Andy J. Miller, who back in 2008 was one of our very first wallpaper contributors. He’s a beast of illustration and design, combining a charming, folksy aesthetic with crazy shapes and great hand-done type.

This wallpaper is titled I Hate Parties, which is about “that dreadful feeling when for one reason or another, you clam up at a social gathering of some sort, and just sit back and detach yourself from the situation and those around you.” I think we’ve all been that person at a party before so it’s easy to relate to this. Plus this is just a downright beautiful piece of art, I mean, look at all those great characters. Thanks again Andy, glad to have you back on the site.

The Desktop Wallpaper Project featuring Emory Allen

The Desktop Wallpaper Project featuring Emory Allen

1280×800 • 1440×900 • 1680×1050 • 1920×12002560×1440 • 3840×2400iPhone 5 • iPhone 6 • iPhone 6+ • iPad

We’re big fans of Minneapolis based illustrator Emory Allen and his seemingly endless amount of creativity. You may remember his Exquisite Beast project where he chained together a new drawing every day for an entire year, a huge feat for anyone. I’m a fan of Emory’s work because of his ability to create such a diverse creatures and worlds with such a beautiful color palette.

The wallpaper he’s created today is a self-portrait of sorts, portraying a feeling that most creatives encounter.

I revisit this theme in my work from time to time because I always feel like I’m always fighting to keep things organized and keep myself pulled together. Just when I feel caught up, there’s always something trying to stress me out again.

I feel you Emory. I also want to note that this week’s wallpaper is the debut of several new sizes. I’ve added an iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+ size, as well as a 3840×2400 size for anyone with giant sized or retina caliber monitors. In theory this should now cover every possible screen size on earth.

The Desktop Wallpaper Project featuring Adrián Zorzano

The Desktop Wallpaper Project featuring Adrián Zorzano

1280×8001440×900 • 1680×10501920×12002560×1440 • iPhoneiPhone 5iPad

A few months back I came across Adrián Zorzano and his work and was immediately impressed. An indomitable designer, the range of work he creates spans from print design to posters to digital and photography. His eye for offbeat layouts and compositions is stunning which leads to a quirkiness overall. Looking at his portfolio you get a sense that he might get bored fairly often.

This week he’s created a neo-Memphis looking wallpaper that has a dreamy, avant-garde feeling to it. I love the colors, the detail in the marbling, and the overall composition is quite striking. Adrián describes his wallpaper as an interplay between physical and digital.

The main idea of the project is the combination of something that it´s not a photography by itself, its more the result of a process made by hand and then captured. This is also combined with random and colourful digital forms trying to figure out the relationship between something that it´s been made digitally with something real, and then seeing how do they coexist together.

The Desktop Wallpaper Project featuring Eric Hurtgen

The Desktop Wallpaper Project featuring Eric Hurtgen

1280×8001440×9001680×1050 • 1920×1200 • 2560×1440 • iPhone • iPhone 5 • iPad

Charlotte based artist and designer Eric Hurtgen creates work that utilizes detail and nuance at it’s core. Abstract imagery is distorted and manipulated to create fascinating pieces which require time to truly appreciate. This week he’s shared a wallpaper with us that bends my mind.

This piece is part of a bigger series I’ve been working on that blurs the line between photography, sculpture and digital art. I’m drawn to the effects of light on surfaces and playing with the perception of those surfaces as I layer images and reflections of images on top of each other. I have quite a few influences from a variety of artists and photographers and designers, but when I think about the main ones I’d say photographers Robert Adams and Henriette Grindat; the artist Gabriel Orozco and the designers Barbara Worjisch and Vaughn Oliver.

The Desktop Wallpaper Project featuring Spencer Harrison

The Desktop Wallpaper Project featuring Spencer Harrison

1280×8001440×900 • 1680×10501920×1200 • 2560×1440 • iPhone • iPhone 5 • iPad

When I started The Desktop Wallpaper Project back in 2008 my goal was to elevate this sort of mundane yet essential space that we stare at day after day. The most iconic example of the desktop wallpaper is obviously is Bliss (it has it’s own Wikipedia page), an image that was shot by Charles O’Rear and was included with every copy of Windows XP.

I decided to ask the artists, designers, and creators that I respected to create works that would bring style and life to the desktop, and eventually devices like iPhones and iPads. Now I see numerous blogs, record labels, and even major brands doing the same, which I think I can take a little credit for.

Continuing this ideal we have a wallpaper by Melbourne designer and illustrator Spencer Harrison. His series of patterns, all featuring vivid colors and playful shapes, was something that really worked for the feeling I’ve been trying to achieve lately with the site. The repeating pattern is a series of leaves in a subdued color palette of rust, a cornflower blue, and a pleasant warm grey. Having this pattern on my Macbook and iPhone is great, but I’d love to have this lining the walls of my apartment.

The Desktop Wallpaper Project featuring Molly Walsh

The Desktop Wallpaper featuring Molly Walsh

1280×800 • 1440×900 • 1680×1050 • 1920×12002560×1440iPhoneiPhone 5 • iPad

Designer by day and a freelance illustrator by night, Molly Walsh and her lovely work caught my eye because of it’s playfulness and charming character. A recent graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, she’s highly influenced by personal stories, feminism, and the great outdoors, which shape the things she chooses to draw.

Molly and I worked together to find a subject that worked well with her style and reflected the feeling of the site. What she created was a pattern based on her idea of a perfect summer day, which involves eating, sleeping, and general outdoor laziness, conveyed through characters and colors. Her vision of summer totally aligns with mine. All I want is to eat, drink, and hang out with dogs.

The Desktop Wallpaper Project featuring Michael Olivo

The Desktop Wallpaper Project featuring Michael Olivio

1280×800 • 1440×900 • 1680×1050 • 1920×1200 • 2560×1440iPhone • iPhone 5 • iPad

Slowly but surely I’ve been trying to change the voice and vision of The Fox Is Black. For the past year it hasn’t quite felt like me “now”, it’s felt like the me of 3 or 4 years ago. I’ve changed, as has my taste. As a part of this endeavor I knew that the Desktop Wallpaper Project also needed to change so I’ve been working with some artists on creating a revised vision.

The first person I collaborated with is artist Michael Olivo. He’s based in Oakland and works in a number of mediums such as animation, mural painting, print-making, graphic design, and video art. Visually, his forms flow amidst built structures to organic figures to ephemeral wisps of movement, often rendered in either stark black and white or highly saturated colors. Here’s what he had to say about his wallpaper:

This piece was inspired by some notes my brother gave me on a concept album he’s working on in the sci-fi vein. One chapter involved a large giant being destroyed and his bones becoming satellite planets over a long period of time. So this image is basically the transition period where the fragmented skeleton is floating in space, and that strange skull face is a ghostly afterimage or an essence of some sort.

I love the energy of this piece and the color palette is striking. I’ve had this piece as my wallpaper for the past week or so and I was surprised at how well it works as a background. I see this as a piece of fine art that greets you every time you open your computer. A big thanks to Michael for such great work.

The Desktop Wallpaper Project featuring Dan Lehman

The Desktop Wallpaper Project featuring Dan Lehman

1280×800 • 1440×9001680×10501920×12002560×1440iPhoneiPhone 5iPad

Boulder based designer and illustrator Dan Lehman has created a brilliant homage to Wes Andersen’s The Grand Budapest Hotel. He’s collected together the miscellaneous detritus that usually fills an Andersen film, objects like wine, bread, a dead cat, and of course, the throat slitter. Dan’s even cleared some space on the desktop versions of the wallpaper so you’ve got plenty of room for your icons (sorry Windows users).

The Desktop Wallpaper Project featuring Jesse Ledoux


1280×8001440×9001680×10501920×12002560×1440iPhoneiPhone 5 • iPad

It’s easy to enjoy Jesse LeDoux’s work. He has this colorful, fun sensibility that he often applies to friendly looking monsters and musical illustrations. He can get a bit experimental and isn’t confined by one medium: he’s a dude always shifting up how he works and what he is working on. (And recently when I think of his name I think of a certain True Detective character.)

That’s why it’s exciting to feature LeDoux in The Desktop Wallpaper Project because it’s not something that you would expect from him. It’s very much his style and features friendly monsters but he went in another direction, crumpling up the image he made to be the image. It’s a wordless “Keep at it, people.” motivational statement and it suggest the beauties and successes of things that don’t quite work out as planned. If you need a little pep in how you are working, this is a wallpaper for you.