Need Crit on This Illustration

Hello. I am in need of some serious help. Please provide me with any critique you have, I just ask that you please be polite about it.

I need a way to jazz this illustration up but I don’t know how. Something to make it more eye-popping and “Wow!”. Does anyone have any advice? I also don’t want it to be garish.

Without knowing what it’s for, eh, it’s just art.
If you want to make it “pop”? Maybe some brighter highlights and heavier shadows?
And a different, perhaps contrasting background color?
All questions cuz it’s pretty generic and who knows if those suggestions will do anything for it.

The farthest left and the top right star look detached. See what it looks lie without those.

Consider adding some specular highlights.

The lighting is off. For example, the face of the C, U, T, and E all have the same gradient. In reality, the light would gradate from the left side of the C all the way to the right side of the E.

The color palette doesn’t really project “cute.” I think this is the biggest problem. Do an image search for “cute color palette.” I don’t think you’ll see dark green and khaki. And, yes, I get the dark green is in shadow, but I still don’t feel like the color palette matches the word. That said, maybe there is a strategic reason you chose this palette. As @PrintDriver pointed out, we don’t know what this is for.

Having the letters stair stepped bothers me. I’d see how it looks with them all on the same baseline.

Looks like there is gonna be a spate of ‘help me make this look better’ posts.
Finals time for a graphic design 101 class perhaps? :upside_down_face:


Thank you so much!

The color does not communicate “CUTE” Most people would consider anything but green, and change the color to one (or any combination of) pastels in magenta, red/pink, blue/turquoise, yellow/gold, orange, or light purple.

@PopsD makes a good point. The shade of green you used with the yellow highlights doesn’t communicate “cute” as much as it does gardening or vegetables. Lavender or pink or baby blue might be better.


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As does @Steve_O, whose brilliance is often underappreciated by those unable to see through the haze to the dizzying heights of his genius. He’s always several steps ahead of those, such as myself, who follow and who learn, way too late, that he solved the problem and provided the answer long before the rest of us knew the problem existed.


Yes. Warmer white balance and higher color saturation. You also could get inspired by this :wink:

When I think of cute, I think of pastels and edges that have some bevel and are softer. Definitely not sleek and shimmering.

I don’t know if your trying out Illustrators new 3D tool with raytracing, but they do have an inflate option.

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Thank you everyone for the feedback. I’ve kind of ripped it apart so I can start from the ground up since major surgery was needed. I’m changing up the colors and I’m going get specular lights going further down the road with this illustration.

As for context, there isn’t much with this one. This was a hobby project, not a project for one of my freelance clients or company. Sorry for being vague on this one. I know all pieces should have a direct purpose but this really is just a hobby project. I like “cute” things and utilize that in my designs a lot.

I’m working with it now (this is not a final product):

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