2023: a year in art on The Verge

As 2023 comes to a close, the art team at The Verge has looked back on the past year to highlight some of our most memorable and favorite art. Throughout the year, we created a diverse array of original art including a tweet archive, an interactive comic, art for special series, striking images for our reviews, and more.

Design by Elana Schlenker, with illustrations by James Kerr, Erik Carter, Charles Desmarais, and Rui Pu

For The Verge’s end-of-year package about Twitter’s downfall, we turned to designer Elana Schlenker to create a world as deranged and unruly as the year was for the social platform, complete with a toggle button that lets readers select their quotient of chaos.

Comic by Gina Wynbrandt

Gina Wynbrandt’s interactive comic parodies the nauseatingly familiar experience of late-night scrolling, offering minigames and activities as readers move through the narrative. In eerie candy pastels, the comic confronts the addictive banality of online content: airplane Karens, the lives of former classmates, and a quest for sleep that involves more app upgrades than actual rest.

A worker at home in Kharkiv, Ukraine, in December 2022.

A worker at home in Kharkiv, Ukraine, in December 2022.

Photos by Stella Kalinina

Before the Russian invasion, Ukraine was home to nearly 300,000 tech workers. Photographer Stella Kalinina shines a light on a few of these workers, including some images that had to be captured virtually over Zoom when an in-person photoshoot was impossible.

Art by Sean Dong

For this wild story about a self-made tech millionaire who got bamboozled by a Tinder date, we turned to Sean Dong to complement the can’t-believe-this-really-happened qualities of the narrative with a series of animations that place the entrepreneur’s experiences within spooky classic arcade games.

Art by Jason Allen Lee

For this look inside the messy early days of Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover, Jason Allen Lee’s 3D renderings of the chaotic offices are as funny as they are quietly terrifying. 

Illustrations by Samar Haddad

The iMac became ubiquitous with cool physical design the moment its iconic colored shell desktops were released 25 years ago. Samar Haddad perfectly speaks to this history with precise yet lively illustrations.

Art by Cath Virginia

Senior designer Cath Virginia’s first feature design for The Verge was about expressing the quiet terror of online threats in as subtle a way as possible.

Photos by Amelia Holowaty Krales

Senior photographer Amelia Holowaty Krales played with light, mirrors, and reflection for self-proclaimed skeptic Victoria Song’s review of Ray-Ban’s Meta smart glasses.

Illustrations by Nico H. Brausch

For The Verge’s 2023 package on the topic of sustainability, senior designer Cath Virginia turned to illustrator Nico H. Brausch, who perfectly synthesized the retrofuturistic contrast of optimism and dystopia of the changing planet.

Illustration by Sarah Oh

Sarah Oh’s illustration is equal parts cute and creepy — just like the app it represents, which listens to you sleep. 

Photo illustration of a condemned birdhouse, covered in graffiti and caution tape.

Photo illustration of a condemned birdhouse, covered in graffiti and caution tape.

Art by Cath Virginia

Twitter, one year after Musk: a condemned birdhouse, with no birds in sight. Senior designer Cath Virginia worked with deputy editor Jake Kastrenakes and news editor Jay Peters to cram as many gags into this one as possible. 

Stop motion by Amelia Holowaty Krales

Senior reporter Victoria Song spent the afternoon double-tapping in front of senior photographer Amelia Holowaty Krales’ lens for these vibey black-and-white animations.

Illustrations by Mengxin Li

For a special series exploring how small design decisions have an outsize impact on our lives, The Verge turned to illustrator Mengxin Li, whose bold shapework creates a cheeky entry point into the opaque world of UI / UX.

Art by Kristen Radtke

We went full ’80s Trapper Keeper on this design for Adi Robertson’s story about the Apple Lisa, a 1980s computer known as a “glorious failure.”

Illustration of a shiny gold TV remote, crusted in diamonds, with a big Netflix button.

Illustration of a shiny gold TV remote, crusted in diamonds, with a big Netflix button.

Illustration by Cath Virginia

Senior designer Cath Virginia visualized the painfully frequent price hikes of streaming services with a hilarious, schmaltzy golden remote. Creative director Kristen Radtke claims she would 100 percent buy this remote if it were real.

The Zenith Space Command remote control against a construction paper background

The Zenith Space Command remote control against a construction paper background

Photos by Amelia Holowaty Krales

Senior audio producer Andrew Marino’s collection of vintage tech never fails to impress, and this gadget proves the point. We’re not sure if we’ve ever pushed a better button. The design of this thing is also a dream.

3D illustration of a sprawling scene of toy trucks, cars, electric chargers, tiny people, bikes, and satellites among a road playset that has yet to be put together properly.

3D illustration of a sprawling scene of toy trucks, cars, electric chargers, tiny people, bikes, and satellites among a road playset that has yet to be put together properly.

Art by Sisi Kim

Sisi Kim’s 3D-modeled miniatures express a child-like optimism for the future in combination with the messy reality of the infrastructure.

Photos by Amelia Holowaty Krales and Chris Welch

Verge reviewer and photographer Chris Welch captured the eerie scene of lower Manhattan’s skyline from across the East River in Brooklyn on a day in June when the wind carried smoke from the Canadian wildfires.

Photos by Amelia Holowaty Krales

This Brooklyn neighborhood built a disaster-proof mesh Wi-Fi network. It was a crucial lifeline after Hurricane Sandy hit New York City in 2012. Senior photographer Amelia Holowaty Krales documents Red Hook Farms, a working farm that uses mesh Wi-Fi to monitor outdoor air quality and temperatures inside its greenhouses.

Illustrations by Hugo Herrera

Hugo Herrera’s charmingly cartoonish illustrations accompany this special issue from The Verge on the impact ethernet has had on our world over the past 50 years.

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