Jacky Gilbertson Back to Portfolio

When Kyle Peatt asked me to create illustrations to accompany his article about off-canvas design patterns for Smashing Magazine, I was excited and happy to help! Few online publications are as influential and widely-read in the web industry as Smashing Magazine.

After reading the article and pulling out and playing with concepts, the concept I landed on was exploration. While navigation in an off-canvas drawer isn’t exactly new, there are new uses for the pattern that are new territory.

Here be dragons...

Beyond the Edge

One of the article’s heading (“Here Be Dragons”) reminded me of old maps where serpentine monsters played in unexplored seas. It also reminded me of the ancient belief that the world was flat, and what lay beyond the edge was unknown.

When combining those ideas with the concept that off-canvas is literally what lies beyond the edge of the screen, I ended up with an illustration where a sea serpent is peeking out from beyond that edge.

The final frontier.

Final Frontier

While my previous concept dealt with the past—playing into the unknown—I wanted to end with something more fantastic and future facing. The newest frontier for us is space, and I thought of the open panel as a portal through which to be transported.

What lies beyond on this new unknown plane? That’s up to your imagination.

This Project is Live!

If you want to see
the article for yourself, check it out on Smashing Magazine.


Have a project I might find interesting? Want me to draw you something rad?
Or do you just have to share all your best cat gifs?

Send it all to