15 cynical minimalistic illustrations that reflect our times

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Eduardo Salles is a brilliant designer born in Mexico City in 1987. He is also an advertiser, designer, illustrator, writer and professor at the Miami Ad School. As advertiser he won numerous awards, including the prestigious Cannes Lion. He runs a website called Cinismo Ilustrado, where he regularly publish clever and hilarious illustrations garnished with a tip of cynicism.
Not only these pieces are utterly brilliant, they are also wonderfully designed with a nice minimalistic style.
The illustrations featured in this post are the ones that caught our attention the most, as they are related to the times in which we live. We bet you’ll recognize yourself in more than one of them.

Make sure to take a look at Eduardo’s website if you’d like to see more of his clever artworks.

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Life today


Modern love


2000’s cinderella


Like me


Inner child


Freedom of speech


Phone pride


Icons that screw up our day




Life biggest disappointments








Credit card


What music does to your brain



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  1. I agree to what Monica said. Hauntingly true. Shakes you up. Makes one feel sorry for the self and the others. Today’s kids prefer playing on the X-Box more than playing outside. Girls want guys with money and then cryn run to the nice guy because the rich guy was a jerk, and then once the nice guy makes her feel better again she runs back to another jerk and the cycle continues. Guys too look for superficial beauty first. Going to school today has become more of an ordeal than fun because the end goals are a fat paying job, this has led to schools being the source of pressure than a source of learning. It matters to have the swankiest phone rather than a phone that help stay connected. Great art work. Again as Ms. Bansal said, wish there were more.

    • The double check stand for “sent” and “read” message, just like they appear on What’s App Messenger and similar apps

    • Dont have a modern phone either. though i though the icon ment how modern day love is founded on ticking the right check boxes.
      yeah thanks for the proper meaning…

    • Actually, it’s from Whatsapp and it doesn’t mean “Sent” and “Read” messages.
      It means “Sent” and “Received” messages.

      Just because it has two checkmarks doesn’t mean it’s read. It just means the other party received the message.

  2. Am I the only one who finds most of these rather clichéd and unimaginative, and the poorly-written text that accompanies them distracting? Cynicism is a high-stakes game these days. These strike me as . . . well, as the work of someone in his 20s who thinks he’s in his 60s.

    • I agree with you, Anna.
      Moreover, I’m sick of all of the doom and gloom. My thought while reading these: if the artist thinks this is how most people live their lives, I feel sorry for him. Cynicism is a choice. Choose optimism – even on days when that is a hard choice – that is the path to happiness.

    • I agree, they are nicely executed but hardly brilliant. The author totally overpraised it. These are “cynical”messages in a very simple way as they are judgemental based on modern day observations (although I dont see all of these true). Cynicism would include more intellect or twist or something in order to make it witty, I guess.( Im a very cynical person myself, so in generally I like this attitude (unlike commenter Danielle).)
      The graphic design is professional and trendy.

    • Maybe you should learn Spanish and read them in their original language if you find the text distracting. Instead of cynicism you just do criticism, which is hardly an improvement.

      • Doesn’t change the fact that she’s correct. 😛

        To be fair, the only one I take real issue with is the ‘what music does to your brain’, for a few reasons:

        -those genres are incredibly general, and there is amazing music to be found in all genres
        -the genres listed are RELATIVELY ‘new’ ones, suggesting that all new music is terrible, which is….slightly humorous, I suppose
        -I’d love to know what that artist’s favorite genre is, I’m sure I could draw up a decent ‘genre head’ for them…

        Oh, and the Moon one is just stupid. I dunno about you, but I wanted…STILL want, to be a Ghostbuster, forget the Moon.

  3. I’m sorry, I don’t think these “reflect our times” at all. Unless “our times” are about not actually getting cynicism or sarcasm in general, or are in particular about things that are only relevant to very unsocial people. I would agree with Ms. Anna on this one…20s and 60s do not mix 🙂

  4. Being an award-winning designer, I would expect more accuracy, not just an idea.
    For example the credit card is not being drawn upside down – this way the magnet does not touch the reader 🙂

  5. This might be true for many people nowadays and I am a huge lover of reflective design. However, you don’t need to apologize for seeing this might be true for yourself.

    I believe the intention of this designer is to make you aware of these situations and make you aware that you can change this! It is possible to decide how you think and where the value of your reality lies!

    Don’t apologize for yourself nor for modern society. Search for your own reality and change what you don’t like.

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