Anytime you scroll through graphic design websites searching for inspiration, chances are high that you will bump into some space illustration coming in various styles, shapes, and colors. Animated rockets, astronauts, planet animations and many other outer space illustrations are popping up across websites, applications, and social media. The trend is not restricted to web design only; its influence can also be seen in fields like interior design or fashion.

You must be wondering, why all this hype around these space illustrations in the graphic design industry? Because our design team is truly amazed and constantly inspired by space animations, we created this blog post in order to present the trend’s short history and socio-cultural context. Read on to find out how and why this trend became popular and get inspired by the lovely space animations created by our designers.

NASA marketing its missions with artistic space illustrations

NASA is known mainly for its space missions, aeronautics, and space research. Surprisingly, its influence on contemporary art and graphic design is also significant, proving that art and science are not like oil and water. The agency has contributed a lot to this outer space illustration hype since the 60s, by commissioning artists like Norman Rockwell and Andy Warhol to create space-related artwork in order to educate people about the agency's mission and show the magic of space explorations in a more appealing way than photographs could do in that era. The spectacular paintings and drawings were used to illustrate and demonstrate the importance of space missions in order to get wider public acceptance, as many people weren’t convinced that these explorations were worth the effort and money.

outer space illustration 1950
This promotional illustration was one of many presented in the 1950s by corporations keen to play a role in space exploration (The Boeing Company)

Hundreds of artists were working on the NASA art project, witnessing and documenting the most important space adventures in American history. The artworks were first exhibited in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and nowadays NASA has its own Space Museum with various space-themed exhibitions.

The amazing visual representations of exploring new lands had a long-term impact on pop culture and graphic design, returning in waves throughout the last decades. In 2016 there was a new spike in interest due to SpaceX missions, subsurface oceans discovered by NASA, and all those new breathtaking pictures of orbs and planets. 2019 was the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission that first landed men on the moon, and the agency created a new logo for this special occasion:

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Ever since the first giant leap, NASA has continued to be a trendsetter and inspirational source for designers from all over the world, commemorating both past and future events. Many of their posters are available for free, like the ones in the Visions of the Future collection.

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This was the future

Besides NASA’s amazing missions, constant technological advancements made people envision a brighter future with flying cars, robot workers, and ray guns. These sci-fi dreams of a spectacular brave new world are part of a bygone era, but they are still lingering around in the form of retrofuturism, a trend that is inspired by depictions of the future from earlier decades.

These surprisingly optimistic visuals are inspired by Steampunk elements and present human progress through colorful machinery, incredible vehicles, robots, and computer-inspired typography. These concepts of the future were expressed in different forms of art, including movies, cartoons, designs, and comics. Retrofuturism takes us back to the good old days when technology hadn't shown its real face yet.

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Space animations created in SVGator

Now that you have read about the origins of these influential artworks, take a look at our own space animations that you can see on our website and social media platforms. Each member of our design team has their own style, so below you will find a variety of designs and animations - all made with love in SVGator. We hope that these space illustrations will inspire you to create your own design.

Animated rocket

This is probably one of the most popular elements among space animations, coming in many shapes and colors. Of course, we couldn’t miss the chance to create some animated rockets for social media and for our landing pages. After the simple flat icon and the colorful cartoonish version, we tried to push SVGator to its limits with a fake 3D animation, which was a huge success in our community. In this case, we played with clipping path and mask to create the overlap effect.

By SVGator

The animated astronaut

The first thing you see on our homepage is this animated astronaut floating in space. Before that, we used to have a video that presented SVGator’s main features in action. However, as videos are quite heavy to be used in this hero section, we decided to create an SVG animation that is not only fun and inspiring, but that also represents our key values and mission. Furthermore, it can be easily created in our tool!

The space illustration features an animated astronaut because characters are a nightmare to animate with code only. SVGator offers a revolutionary new way to do this, so designers can now gain a foothold on a whole new planet of creative freedom.

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Another popular variation on the animated astronaut theme is a cute animal dressed up like a spaceman. As our team is made of proud cat parents and pet lovers, it is always a joy to draw our furry friends. So, we couldn’t miss the chance to create a lovely cat animation with a fishbowl helmet, floating in space. Pawfect, isn't it?

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Planet animation in a cup

As the cold season is approaching, our kitchenette is filling up with different teas. Some enjoy the old classics like Earl Grey or herbal tea, while others bring spicy new flavors to the table. On a rainy afternoon came the idea to create a tea animation, but a special one, that illustrates the magic hiding in a hot cup of tea.

You could find many similar galaxy tea vectors on the digital social networking platforms, but we managed to bring this trend to the next level with clipping masks and planet animations. Have you noticed the tiny anchor point on the teabag’s label? That’s the icon of the mirrored node from SVGator. 😁

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Another take on planet animations is this simple loader that can make waiting times less frustrating. Thanks to its small file size, you don’t have to worry about load times. If you haven’t tried to create a loader yet, check out this article to see why it’s worth spending the time to create and animate it.

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Solar system animation

Dark background, neon colors, a few lines and dashes - this is all you need to create a cool path animation. The self-drawing effects combined with the marching ants make a simple yet clever solar system animation that you can create in a few easy steps. If you’ve just started to get acquainted with SVGator, this easy space animation is perfect to start with.

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No future without robots

Along with the animated astronaut, robot creatures are also incredibly popular due to the countless opportunities they offer in terms of design concept. As we’re increasingly merging with technology, artificial intelligence will play an important role in our future lives. So, it’s never too late to design your own unique robot character and bring it to life with SVGator’s animation toolset.

By SVGator

Astronomy animations make a stellar design

Mystical night sky and constellations offer endless inspiration to visual artists. The group of stars making up a certain character was perfect to demonstrate the morphing effect: you can create any shape you want, but it’s essential to keep the same number of points on a path.

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The other astronomy animation showcases another way to achieve a fake 3D effect, and it maintains the same color palette we love the most. Dark mode is definitely our favorite style!

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Animated space background

SVG animations are ideal to use as background because they are fully scalable and lightweight. If you want to give your website a cosmic vibe, you can create a similar animated space background. This particle effect was created with only four paths and it’s only 5 kb!

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Which one do you think is the best space animation? We love them all, and we would like to see your concept of the future, so feel free to send us your work at contact@svgator.com, and we might share it on social media!