Nostalgic Charm of Y2K Drawings- Y2K Mania

y2k drawings

Back to Y2K

What is Y2K? What is the Y2K style like? Who are the representatives? Based on our previous articles, I believe everyone has their own understanding of this, so today, we will introduce our y2k drawings!

In case anyone doesn’t know, the word Y2K is the abbreviation of Year 2000. In fact, 23 years ago, Y2K did not represent a style, but a problem: Year 2000 Problem.

This problem refers to some problems in the computer design program, which may cause the computer to operate incorrectly when processing dates and times after January 1, 2000, which may cause problems in some sensitive industrial sectors (such as electricity, energy), banks, government and other departments stopped working at midnight on January 1, 2000, and even had catastrophic results.

As countries paid attention to the “Y2K problem”, this technological crisis did not trigger a large-scale computer crash at the turn of the millennium. Even so, people in the online world still portray the imaginary millennium as a utopian world full of futurism and highly developed information technology.

So——“Y2K style” sprouted at the peak of the Internet bubble and the turn of the old and new centuries. This series of social backgrounds also made Y2K full of surrealism and futuristic sense from the beginning, while optimism and technological utopianism is its core idea.

Cyber vibe Y2K


Y2K drawings in Year 2000

Y2K drawings are closely related to three-dimensional technology, bright colors and futuristic designs. At that time, Nokia and Motorola both adopted Y2K aesthetics in mobile phone design, and early Apple products also had similar designs.

Including the vapor wave trend that exploded a few years ago, it is also a branch of Y2K culture. In the fashion industry, Y2K style is presented with shiny PVC materials, metallic shiny fabrics, data cable luminous accessories and deformed three-dimensional shapes.

Nokia Ad in 2000 - Y2K style
Nokia Ad in 2000 – Y2K style


Visual Characteristics of Y2K Drawings

Based on a simple historical review, we all have a certain understanding of the Y2K style and its history. Now that we know the inseparability of this style and hi-tech vibe, I will try to summarize some of the visual styles of y2k paintings based on my own experience and the knowledge I have discovered.


Metallic Feel

The metallic texture had a fascination for people at that time. It was the main expression of the sense of science and technology, representing people’s expectations for the future and a depiction of the future state of science and technology. Whether it is the original PS layer style or C4D rendering, the same result can be created. Although the fineness is different, the feeling is still in place.

Metallic Feel of y2k style


Curve Shape

Influenced by industrial streamlined shapes, in visual expression, the forms of y2k drawings tend to be constructed with irregular curves, giving people an undetermined and elusive feeling.


Transparent Texture

We can see a lot of PVC materials in y2k shoe accessories, and transparent materials are also used in the Nokia Ad mentioned above. To express transparency in vision, generally flat surfaces use halo and other methods to create style.

Nowadays, with the development of technology and technology, rendering technology has been able to realistically portray the future world. This translucent and reflective texture can also bring a strong Y2K feeling.

Transparent Texture of y2k drawings


Gradient Color Form

Don’t forget that the main theme of y2k style is a beautiful fantasy about the future. So many hues and highly saturated colors have become the unique hallmark of y2k drawings.

The gradient processing method is like a flowing waterfall, with a strong sense of rhythm and direction. People’s thoughts seem to be affected by the picture and enter a different-dimensional space state.

Gradient Color Form of y2k drawings


Detailed Highlights

Due to the limited technical conditions of Y2K drawings at that time, computers and software were just enough for designers to create various effects for the first time. Therefore, the metallic highlights were rendered poorly. It was this rough highlight method that allowed the visual expression to be achieved. The finishing touch. Later, highlights evolved into flat symbols and were used in many visual charts.

Detailed Highlights of y2k paintings


Continuous Surround

Surrounding the main body of the picture, the meaning of the text in this state shifts from interpretation to decoration, forming a unique layout style. This is a commonly used design technique in y2k style, which can be used in combination with the previous highlights and curves~

Continuous Surround of y2k paintings



Fonts or graphics are arranged closely from top to bottom and from left to right. The repeated appearance of fonts deepens the user’s impression of the content. In fact, its decorative significance is greater for recognition. This method is not only a major feature of y2k drawings, but also a major skill in current poster design! A lot of repetition, when used properly, can create great results!

Waterfall of y2k design



In addition to equidistant lists, there are also decreasing and increasing processing methods, and even adding a floating feeling can be the icing on the cake, creating a strong visual experience that is transmitted like sound waves. This technique is very similar to the previous one and can be used in combination!


Y2K wallpaper



The development of Y2K drawing is inseparable from the updates and iterations of the Internet. Many people also add y2k filters or stickers when posting photos on social media like Instagram.

You can also try to create some y2k drawing works by yourself based on the suggestions we have summarized above. Y2K painting does not require the painter to have superb skills (of course it is also good!), you only need to combine the elements you like, just paired together in random order, you will get a gorgeous y2k poster! Come and try it!


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