Graphic designFeature

15 awe-inspiring skateboard designs

Who wouldn't want to be seen on these beautifully designed decks? We gather together 15 incredible skateboard graphics for your inspiration and delight.

Skateboard graphics provide a canvas for companies to produce artwork that connects with skateboarders the world over. Each design symbolises the company ethos and the personality of the artist, as well as reflecting the skateboarding world of that time. Choosing just 15 awesome examples from the thousands out there is going to be tough, so in no particular order...

01. DXTR x Dudes Factory

skateboard designs
A joyous and sunny skateboard design by DXTR and Dudes Factory

A collaboration between two amazing skate-centric designers Dudes Factory and DXTR, this skateboard design was part of a collection called 'One Wish'. It was laser etched and later screen printed. The typography and character design is instantly joyous - be sure to check out their other skate-related work!

02. Santa Cruz Star Wars collection

skateboard designs
Every Star Wars skater will rejoice at this vintage-inspired collection

Sta Wars skaters rejoice - there's now an entire skateboard design collection to cater to your every galactic need. Collaborating with Lucasfilm to present these limited edition character deck designs, the skateboards are presented in a vintage toy inspired blister pack and includes a laser etched deck, certificate of authenticity and poster.

03. AnyForty

skateboard designs
This skateboard deck accumilates the first 5 years of the AnyForty company

Made by independent streetwear company AnyForty, this deck is made up of some of their favourite designs from their first five years of business - the likes of J3concepts, Ilk & Gorey, Tom Mac, Deb, Dale Bigeni and many more all make an appearance in this incredibly sick and extremely limited edition release. There's four left on their site!

04. Milk Skateboards

skateboard designs
These skateboard designs are pretty purrfect

Established in 2012, British skate company Milk Skateboards have produced a wide range of illustrated decks and skate apparel. We love this cat series, which sees the felines interacting with the white stuff in one way or another. Check out their site for more information.

05. Blast Skates

skateboard designs
Decks and comics come together with these skateboard designs

Founded by Matt Bromley, new skate company Blast Skates decided to add a comic to their already impressive deck designs. The comic - created by illustrator Kyle Platts - is the first in an ongoing series, that will see decks and comics continuously coming together.

06. Extended Sun

 Extended Sun
Jim Phillips' comic book-esque style features vibrant colours and fine detail

It doesn't get more legit than this. Jim Phillips, creator of the iconic Screaming Hand, fashioned this image of the Sun God for Santa Cruz pro Jason Jessee around 1988. Phillips' comic book-esque style of vibrant colours and fine detail defined the company's style and influenced countless other companies and designers.

07. Monteverde

 Monteverde
The late Charley Harper's geometric illustrations adorn this board

Back in 2005 when the late wildlife illustrator Charley Harper was still with us, Habitat licensed some of his unique and beautiful geometric illustrations. This, the second series produced, features the artwork he created in Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve in Costa Rica. Many skateboard illustrators (including Don Pendleton, the man behind the next design on our list) cite his work as an influence.

08. Ivory series

Skateboard designs Ivory series
Don Pendleton's cubist style is instantly recognisable

Don Pendleton's heavy strokes and cubist style are instantly recognisable to most skateboarders. His work as art director of Alien Workshop (1998-2005) was so distinctive that some people found his switch to Element (2005-2010) confusing. You can view his whole body of work online here.

09. The Illuminati series

 Illuminati series
Richard 'French' Sayer' is inspired by heavy metal and medieval etchings

Richard 'French' Sayer's exceptional illustrations, inspired by heavy metal and medieval etchings, first appeared on the UK's Heroin skateboards, but can now be seen on boards from more than 10 different companies worldwide. His work also adorns clothing, cars, magazines, adverts and even radiators. These darkly beautiful designs are some of his most recent for Creature.  

10. Weed and Cobras

  Weed and Cobras
There's a fine tradition of self-parody in skateboard graphics

There is a fine tradition of self-depreciating humour in skateboarding. Here Roger Skateboards' boss and illustrator Michael Sieben pokes fun at the tradition of skateboard graphics to involve weed and cool looking animals. He's also currently being ripped off by someone.

11. Sun and Moon

 Sun and Moon
Mike O'Shea's typically cartoony board design for The Harmony

Mike O'Shea's characteristic humour and cartoon style is designed to give people "a little warm feeling in their bellies". This representation of some more celestial bodies is one of his older designs for British company The Harmony. Mike's work can also be seen in magazines, shop walls, T-shirts, and the iPad app Little Digits.

12. Life is too short

 Life is too short
We love both the sentiment and the typography of this Finnish board design

Sometimes all you need for an amazing board design is some good typography and a good slogan. Finnish company Perus' tag 'Life is too short for longboarding' echoes the sentiment of (probably) every skateboarder's attitude to their larger, ungainly cousin.

13. Exposure series

 Exposure series
Jon Bocksell combined double exposures of New York to create these rich board designs

Established by the legendary street king Ricky Oyola, Traffic Skateboards constantly produce great graphics. This series uses photographer and filmmaker Jon Bocksell's double exposures of New York City to create rich layered designs.

14. Angel series

 Angel series
These custom boards for Lynx were laser etched

Andrew Groves' art deco style normally uses block colours to illustrate the weird and wonderful on Foundation skateboards. Here's something a little different though: laser etched graphics specially created for deodorant brand Lynx.

15. Gonz

 Gonz
Who doesn't love a bit of '80s neon?

Another classic board for an eminent skateboarder. Andy Takakjian's '80s neon design for the original pro board for Mark Gonzales on Vision came out in 1985. It stayed in production till 1989 - a rarity for a pro board - and set the style for all of Vision's lurid output. Takakjian says the design came about because he was given no art direction and needed something that would fill the space between the text.

Have we missed your favourite skateboard graphic? Tell us about it in the comments below...

Words: George Rowe and Sammy Maine

George Rowe is a digital producer at Aardman. He also dabbles in web design, and writes and produces pantomimes. Follow him on Twitter.

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