Geometric Illustration by Justin Mezzell

Justin Mezzell’s geometric illustrations are fantastic. His pieces of work that include architecture, have that warm, muted color scheme reflective of a mid-century modern vibe. Also if you look closely in this image, you can see two Eames Lounge Chairs by the window.

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22 Comments Leave A Comment


Matthew Lyons says:

March 7, 2012 at 6:33 am

Tried to not comment, but I must say this guy doesn’t bring anything to the table and has taken it too far. Posting his work on here dilutes my own hard work into just a surface trend that’s acceptable to copy instead of being inspired by.

Went for a quick look around his sites and by going on his tumblr and scrolling down. You can see a copy of Jelle Martens, thoughtless copies of Mark Weaver’s work and I like movie posters but stuff as cold and robotically churned out as his needs to stop cluttering the internet. It’s great to copy from others to learn, but it should never be posted on the internet. Now he has chosen me and earned a commission from Fortune magazine to do most of the stuff above, they didn’t come to me :(


Jen says:

March 7, 2012 at 8:09 am

LOVELY lovely work.

I understand the similarities, but I truly believe that to say that this is a “blatant ripoff” of Lyons work is far too bold. I believe that this artwork expresses shapes in it’s own unique way and while comments surely can note similarity in style, saying that it is a cut and paste disrespects Justin’s work.


Jeremy says:

March 7, 2012 at 8:12 am

Yeah, I have to agree with the above comments. My first thought when looking at these was, “He totally ripped off Matthew Lyons’ style!”

Being inspired by an artist who is incredibly unique and talented is one thing; copying his style is another. And you could say it’s a form of flattery, but really, it’s not all that flattering when an impostor gets credit for something you’ve come up with. That’s what is wrong with art and music these days. An innovator comes along, a few notice the genius, and then a few copy his work and become more popular by making the innovator’s unique style a trend. This is plagiarism and thievery, and it mustn’t be encouraged.

Mr. Lyons, if you read this, we all know you are the far superior artist. Even this guys attempts to copy you don’t look as good. Look at the faces! Oh geez.


Tim says:

March 7, 2012 at 8:18 am

I think i will agree with Jen here, similarities don’t make someone who steals credit from everyone who achieved the same.

To Matthew: Fortunately, it’s not like one person (learner or not) can sit down in front of the screen and do what you do. If you were the first who discovered geometric arts, crafted in this particular way, then I bow to you, what I would do anyway. But with doing what you do, you created that trend, or stream, or specific art style, you want to defend. You can’t control that and what comes out of it. If it crosses the public, what your work clearly did, you probaly can’t be responsible for it anymore.

To Humanbuluk:
If a person says: Lets copy and paste others work, they actually copy and paste others work. In this case there is nothing copied and pasted. No triangle, no circle, no cube has the same shape of another artists work mentioned here, including the work by Matthew Lyons. By finding him guilty of copying and pasting, we practically name him a thief, who is stealing others artwork for their benefit. I can’t see this behaviour or any behaviour near it in Mezell’s Portfolio.

If he found these geometrics to be his display of thoughts and ideas, I can’t name him anything but someone who either didn’t found yet what he is designing for, or he knows that this is what he wants to do and how he wants to do it. If he would throw it in our faces, he would have posted a comment by now stating he was the first starting a trend and the only one who can do it.


Shelby White says:

March 7, 2012 at 8:48 am

@Matthew, I love your work, but which pieces are copies of Jelle Martens and which pieces of his work are Mark Weavers? I ask because I’m not seeing them…

Also, don’t be worried about what artists are doing, worry about what you’re doing. If you want Fortune Magazine, don’t worry that someone else got it and you haven’t, instead figure out how to get it because you are capable.

Tim in the below comment touches on a good point worth reading.


Michael says:

March 7, 2012 at 9:09 am

This doesn’t even look like it’s good quality art at all. It looks fake and plastic. In contrast to Matthew’s work, there are a lot of similarities: the colour palette, the textures, the shapes, the shading techniques, the text choices (see some of his other work), and even the subject matter is very similar.

However, what this lacks (apart from originality) is expression. Matthew is a master at bringing geometric shapes to life through the different character poses and expressions. I don’t see that here. The characters look boring and lifeless, and the pictures as a whole look quite bland.

When I look at these I don’t feel the same sense of awe that I have when I look at Matthew Lyon’s work, and that in and of itself points to the fact that if nothing else, Matt’s work is of better quality and is in fact more genuine. I’m not here to argue about whether or not Justin’s work is a mere imitation. I think it is, but more than that, it’s really just not that great.

Matthew Lyons is to Justin Mezzell as solid wood is to melamine. End of story.


Justin Mezzell says:

March 7, 2012 at 9:24 am

For all those here wishing for a coup or my destruction, I’m sorry to have crossed your radars in such a volatile fashion.

I believe he’s referring to work I did a while back as a student in school. We had to do a photo compositing series on a theme that influenced us and I chose space and create a graphic narrative as a blog (
The former being a piece for Neue while I was in school ( at a time where I hadn’t heard of Jelle Martens. Work done starting out in trying to find a voice as a student that was, to say the least, not what I feel strongly about.

There’s a fine line we walk as designers with inspiration. It’s not easy and it’s often messy. For any discrepancies on my work and any inspiration others feel is too close, you have my most sincere apologies if that’s how you feel.

More important to me, however, I won’t be “flame” warring online. I don’t think this is the platform to speak effectively or accurately and things are easily misconstrued and taken out of context. That’s not who I want to be or how I want to be remembered. I know it’s not difficult to write from behind the screen of a computer.

After college, I’ve been working on illustration. I do a lot of web/UI design with illustration being my primary focus.

If anyone has a specific problem with what is represented in my work and wants to lay claims to what I’ve done, I will invite them to have a conversation with me.

As for the “personal” attacks being expressed and the things said just to be cutting, I have no desire to engage in that kind of conversation but I hope you find solace in it. If you’re not a fan of the work, that’s perfectly fine.

As a person trying to avoid this becoming a shouting war, I won’t be following up this response or coming to my defense. But as stated before, if you’d like to keep up the conversation with me personally, hurl what you want at me, or in general let me know how it makes you feel, I’m all ears.

Just send me an email :)

Always happy to be part of the design community. It really is an honor.


Angry Design Nerd says:

March 7, 2012 at 10:22 am

I’m sooooo angry at Justin for doing work that resembles that one guys work! So mad that I’m leaving a hurtful comment about it on a blog post. Obviously, that other guy I’ve never heard of created this style. It is all his and no one else should even consider doing anything even slightly similar (or improved?). If you do, he will try really hard not to comment (wait 2 hours), but will eventually let you have it.

In all seriousness, Justin’s stuff resembles dude bros work, sure. Going on a blog and calling it a rip and pouting about how you didn’t get to work for a client that Justin worked for …. suspect. If anyone here won the Lame Ass of the Day award here, its Matthew Lyons for the way he handled this. You really came across like a pompous cry baby bro.


Maxine says:

March 7, 2012 at 11:05 am

I doubt Matthew Lyons is upset that he didn’t get the client, rather that a client such as Fortune would use work that is a watered down, souless version of his style which he has worked so hard on. This is a sign of how bad things are getting in the creative industry.

I’m kind of dissapointed to see something on iso50 that is so unoriginal because, usually, the artists/illustrators posted are so unique and refreshing.

It is clear that Matthew Lyons can deliver the goods and will always be one step ahead. Personally, I completely understand his annoyance.


Anonymous says:

March 7, 2012 at 12:03 pm

This is how the arts work. Someone presents an original idea, others feed off of it. Adapt it. Copy it. Eventually someone will use it to create another original idea. Call it plagiarism if you want, but it’s evolution.

I’m all for giving credit where credit is due but condemning someone for emulating somebody else it absurd.


Jeremy says:

March 7, 2012 at 12:15 pm

First off, this isn’t evolution. It’s de-evolution. Matthew’s original work is better than this.

Second, adaptation requires a shift from one environment to another. This “idea” is being used in the exact same way that the original idea was intended for.

Third, Matthew Lyons is the perfect example of taking inspirations and other ideas, old and new, and then putting them into his craft. It’s clear that he takes inspiration from a wide variety of things. That’s evolution and adaptation, and he gives credit where credit is due on his tumblr site.

I’m not condemning Justin, but I’m not a fan of his either. As an illustrator his job is to communicate an idea with creativity. He’s communicating to me that he’s really good at faking creativity.


Jay says:

March 7, 2012 at 1:28 pm

I personally have the same exact feelings about the post as Maxine, not even anger but disappointment. This place has always been pro innovation, not some playground for the opportunistic. I’m glad that Matthew has the guts to stand up for himself.

Plagiarism is a difficult topic (and never ending) but in this case I’d call some of those illustrations a moronic rip-off. I mean, damn!

I’d love to hear Scott’s thoughts about this.


Logan says:

March 7, 2012 at 5:25 pm

Does anyone have an idea what program is used to create this artwork ? Illustrator or Photoshop ?


Logart says:

March 7, 2012 at 5:27 pm

Does anyone have an idea what program is used to create this artwork ? Illustrator or Photoshop ?
Or something else?


sncfrk says:

March 10, 2012 at 12:39 pm

Matthew Lyons is brilliant. I was surprised to see he commented on here, but I’ve feel the same way about mezzell since I saw his stuff on dribbble.

Justin I think has the potential to be a good illustrator but dude, it just looks too much like Matthew lyons work. Change it up man.

I’ve defended Matthew before on other big sites (even abduzeedo) where people who are ripping him off are getting the credit when no one else noticed.

Matthew, keep up your insanely cool and inspiring work. It’s true, people can copy you, but you have the original ideas that make your work evolve. No one else can do that.


Fitness Journal Software says:

April 18, 2012 at 5:04 pm

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Anonymous says:

May 2, 2012 at 6:42 am

Two things stand out most to me:

1. After first seeing this post (before any of the comments were posted) I was surprised how much the work resembled Matthew Lyons’, but maybe more so that the creator (Justin) AND the curator (Shelby) failed to note this. By being upfront about the obvious inspiration, you can avoid the critical comments.

2. Justin is being dodgy about being inspired by Matthew Lyons’ in his comment. It is clear that he saw Lyons’ work before doing this. Comment 14 by Jeremy hits the nail on the head; it’s precisely because Matthew Lyons is transparent about his inspirations that we’re impressed by how he incorporates them into his own work. A lesson to be learned!