Elements Of The Periodic Table Illustrated

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In 2011, Kaycie D. was working on her BFA at the Milwaukee Institute of Art. For her thesis she designed “Elements-Experiments in Character Design,” which centered on her creating a character and factoid for each element of the periodic table. In a word, they are… awesome!

Kaycie’s initial inspiration for this project came to her in high school while watching a video about the periodic table in which a narrator was acting out some of the elements. Instead of taking notes, she started drawing characters. “High school chemistry class used to be confusing at best. Then I imagined what the elements would be like as characters. Suddenly everything became a lot more interesting,” Kaycie said.


The illustrated elements were such a hit that Kaycie has since created flash cards, which are available on her Etsy shop where you can buy a complete set of printed cards or purchase a downloadable format that can be printed at home.

Continuing with this theme, the full-time artist is currently conceptualizing an entire world in which her Elements live, and a story to go with that world.

We love the art on these cards, especially the kick-ass female characters she has created. With 112 drawings in all, it was not easy to choose, but here are some of our favorites, and you can check out more here.


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Images © Kaycie D.

  • fark

    those look fucking stupid

  • Grady Elliott

    Those look fucking awesome.

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  • Nick

    Pretty awesome but can we acknowledge that it’s pretty effed up that you can get a BFA with a few of cute doodles?

    • Jennifer Smith

      A few? 112 different characters, fully ideated, with a little story behind them is a few doodles? There is a lot of work there, and I think a project like this is well-suited to a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.

    • DrRob


  • Jade

    I feel like more of them could better represent their elements visually. Some of them are half assed at best. You want an image that really helps people connect with the name and purpose. Like Vanadium is just holding a wrench, what makes that card stand out from the other metals found in tools? I’d like to see a better version.

    • Pierre-Eric Raby

      Good point. since it makes metal “stronger” I’d see Vanadium-girl lifting a giant wrench above her head or something.

  • Samantha Tennant

    So glad it wasn’t just me that got through chemistry by making elemental characters! Though I did mine with bonds, so oxygen (since it’s naturally found as O2) was twins! Got confusing for my teachers when I was talking about elements dating and procreating though 😉

  • DrRob

    Hi… one of my former students just posted a link to your blog on Facebook. These are very cool. Do you have a periodic table of your element characters? If so… I’d love to buy one…