From the cave drawings used in the Stone Age to hieroglyphics, we have seen illustrations in many forms for centuries. Commercial applications of illustration and caricature became more widespread since the print era. From the comic strips in newspapers of yesterday to illustrated mascots and logos of today, custom illustration as a segment has evolved a great deal.
But what does it mean to brands? Why do brands need illustrations and are they any different from custom graphics that most use in marketing? We’ll talk about all this and more in this blog.
There’s graphic design and there’s illustration. Brands use graphic design predominantly but not many of them use custom illustration. Why does it matter? What are the benefits that custom illustrations bring to your brand communication?
Imagine how descriptive the text would have been if you had to convey the idea in the above image using text alone! Custom illustration helps visually capture even the most descriptive idea in the most engaging manner. This makes it an excellent choice for manuals, brochures, and other places where you need to convey a lot of information but you also need a creative way to do so.
Another option is to use photos of the items in the image. But that would have been too cliched, don’t you think? Like every other recipe card or stock photo you see on the internet!
A dinosaur pirate? Yes, please!
Sometimes you have the most unrealistic yet impressive ideas in mind and these ideas are perhaps important in conveying a critical brand message. Or these ideas are at the crux of an innovative campaign you are coming up with. When you have to bring such ideas from your imagination to life, custom illustration is just what you need.
There are some cases where you need to use lifestyle images or images with people in it. What if you wish to add a creative flair to it? Using illustrations, particularly caricature styles, is a good way to do that.
And creativity is a must-have ingredient to establish your brand identity as well as for brand differentiation.
Did you know that about 3.8 billion images are shared on Snapchat per day? And about 1.3 billion on Instagram. That’s the kind of competition you are up against.
Every marketing graphic you upload on social media needs to compete with billions of images all for the attention of the right audience. A rather simple photograph with people in it does not always have that scroll-stopping effect. But an illustration does!
Storytelling is a crucial part of brand-building. And there are many places where it comes in handy. Logo design is one such place. Telling your brand’s story in your logo is a brilliant idea but what about the limited real estate of a logo design? That’s when using custom illustration seems like a more practical and effective approach.
The above logo, for example, instantly delivers the brand’s message without cluttering the design.
Having spoken about the benefits of using custom illustration for a brand, let’s now talk about some of the ways in which you can use illustration in marketing.
The illustration of the siren in the Starbucks logo is one of the most recognizable and also one of the most memorable traits of the logo.
This is an example of how with a creative illustration you can make your logo stand out in a crowded market and also make it easier for people to remember and recognize your brand.
In the above packaging, using photos of the respective fruit is the easiest and the most popularly chosen idea. But adding illustrations gives the packaging design a fresh new take. Moreover, in an aisle filled with photos of fruit, minimalistic line-drawing-style illustration like this one is sure to grab attention. And that’s how you want your packaging to be.
If your packaging design manages to make contact, it gets much easier from there! After all, packaging design is one of the most critical customer touchpoints, a precursor of the customer experience your brand delivers. Therefore, using custom illustration to give it a unique twist is definitely a good idea.
Notion is a popular brand in productivity and project management for workspaces. On the website of Notion, you’ll find intuitive use of illustration throughout. Illustrated characters draw attention to sections that matter on a page and visually demonstrate the idea conveyed. As you can see, the custom illustration here makes the website visually appealing as well.
Would you have the mind to ignore and close an email like the one above? Custom illustration makes the above email clear, catchy, and unique.
Emails reportedly bring $40 on every $1 spent. Such a high ROI makes emails one of the most effective marketing tools. But every brand knows this and is actively sending out marketing emails. So, you need a strategy that gets people to notice your email and interact with it. Custom illustration might just be that nudge it needs.
When talking about the use of illustration in branding and marketing, Headspace is perhaps one of the names you hear quite often. That’s because of the brand’s ingenuity in bringing its message to life with illustration.
The above image shows a snapshot of the Instagram page of Headspace. Illustration here helps create consistency in style as well as a unique identity for the brand both of which can matter a lot on social media. Moreover, illustration helps deliver the intended message and therefore actively engages the audience there.
In conclusion, brands can benefit from using custom illustration in branding and there are many ways to use it as well. But a lot depends on the effective incorporation of illustration into the existing marketing strategy. After all, marketing graphics are not just about looks. The inherent meaning and the message in them matter more. How can you ensure this while using custom illustration? Here are some tips:
So, you’ve finally decided to give custom illustration a try. Now comes the question – how do you get these created for your brand? How do you get them customized to suit your brand message? That’s where custom illustration services come into the picture. There are many unlimited graphic design services that also include custom illustrations to their scope. These services bring the best value since you have your illustrations and marketing graphics all in one place and that too at flat monthly rates.