They say a picture is worth 1000 words, and maybe that is why I love design and more specifically illustrations. There is nothing worse than landing on a website page or opening a brochure, only to find that it is nothing but black and white words.
Illustrations have an amazing way of setting a scene; they create a background for your message and offer a fuller picture than the words may communicate on their own. They’re like the actor/actress that wins the award for a supporting role.
There are a number of things that you can communicate in one drawing, which allows one seemingly simple drawing to do so much. For example, a line of text might intend on communicating a use for a product, but a small illustration can show just how that product looks and feels in its environment. It acts as an interesting, visual element that (should) support the text like a good friend. (Like PB & J)
Not only does it support the text, but a good illustration just feels right. The intention and purpose when it’s styled well (we will talk about that in a second) and when it is fulfilling a purpose is very satisfying to the eye, and can allow for less text. You don’t need to say a lot when you’ve painted a good picture.
Styling an illustration is where a good amount of time should be spent. Just like establishing a logo or brand, your illustrations should have the same feel and same characteristics. They should contribute to people identifying who you are and what you do. Its main job is to assist!
In the end, we love illustrations. We use them often to assist with messaging in brochures, on websites, in ads, and all over social media to engage an audience.
Contributors: Tim Wall, Sherri Hoeppner, Cassie Gelean, Anita Fehr