How to make illustrations in design a marketing tool
How do illustrations make a brand unique, recognizable and loved by users?
Many people suffer from outdated stereotypes, believing that illustration is purely art and has nothing to do with business. (Tell Warner Brothers or Walt Disney Studios about it!) This archaic vision holds your company back and makes it less profitable because digital illustration is a business today.
So, let s dispel these harmful misconceptions. An illustration is a marketing tool, no matter how pretty and cute it looks. Its goal is to promote business, provide information and attract people.
Let s take a look at the areas where illustrations are particularly effective. Perhaps some of this will be useful for your business.
Effective visual marketing
Many companies spend huge amounts of money to stand out from the competition, gain attention, and build a customer base. Building an emotional connection and trust between your brand and your audience is a very challenging marketing challenge.
Using illustrations in advertising campaigns is a surprisingly simple and cost-effective solution.
Why? Illustration is a great communication tool. Visually concise, illustrations provide immediate recognition, make complex things easier to understand, build trust, and are easy to remember. This is a psychological feature of human visual perception that all smart marketers are happy to use.
Any brand that uses illustrations takes on uniqueness and character. Images can tell the story of a company in a fun and informative way, reaching out to the audience on an intuitive emotional level.
The illustrations are human. The deeper we go into the digital rabbit hole, the more important these clusters of humanity become. Hand-drawn drawings signal your willingness to treat your users with care and love, treat them like people.
It is the best choice for startups, companies with a lot of competition, or any business that wants to be noticed and immediately recognized. For the average consumer, even the most beautiful name is nothing more than a bunch of letters that they will quickly forget or not understand (especially when it comes to logos with acronyms).
An illustrated logo solves all these problems: it grabs attention, makes the proposal obvious, and is visually memorable. The most popular are combined logos that include both image and text.
Depending on the type of business and brand goals, a logo can be a clear abstract image or a complex detailed image.
Mascot is the virtual ambassador for your business. It embodies the values of your brand and audience, “talks” with people and evokes positive emotions. Mascots are so memorable that you can t forget them even if you try.
An illustration can help you represent your corporate culture, express your brand values and friendly motivate your team. Employees love illustrations like these because they bridge the gap between management and staff and help get the message across.
Brand illustrations are created based on their visual style (corporate identity, logo, color palette, fonts, etc.) in accordance with brand requirements and current marketing objectives. To be effective, illustrations must be purpose-oriented and functional rather than decorative.
2. Advertising campaigns
The illustrated banner is a constant trend due to the peculiarities of human visual perception. A banner with a creative illustration is often more effective than a banner with a photo. Cause? Even the most minimalistic photographs contain many distracting details. You might focus on beads of sweat on an athlete s forehead or admire their muscles and not even notice that this is actually a running shoe ad.
This does not happen with illustrations. Today s illustrations mostly convey meaning, not images. All possible distractions have been eliminated. This is a message directed straight to the heart.
Illustrated business cards, brochures, flyers, catalogs, posters and calendars can effectively and original represent your brand and make an unforgettable impression. Good images can make promo materials so compelling that people will have a hard time throwing them away – or at least not right away. This way, they will keep your promotions for some time, which is in your best interest.
Illustrations can also be used to make branded gifts such as printed T-shirts or caps, mugs, pens, notepads, etc.
3. Online presence
On the Internet, it is becoming increasingly difficult to stand out from the competition. Unique illustrations are a great way to make your company s online presence unforgettable, be it website, landing page or social network profile… Illustrations bring design to life, generate interest in content, and establish an emotional connection with users. Custom illustrations increase website conversion rates by at least 7x. They are targeted to a specific audience (i.e. customer-focused), they are emotionally engaging and make the interface more user-friendly.
Illustrated character, visual metaphors, your corporate identity and the latest trends in digital illustration – all this will help your website design to make a vivid and lasting impression on users.
Presentation of products or services
Presentation involves drawing attention to an object or information. The illustration will do it instantly, immediately winning the audience s favor.
If your product or service is difficult to describe in words, it should be illustrated. This will save the site from being overloaded with additional content and make the information more understandable.
Illustration is a great seller of goods and services. And it works for free!
Social media and mailing lists
We are bombarded with so many advertisements that most offers are simply ignored. However, an illustrated message always stands out from the mass of template advertisements, grabs attention and makes us interested in it.
Creative illustrations are an easy way to draw attention to your messages and build brand awareness.
If you regularly send emails or advertisements to your customers, illustrations will become part of your signature style and make your newsletters more user-friendly and interesting.
The illustration is also a useful tool for drawing attention to text. Even a small drawing is often more effective than photography, which is nothing special these days. The drawing is a distinctive visual anchor. It encourages you to read the text or at least the first paragraph. For example, which section did you immediately notice – left or right?
4. Packaging design
Illustration helps sell both physical and digital products. The illustration is a one-stop solution for packaging all types of products. It looks equally good on a baked goods box or on a high-tech gadget box. She is liked by both male and female audiences, regardless of age.
As we ve seen, there are many areas of business where illustrations can work wonders and make your brand:
- stand out from the competition;
- funny and recognizable;
- easy to understand;
- emotionally engaging;
Of course, this applies not only to drawings, but also to professional illustrations. Before using an illustration in any way, do some market research to determine if it makes sense for your business and in which areas it will be most useful.
Once you ve done that, take the time to explore the portfolios of the various agencies and choose the style that best suits your business and brand identity. The visual concept should always be created by marketers, and only then implemented by artists and designers. This is the best way to turn an illustration into an invaluable marketing tool that will work effectively for your company.