Want to chat about a project?
Want to share your work?
In a world overloaded with content, brands are continually looking for new ways to communicate their message. Studies suggest we are able to process images 60,000 times faster than text. We’re also more likely to remember them. Images that can communicate effectively are a powerful tool of engagement.
Thankfully, the days of brands churning out stock footage are behind us. Unlike stock photos, illustrations have the ability to be more abstract in tone. Because of this, illustrations encourage the audience to actively interpret them. Having to fill in the gaps yourself helps to reinforce an emotional connection to the brand. Although there may be a chance that some people may not immediately ‘get it’, there’s a likelihood that those who do will have a deeper connection to the brand and its story.
Take Mailchimp as an example. Through impactful abstract illustrations they celebrate the “weird, lovable elements” that set them apart, according to Mailchimp VP of Design, Gene Lee.
Illustrations can communicate a whole host of different aspects of a business, all whilst being identifiable with the brand’s wider message. This grants a freedom to express many different facets of a business under one visual umbrella. A set of illustrations can also work across a vast number of applications. From advertising, newsletters, packaging, stationery, website, and more. So whilst there’s an initial cost involved in getting an illustrator on board, the extent to which illustrations can be used keeps cost per use relatively low.
Illustrations are an effective method of communicating an idea in a succinct way. Abstract ideas that would otherwise be difficult to communicate via copy can become accessible. As commonly seen in tech industries, illustrations can help to break down complex systems and processes into more digestible pieces of information.
We were recently tasked with creating a bold new brand and website to position Luxhub as a pioneer in the open finance market. The world of open finance is complex and ever-evolving, so we enlisted the help of Argentina-based illustrator Mauco Sosa to help demystify their complex financial products. The suite of illustrations act as mini ‘user guides’ and help user users through Luxhub’s various SaaS products.
Illustrative elements are a great way to communicate ideas and values without words. But that doesn’t mean they don’t work well with copy too. Illustrations can be used in conjunction with copy to help elevate a concept. This was the case with our project with organic wine purveyors Native Vine. Here, Matisse-inspired paper-cut graphic shapes accompany copy to create ‘tasting notes’. These are used as a key to represent the array of different flavour profiles found in organic wines.
Another benefit of using illustration is that it turns away from realism and lets a brand build the world through their eyes. Take Headspace for example. The meditation app has made deliberate design decisions to break the stigma and misconceptions about meditation, by opting for a more grounded and relatable approach. Illustration can effectively communicate abstract concepts and subtler emotions. So, it is perfect for the topic of meditation. Including human figures makes complex ideas of emotion accessible in a more light-hearted way.
Rather than being restricted by real-world limitations, illustration can depict an entirely different world. Inclusivity was at the heart of our work for iO Academy, whose mission is to re-balance representation in the tech industry. iO Academy wanted to promote an inclusive and forward-thinking brand that appealed to prospective students of all genders and backgrounds, breaking down any negative industry perceptions.
Working with illustrator Soren Selleslagh we created a suite of illustrations to depict aspects of the student journey. Soren’s human-centred approach is shown through positive representation of all types of people. In addition, it offers the brand the visual storytelling elements to demonstrate openness and inclusivity.
On the whole, incorporating illustrations in your brand can be a memorable, practical, and effective way to communicate powerful ideas. Illustration can enrich your brand’s visual language and say more with less.
At Fiasco we bring together brand and digital to create the extraordinary. If you’d like to speak to us about a future project or collaboration, drop us a line here.