Using Illustration on Websites

How to harness the power of illustration to leverage the 'cool-factor' in your brand.

By Cat HowPosted in Ideas

The use of illustration in web design has been a growing trend for the past few years. The idea of using illustration not just in a campaign, but as a core part of a brand’s visual identity is coming to the fore - with companies like AirBnB, Mailchimp and Facebook use illustration freely to convey approachability, personability and to reinforce brand identity.

Illustration gives a website a more authentic and organic experience. Low-colour, hand-drawn looks that are specifically created for a single-site use are becoming increasingly more common and custom designs have taken on a unique, loose, and even childish feel.

Illustration also shows a uniqueness and delivers a standout look that few other approaches can. There’s far less chance of a brand commissioning the same illustrator as there is of it using a similar typeface or colourway, for example.

Weaving illustration throughout a site can also reinforce the brand system established  -  by hammering home brand colour palettes, or even the look and feel of objects used or associated with a brand. An illustration route is straight to the point: it’s an instant emotional connection that can surpass language barriers.

With this resonating strongly with us   we wanted the website of our sister brand, Pollen Place, to have pops of illustration to break up the info-heavy content of pricing structures and booking details. It was important for us to commission a local, Bristol-based illustrator as the coworking studios draw a lot of their identity from locality, and from being ‘in Bristol.’

Having worked with Naomi Wilkinson before (we used to print and sell her artwork online), we already liked her pared-back style and propensity for vintage, mid-century modern elements in her playful yet sophisticated designs. We commissioned her to create one central ‘hero’ image, using our brand colour palette with features we felt reflected the coworking spaces - plants and cacti, tea, notebooks, a laptop etc.

We wanted illustrated elements we could cut out easily from the main illustration and drop in image blocks which we would pepper across the site. We also wanted a relaxed, colourful vibe which we felt reflected the informal feeling in the studios. ‘Meditating lady’ also worked well for us on a slightly different level too, as Bristol City Yoga are based at the coworking studios and offer discounts to residents. It was a nice fit.

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