Custom illustrations: is it worth it?

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29 Feb
11 Sep

The quantity of web products increases every day. And we all know that demand generates supply. There are plenty of illustrations on the Internet, so the question arises: why does the owner of the product need an illustration at all and especially the custom one? Let’s sort it out!

What’s the catch?

Actually, a huge boom on custom illustrations occurred not so long ago, in 2016 they were included in the trends of graphic design, for the first time. But few people know that the Stripe Company is considered to be the legislator of such popularity of custom illustrations. They did not explain what to do, they showed the whole process in the illustrations. And the period of “do as Stripe” has begun. Since then, the custom illustrations regularly been used as the design of cool products, websites, etc. The main reason for such popularity is too many stock illustrations, so each following project is similar to the previous one. No one will find this result beneficial. The other matter is unique illustrations. They are created specifically to meet the product, its target audience and to form the brand identity. According to statistics for 2018, in websites and apps with custom illustrations, the conversion has increased in 7 times. Win-win.

The main idea is in one illustration

If we review the evolution of the illustration, it is originally played only a decorative role. The page is beautifully designed so that the client does not get bored and lost in the texts, for example.

Then the graphic design was adapted to represent the content. Imagine a case where you open a company’s page and your eyes are on an illustration that explains the whole point of the organization, without words. Naturally, behind this simple move to the heart of the matter, there is a powerful work of the team that has made a convenient UX, played with a quality UI-design and has sufficient user experience to predict the exact hitting of the visitor’s gaze of the page.

But when people started adding a caption below the illustrations, something incredible happened. The whole meaning of the author’s words can be moved to this design element.The illustration is an informative message, and the caption under it highlights the main ideas.

Do not complicate — just show it.

Designer at work
Designer at work

The process of creating an illustration

When you choose between custom and stock illustrations, we suggest you take a closer look at the process of creating them: workflow, which applications are used and the sketches.

First things first, the workflow, and then everything else after that.

  1. Simple little sketches with the scenes.
  2. Approval of the idea.
  3. We draw a detailed sketch.
  4. Approval of the sketch.
  5. Moving it into a digital environment.
  6. Next, a digital format is created.
  7. Further improvement of illustration (noise, graphics shadows, effects).

How many illustration programs exist only Google knows for sure. And we use just three apps: Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and Affinity Designer. The first two are already quite popular, but the last one is their strong competitor, because it combines Adobe representatives in one application. We choose the application according to the illustration to be made.

This sketch took about an hour to paint.
This sketch took about an hour to paint.

Custom illustrations: 5 main advantages

The media content is unique

You may have a similar colour choice to your competitors, similar products and even the philosophy. But the illustration, which is placed on your website, will be the only and unique one. And that’s definitely what will separate your media content from other similar ones.

The branding is being formed

The illustration is your brand, please remember it. The main thing is to form the right connection between them, and this can be done in a number of ways: a literal representation within the illustration of the product or the process with which it is associated. You can use branded colors and fonts in a way that makes it clear by default about which product you are talking.

SOS WP Platform
SOS WP Platform

The straight shot in the target audience

Before creating illustrations, you should study your target audience. You have to understand with what problems they face every day and their pain points. And to portray it all in an illustration that will give them the emotion and opportunity to see themselves from the side.

The long-term solution for the product

There is no need to adapt to market changes or even product changes. Regardless of external factors, the illustration conveys the philosophy of the product and its basic idea. It is invariable.

The legal rights are exclusive

You won’t have a question about copyright infringement if you post a custom illustration. The only place you can see this illustration again is the portfolio of the illustrator who created it for you, if you agree for this.

Lazy Daisy Coffeeshop Website
Lazy Daisy Coffeeshop Website

Is that it?

Illustrations will not be equally relevant in any field of activity, no matter how skillful the illustrator is. The result will satisfy people who own B2B, SAAS and Digital businesses. And in general, it is worth conducting a thorough analysis to understand whether or not your audience needs it. Because the process of creating illustrations may seem quick and easy, but every detail embedded in this design element must have its own logic and aesthetics. We have three whales of successful illustrations: creative approach, customer focus, and emotionality. And we consider that they are necessary for a graphic designer.

Illustrations are like a firework for a city day. They shoot neatly and stay in the memory of your customers for a long time. Have your customers already experienced this feeling?

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