We crafted a web presence for a direct mail provider earlier this year by using illustration to help tell their product story. Illustration not only enhances user interface layouts but also works to support (or in some instances even replace) copy. Illustration is a powerful tool that can help define a brand by affording designers the ability to fully capture unique and specific aspects of a project or service.
For us, beginning the process of creating illustrative elements that help narrate a client's product starts with tone. Tone, in design terms, is defined as the lightness or darkness of a color or an object. However, in this instance, we refer to tone as it is defined in writing style; the attitude of the topic. Our client offers a service that simplifies what is usually a monotonous and uninspiring task. We knew that we wanted to highlight the efficiency and convenience of the client's product in a way that conveyed boldness and simplicity. Selecting color and subject matter to define the tone of the illustrations was our first step:
Like in writing, style in design conveys personality and voice. Color, shape, and composition are all nuances that combine to create style. We had already established a cheerful tone for the project, so selecting a design style that would compliment our selection was easy. We decided on a cartoonish illustration style for its overt display of emotion and line definition. A bold and enthusiastic approach was what we wanted to help tell the product's story.
Lively and optimistic icons were designed to represent multiple categories of content on the consumer-facing website and the administrative interface. These designs served as the jumping-off point and our inspiration for the rest of the illustrated content for the website project:
We carried our illustrations throughout the design scheme and used progress indicators to assist users through the registration process inspired by our illustrations. A series of list management tools for customers to admin their mailing lists and subscribers were accompanied by more illustrated design:
Illustration is a great way to make work unique and can help maintain a sense of originality for a project. Custom work that is specific to a brand helps enhance the memory of the project and encourages users to recall your story.