December 1, 2016 Ava Liu

The Power of Illustration in Digital Design

Three reasons why using illustration in web design and digital campaigns is a more engaging experience for your target audience.

Why use illustration in web design?

We’ve been seeing the trend that more and more illustrations, instead of stock imagery, are being used in web design. The reason for this? Simply put, illustrations allow you to convey your ideas and your brand in a unique and enticing manner. Here are some examples:

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Dropbox
Dropbox uses illustration to tell a story that promotes the features and benefits of using the product, and convey a sense of both freedom and control to its potential customers. The illustration style is friendly and approachable, just like Dropbox’s brand image. What’s more: the layout, clean lines, and simplicity of the illustration really draw the user into the site.

Virgin America
Virgin America uses illustration to add character and personality to their website. The vibrant, energetic, and funny illustrations are done in a matched but expanded color palette. The illustrated scenes are designed to put a smile on the user’s face, creating a positive experience that leaves customers wanting more. This is the kind of engaging, whimsical experience that’s nearly impossible to create with stock imagery.

Illustrations versus Stock Imagery

While they may serve the same function as well-selected stock imagery, illustrations have three key advantages over stock or even custom imagery:

Uniqueness
Illustrations can be fully customized, using your color palette and font to capture the look and feel of your brand that is unique to only your company.

Brand Enhancement
Illustrations add energy and character to your website. They enhance and strengthen your brand’s appearance and can improve your user’s overall experience.

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Abstraction is Inspiration
Illustrations are a powerful educational tool, effective at conveying abstract ideas that may otherwise be limited by the constraints of stock imagery. They tell a story that goes far beyond the realm of a flat image. By visualizing conceptual ideas and triggering users’ imaginations, your site and its content quickly become a memorable experience.

Our Work

Here’s an example of our own illustration work for our client, IDEXX. To promote the powerful technology behind IDEXX’s SNAP Tests, we created a social media campaign based solely on illustrations. Our challenge was to sell the benefits of SNAP’s 3-step technology to our target audience of veterinary technicians. To present the technology, we took a metaphorical approach to the 3 steps: bi-directional flow, wash and amplification.

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We extended our illustration work for IDEXX on the Get Started page for IDEXX Neo. With these clean, straightforward and lighthearted illustrations, we created a joyful, stress-free experience that allows customers to consume complex content. It successfully conveyed the message that getting started with Neo couldn’t be easier.

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We love to stretch the limits of creativity here at Consensus and our work with illustration in web design is one of our favorite ways to do exactly that. An important staple of our creative work is our ability to design unique, engaging digital experiences that convey complex information. Ultimately, our goal is to help our clients find and engage their target audiences and grow their business.