The Primacy of Illustration in the Digital Era

Illustration in Digital ERA

Design is a roadmap or a strategic approach for someone to achieve a unique expectation – Wiki

I agree Design is strategic, purposeful and always aims to solve problems. A good Design creates a strong impact on users. Brilliant work catches your attention, keeps you engaged and stays in your memory.  Just think of something that has caught your attention and forced you to read; do you recall some comic strips, cartoons, animation, sketches, illustrations in trolls?

Yes, the power of Visual Story Telling always has an edge and plays a crucial role in unfolding a story. There are many forms used like pictures, videos, animations, sketches. And that’s when a visual story telling medium comes to picture. Of course there are photographs that can convey your message. But are they versatile like Illustrations?

Users connect with illustrated narratives faster and more easily. So, who is your favourite super hero? From print the trend has gone viral and now digital platform is witnessing all forms of it some static and others in motion. Designers now are creating websites that use full-screen illustrations to custom made icons to personify brands, identities and provide that USP.  Even highly technical and data driven websites can be made extremely lively and interactive yet commune the brand message as strongly as ever before and custom illustrations is the most fun and engaging way to do so.

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The major misconception most people have is using illustrations as synonymous to beautification or to support but in reality it is Design in itself; a tool that can magically combine beautification and clean concepts.

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It is no surprise that it’s taking over the web and mobile applications. Mood, style and theme of the websites can be set and unlike photographs, they can mesh reality and imagination and present you with an extra-ordinary design.  With illustrations you become the king of your own wonderland with powers to create anything and everything to best convey your message, be it a dog floating in the space, a talking owl or a superman delivery boy; absolutely anything that hits your imagination. Little creativity, color and compelling illustrations are sure to change a website’s identity.

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Illustrations have lot of technicalities attached to it also. While the illustration may have depths of complexity, the overall message should be simple. Like any other design, even illustrations undergo layers and layers of stages, from the rough sketches to vector outlines, to colors to depth and composition.

Icons | Web design icon, Creative web design, Web design

Color is a powerful tool in illustration because it can change mood – the mood of the user. Imagine a website has power to improve our state of mind and thereby it strengthens our relationship with a brand. And, if the colors are taken from the brand’s logo, the illustrations becomes a part of the brand’s identity.  And, introducing more complimentary colors or gradients will add to its vibrancy. Texture brings more depth to the illustration, a simple halftone texture or a grainy grunge texture creates a nice effect to the flat illustration.

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Today we spot illustrations mostly on a banner of the website or around the section that seeks to explain the usage of product/ services. The trend in mobile mainly focuses on splash and on-boarding screens. People also use lot of subtle animations to enliven the whole website/ applications. The animations are usually done using animated GIFs. A customized icon with svg animation is now a trend in UI interaction. The delicate use of animation in illustration just gives the site that extra dash of awesomeness for that memorable experience.  There are different Illustration and icon styles used in websites and mobile applications, more leaned towards flat design. Few common styles include line drawings, filled color, hand drawn, low poly, Geometric, isometric and 3D.


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<b><strong>Karan Makan</strong></b>

Karan Makan

Technology Engineer and Entrepreneur. Currently working with International Clients and helping them scale their products through different ventures. With over 8 years of experience and strong background in Internet Product Management, Growth & Business Strategy.

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