Illustrations are a powerful tool for your business that can be a real game changer. Is this statement not too bold? Surely, pictures can be a nice decoration of your product, website, app, publication. They can make it more aesthetic, eye-catching, user-friendly. But is it enough to call something “powerful for the business”?
Let’s think about it from the user’s (or client’s) perspective. You’re looking at the screen of your electronic device. A lot of images and information moves in front of your eyes and gets through to your consciousness. And it’s totally natural that while travelling through this visual jungle, you want to focus on what seems to be friendly (or at least intriguing), memorable, and attracting attention. You also want to keep the most meaningful information – and to have it served in a clear, accessible, and attractive way. That’s why you’ll remember these products and websites that can offer you all these experiences. Plus, it would work even better if it stood out from the crowd. After all, readability is not the same as obviousness. In all of these cases good illustration may be a really helpful, or often even crucial tool.
As a business owner, you want to make your product work. And you can influence it by starting to collaborate with an illustrator. Too much text, poor visuals, low visibility, or low quality of current images – all these features indicate that you are in dire need of good illustrators. The point is to find the right illustator and to know what they can do for your business. That’s why even now, after reading this intro, you have a full right to have some doubts and to ask:
How can illustrations help my business?
Depending on the type of illustration and the degree of its complexity, it can fulfil various functions and help your business in many ways.
They will help you draw users’ attention
A unique illustrated ad or major illustration on your homepage will work great for attracting the recipient’s attention and create a positive image of your brand. That’s why using illustrations tailor-made for your product will often be a better solution than choosing stock photos, which are studied and devoid of a personal touch and have been copied and reproduced on many other pages.
Customized images will reflect your attitude and brand character or philosophy in a unique way.
They will also help to tell your story and create a specific mood. As a result, you will build a unique relationship with your audience.
They will also visualize even the most abstract themes which are hard to grasp in other ways.
They will help you navigate users in the right direction
Smaller but important images can also help to navigate the site or app or shed light on key pieces of important information. That’s how icons or small (spot) illustrations work.
Spot illustrations can direct the user to the right place on the screen, decreasing the risk of app abandonment.
They can help you convey your message along the whole user journey.
They can help in visualizing data in a friendlier, clearer, and more interesting way.
Get a breath of fresh air
And finally, if you need to refresh your page or you think that the quality of the existing aesthetics and visual elements is subpar – illustrations will also give existing project a second, better life.
Depending on your needs, illustrations can be an addition to existing design or can act as a complete design makeover.
You can think of incorporating illustrations into your brand’s visual language when considering a rebranding in the future.
Proper illustrations may be a vital part of your product’s refreshed look and can become another, clever means of communication with your audience.
What can you expect from an illustrator?
An illustration is placed somewhere between art and solid craftsmanship. In fact, a good illustrator should have an artist’s imagination but also the ability to stay down to earth whenever there’s a need to create something not only beautiful but also functional.
Illustrators should stick to the theme, remembering that it’s not just about their imagination and their taste – an illustration shouldn’t just be visually appealing, it needs to do its job. It should help convey the message, tell a story, and blend in well with typography, layout, and the project’s other features.
That’s why a contemporary illustrator should have a good feeling, or preferably a basic knowledge, about the principles of using text and composition. And surely s/he should know and consider how his/her ideas will technically work on screen or in print. It’s an illustrator’s role to take all these things into account and to suggest the right solutions for the pictures.
A feeling and knowledge are the ingredients necessary to create something really “tasty”. The illustrator should have the sense of different tastes and the ability to combine them in the right way. In other words, your project may need a specific style and it’s also the illustrator’s role to tell you (and show you) more about it. The person creating good pictures will remember that a set of technical illustration evokes a mood different than the one evoked by illustrations made for a cozy cafe. Unless you want to produce a cyber pie for androids.
Why is hitting just the right style and mood so important? They help a customer to get know the product better and, in consequence, to understand what they’re watching and buying. Illustration will also give an opportunity to show specific features of the product and to build the right context for it – even if the thing we need to visualize is as abstract as digital data transfer or the blockchain technology. Presenting your product in the best possible context will have a positive impact on the customer’s emotions. An illustration may help to explain the meaning and role of your product, make it more human and more user-friendly. All these aspects have a massive impact on conversion rates in your product.
Illustrator should also be aware of trends, but they should not follow them blindly. Creating images that are just trendy and nothing more can end up in making the product get lost in the sea of other “trendy” online and offline projects. The other risk is that an expiration date of such kind of image will pass with the change of trends. Trends are important but they’re not everything. The same thing can happen with illustrations which are too obvious, too literal, or just semantically boring. One of the illustrator’s tasks is to translate the content into a visual language in an unobvious, sometimes metaphorical way.
And last but not least, an illustrator should also be conscious of what s/he can do for you and how to communicate the whole working process, from the initial ideas to the final effect. Each step of this process should be based on a good presentation of concepts, with clear descriptions included.
Trust me, I’m an illustrator
Some clients, especially at the beginning of the cooperation, aren't convinced if a full-time illustrator is the person who knows how to lead the process and meet their expectations. Also in the IT environment, where things happen very quickly, illustration seems to be a specific area. Anyway, our team constantly check the effectiveness of our illustrations just as we check the effectiveness of every other element of the projects we carry out. We have A/B tests, and we treat all parts of our working process as a coherent whole. Each stage of the illustrative work is consulted and verified with other team members: product designers, developers, and people from marketing and growth. Thanks to our experience we know how to explain complex ideas and increase conversion rates using illustrations. So if you believe that you’ve found the right person or team to create a great product and to make this process as clear and efficient as possible, trust your illustrator and let the magic happen.
Just ask questions, share your thoughts and doubts on each stage of the process, and a smart illustrator will truly appreciate your feedback. But at the same time, try to stay open. It may happen that you’ll feel a big need to follow your personal taste. It's normal that all of us, surrounded by thousands images daily, have our own preferences. Your illustrator, however, will bear in mind that it’s not only about these subjective choices – first of all images should be created for your target audience or user base. And if the illustrator should suggest a solution which deviates from your initial assumptions, just try to consider it and openly discuss it with them.
Speaking of communication, reach out to us and let’s talk about how we can make your product better.