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— by Sarah, Senior Designer – 5 min read

In a crowded marketplace it can be hard to grab attention. However by using illustration, you can bring a design to life in an enormously engaging way that can strengthen your brand and mark it as memorable and unique.

1. Beautiful illustration is attention grabbing

Using beautiful illustration is a way for a brand to really stand out from the crowd. It’s something you can own and is distinct from other organisations. These days there’s a wealth of talent out there that means you can use really gorgeous, high quality illustrations to communicate your messages in a way that is distinctly yours. The care and craft that goes into bespoke illustration elevates your message and can be incredibly engaging as well as being a distinct signifier of a brand in a way that separates it from photography.

Furthermore, when people see something new they are more likely to engage with it. This gorgeous booklet for St John New Zealand uses highly engaging illustration with soothing colours and a tactile look and feel to invite viewers in and become part of their story.

2. Illustration strengthens narratives

What better way to take people on a journey, guide them through work and help them understand ideas or subtle narratives, than with illustration?

Character illustration can be an effective way to help construct these narratives. In this impact report for Learning Links, the design was based on an A-Z of illustrative characters which reinforces the impact Learning Links has on each child’s education, whilst the set of characters strengthens the idea that each child’s needs are unique.

By using a playful, colourful approach, and presenting illustrations in a bite-sized format that is easy to digest, viewers are reminded that children are at the heart of why Learning Links exists, and this strengthens the connection to the cause.

3. Illustration helps people understand complex ideas

A fantastic way to simplify ideas is with illustration, which can turn complex or dense information into a treat for the eyes that is easy to understand. Infographics are an effective way to visualise data or bring an idea to life, and when used in conjunction with illustration they become an incredibly engaging means of communication.

These illustrative infographics about building resilience in mental health for This Way Up use characters in illustrated scenes to make these concepts memorable and mark their brand as a place viewers will keep coming back to for information. The relatable characters are able to demonstrate effective, practical steps and processes, and the simple design makes them something useful that is likely to be understood, remembered and shared.

4. Illustration spreads joy and warms hearts

How can you not smile whilst enjoying the beauty of illustration? This joyfulness helps create powerful emotional connections with your audience. ChildFund’s sponsors were delighted to be able to send their sponsor children this Season’s Greetings pack, featuring playful illustrative finger puppets and a mini finger football game. This paper-based pack needed to be something particularly special, as these children were unlikely to receive any other gifts throughout the year.

Wild, colourful characters combined with a well known game meant this pack had universal appeal that was relevant and wonderful to children across the world, of all ages and origins – whilst also showing how ChildFund not only cares about lifting children out of poverty, but also about bringing joy to those that need it most.

5. Illustration is a magnet for enthusiasm

The enormously popularity and strong appeal of illustration for both adults and young people alike, will make them really want to be a part of your campaign. It’s fresh, exciting and highly sharable – so people will organically promote your work through social media and word of mouth.

This design for Baptist World Aid used an eye-catching bee, to create a fun, inviting campaign that people were lining up to be a part of, whilst also guiding participants through their End Poverty mobile app. What’s not be excited about?

So next time you are considering your creative approach, or how to make your message stand out, consider using illustration as a distinct and engaging way to grab attention, connect with your audience and make your brand stand out!