Illustrations is depiction or visualization made by an illustrator (designer here), such as a painting, drawing, picture or image of anything seen/imagined, using graphical representation. Pictorial representations have always left a deeper impression on brain than any other explanation. A separate brain mechanism responds and address what you see. Remember WYSIWYG? No wonder reading in kids start from picture book as it is the pictures that are easy to understand and have long lasting effects.
Just look around in this world, you will understand how important are illustrations, those photographs of your last trip brings immediate smile on your face as you can easily relate to what you have enjoyed in the past. A would be mother is asked to see good things that makes her calm and happy and that indirectly has an impact on the yet to be born child. A story painted on a wall is closer to heart than written in a book, placed on a shelf. I am not saying that written stuff is a waste or does not leave any impression. No, it is important but anything that is represented by a picture touches the human brain more quickly and deeply.
However, illustrations need lot of space and hence a mix of illustrations and text is used at most of the places to create a balance. Similarly, websites use illustrations extensively. It gives the website a personality and a unique identity. Use of characters makes the website visually more attractive and provides an easy and quick connect to the visitors. Since our childhood days we all love story telling, it is just that level and texture of stories have changed in all those years (as per age). Illustrations create the same environment of fantasy, stories and engage the imagination of every visitor. Take examples of using animals and mascots in advertising world. Think about the importance of Logos becoming the face of any brand. Illustrations can be 3D animations, photo-manipulations, or sketches depending on the budget, need, and purpose of the website.
Here are some stand out examples of using illustrations in web design that are not just beautiful illustrative artwork but are also carefully crafted. There is a balance of beauty with information, which makes each design unique and adorable. Every design will tell you the story of uniqueness and see yourself how skilfully the text is positioned around the illustration. Seriously, illustration is a versatile tool but today I am focussing on how we can use it to sketch new ideas to inspire and challenge our creative nerves. You can get the inspiration for innovation you can imbibe in your designs from these examples.
3. Duct Tape
12. Babel The King
23. More Than Twenty
I am sure you must have seen all those websites having several illustrations on gaming and entertainment websites. However, now-a-days use of character illustration is not limited to just gaming website. People from a variety of background like cooperate; individual & bloggers are using illustrated characters in their design to gain some extra attention.
Illustrations will help you to stand out of the crowd and if worked carefully, you give your design a distinct character. Do you know, the word illustration comes from the Latin word “illustra’tio”, which means enlighten and this is actually, what your website will do. No, wonder why infographics are so popular on internet. People (in place of reading) will see what you want to say. An illustration will give your site your own style and you can proudly say, “This is our website and this is what we do”.
A good illustration can make your website tour amazing and memorable. Similarly, a bad design will move your visitors away forever. Hence, it is very crucial to choose right amount and matter for your illustrations. The positioning of text, use of colors, font, and impressions all should go well with the purpose of the web design or web site. Keep all these points in mind, use the above-mentioned examples for your inspiration and create your own unique creation.
You can start with small-illustrated icons and go until completely illustrated backgrounds as per your requirements. Just keep the positioning right and you will do wonders. So what are you waiting for? Just go through these examples once again and get inspired for your next web design. Do explore more and do not be afraid of experimenting. I am sure it will have lot of pictures, graphs, colors, and fun to create the magic that is unique to your style.