5 reasons why we love to use line illustration

In 2019, we’ve made a lot of branding identities, landing pages, and websites with illustrations. Here is why we do what we do.

If you look at our projects, a lot of them may look fairly similar, due to our approach to the copy, clean design, and the usage of line illustration. Good copywriting and design working together are essential to the web design. But our approach to illustration is different, and it is because we mostly work with digital products. Most of our clients are IT companies — both startups and larger ones. They need to tell about their complicated products in a serious way and still keep users from dying of boredom. It is a fine line to walk across. The website needs to grab attention and keep the visitors reading and comprehending the information presented. A startup should be not too startup-y. Mature companies don’t have to be terribly dull. A good illustration can make the product stand out without standing in the way of the message and diverting away too much attention. For us, line illustration solves this problem. It helps us to:

  1. Bring balance to every screen composition;
  2. Express almost every metaphor, vision, idea possible;
  3. Quickly adapt to different formats;
  4. Be sure that everything turns out exactly like we’ve imagined;
  5. Create drastically different styles.

1. Bring balance to every screen composition

Visually, lines do not have too much weight. This is why they do not stand out as much, they supplement the message rather than being the sole focus of attention. You can make them the same width as letters or slightly thinner. This way the visuals will not be “heavy” and won’t distract from the text (this is very important). You have to be careful: while bolder lines might sometimes simply look better, this design distracts from your product.

We do this
Instead of this

2. Express almost every metaphor, vision, idea possible

Characters, detailed diagrams, cities, and even little icons could be made using only lines. With this singular approach, you achieve consistency and balance. Every single visual element of the website should be consistent for ease of use. Simply put, it’s nice on the eyes. The only exception is if your branding is aggressive and you’re specifically aiming at a more bombastic design.

3. Quickly adapt to different formats

You can adapt line illustration to any format you need. Social media posts, presentations, merch. This is particularly relevant when your company doesn’t have an in-house illustrator, which you probably don’t. We develop illustrations while we do identity design, and they become as much of a part of the branding as the color scheme, font choice, and tone of voice. After we’re done with the website, you might consider using some of the illustrations in your social media and other formats. Makes perfect sense, why keep it in one place if it’s good and you could use it again? And so, why shouldn’t we make it easier for you in advance?

4. Be sure that everything turns out exactly like we’ve imagined

This is about all vector SVG illustrations, not just the line illustration. It’s easier to predict how it will look both on the newest iPhone and on your grandma’s computer. Retina won’t blur it and they don’t weigh much, so they won’t affect your site’s load speed and will easily load on mobile data too. At this point, most of the traffic you get is likely to come from mobile devices, so it’s extremely important that the mobile version of your website looks just as good as the desktop version.

5. Create drastically different styles

Illustrations give a lot of opportunities for your creativity. Challenging metaphors, colors, styles, characters, and stories: any possible concept that we can come up with for a project could be visually represented in a near-unlimited amount of ways. Every project deserves a unique, distinct style that’s just their own.

There are many other styles that could be successfully employed in web design. Analog, color spots, and nice and detailed isometry. These kinds of things work best for longreads, party announcements, and more emotional websites. There are large companies that have in-house illustrators for style and quality consistency. These styles are memorable, but they can be distracting. The important thing to keep in mind is that illustrations can make a product stand out, and you should carefully consider the right design choices for your branding, positioning, and the style that you’re aiming for.

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