‘A picture is worth a thousand words’ as the old saying goes, which is why it’s not surprising that photographs are commonly-used design elements.
However, there are times where using illustrations is the better option. Photographs have their own pros, but they also have their own cons, and communicate messages in different ways compared to illustrations.
If you’re considering calling up an illustrator like Rabinky Art to put some style into your design, here are the reasons to use illustrations.
Expressing something abstract
Take a look at the idea or concept that you’re trying to convey. Something abstract, where the idea can’t really be simplified into specific visuals, is better-suited for illustrations.
Photography is good for something that’s accessible and grounded in reality, like a location or a person. High concepts like ‘creativity’, or ‘innovation’, however, lend themselves better to the illustrative treatment, as they’re not exactly something that can be photographed.
A photographer captures life and its ideas, while an illustrator like Rabinky Art brings ideas to life.
The subject is too ambitious to photograph
Sometimes, when you want to send a message, you want to push things. You want to be limited only by your imagination, not by things like logistics, weather, lighting, and the like.
If you’re aiming for something futuristic, surreal, or just plain fantastical, it’s more practical to go for an illustration. Photographs might be possible, but that could be way too steep a cost for a single visual aid. Pick the right kind of illustration; make it a collage if you need to, in order to make sure you get your subject properly represented.
There’s a story that needs telling
Storytelling might’ve been turned into a buzzword by the advertising industry, but it’s no lie that a good narrative gets people’s attention like few others can.
Illustrations are great for guiding people through a journey, either with scenes or characters, or by putting in a connecting theme across different images. Characters and mascots are a way to present the brand’s attitude and values in a way that’s easy to grasp and remember, while themes like education or environmental awareness, can be subtly woven into the design so people ‘get it’.