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Custom Illustrations in Branding and Marketing

Custom Illustrations in Branding and Marketing

Illustrations can be a powerful tool in branding and marketing. When custom-made specifically for a brand or campaign, illustrations allow companies to connect with audiences in memorable and meaningful ways. This comprehensive guide will explore how custom illustrations can be leveraged across branding and marketing to captivate customers and bring brands to life.

Making a Strong First Impression

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A custom illustration featured prominently on a homepage or landing page makes an immediate visual impact on visitors. A custom graphic can convey a company’s personality and values with just one glance. 93% of marketers agree that visual assets are essential for successfully communicating brand messaging.

Illustrations crafted specifically for your brand also make your company and its offerings feel unique compared to competitors. Custom illustrations become an iconic part of your brand identity when done right.

“An original, on-brand illustration is like the mascot for your company. It captures attention and creates an emotional connection that makes your brand memorable.”

Character Illustrations Personify Your Brand

One popular illustration style features a character that represents your brand persona. These character illustrations give your brand its own identity that customers can relate to at an emotional level.

For example, mail delivery company UPS has illustrated characters like the “UPS Man” in its branding and marketing over the years. These recurring characters feel like trusted friends to UPS customers.

Well-designed character illustrations are simple yet expressive, so customers intuitively understand their role as your brand mascot. Their expressions, poses, accessories and environments all tell a story that reinforces what your brand stands for.

Scenic Illustrations Set the Tone and Context

Scenic or contextual illustrations without central characters are equally powerful for branding. These custom environmental illustrations showcase branded products, services or locations in an idealised setting.

For example, a custom restaurant illustration could feature patrons dining al fresco against the establishment’s exterior backdrop, complete with branded signage. The illustration lets potential customers glimpse the restaurant's welcoming, upscale ambience.

These custom illustrations allow you to encapsulate the most compelling aspects of your brand experience in one eye-catching image. You control every detail of the illustration to convey precisely what you want customers to know.

For creatives and businesses managing an extensive portfolio of custom illustrations and other digital assets, a robust digital asset management system can significantly streamline organisation and accessibility.

Illustrated Logos Distill Your Essence

Your company logo is the cornerstone of your visual branding. An illustrated logo combines artistic expression with your core identity. Brands like Mailchimp, Moz and Dropbox have playfully illustrated logos that inject personality into their brands.

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You can commission illustrated versions for specific marketing campaigns or branding touchpoints even when your logo features custom lettering rather than illustrations.

Illustrated logos showcase creativity and often feel more accessible and friendly than traditional corporate logos. These illustrated brand marks make companies feel more human and approachable.

Boosting Social Media with Spot Illustrations

Emoji Illustrations For Website Design

Spot illustrations—small yet detailed custom illustrations—are the perfect complement to social media branding touchpoints. These miniature illustrations enhance individual social posts and other marketing deliverables.

“Spot illustrations help transform ordinary social posts into something special and eye-catching in the feed.”

Spot illustrations add visual cohesion across your social channels, website, and advertisements when centred around a consistent theme or style. They also add artistic flair that makes your brand feeds more intriguing.

Illustrating Hashtags and Captions

One trendy way to incorporate spot illustrations is alongside branded hashtags or social media captions. For example, a custom hashtag like #TasteOfHome might be paired with a vibrant illustration of a fork spearing a plate of comfort food.

These illustrated hashtags and captions better capture user attention in busy social feeds than plain text-only tags. Illustrations also make your brand’s custom hashtags more scannable at a glance.

Animating Social Stories

Mini-illustrated sequences across a series of social posts let you convey an animated, story-like flow. For example, a hotel brand could commission a five-post illustration series depicting a couple enjoying various amenities during their hotel stay.

When viewers see the posts in sequence, it feels like flipping through a custom comic strip telling the hotel’s brand story. This brings your brand narrative to life better than static posts alone.

87% of customers want more visual storytelling from brands on social media. Animated illustration sequences deliver on that desire while boosting engagement.

The continuity between illustrations across multiple posts engages users to see the tale unfold. Illustration sequences on social platforms lend your brand story an element of entertainment and adventure.

Illustrating Ideal Customer Experiences

Csat Kpis For Customer Service

Custom illustrations are also invaluable for depicting an idealised customer journey specific to your brand. These illustrated narratives guide prospective customers through product benefits or service experiences in an easily digestible way.

Product Benefits Come to Life

For product manufacturers, custom illustrations efficiently showcase branded products used in everyday scenarios. You can commission a short sequence with multiple scenes of customers unboxing, setting up, and benefiting from your products.

These illustrated demonstrations make abstract product claims feel more tangible. Drawn figures, expressions and motions bring essential product advantages to life better than product photos alone. Custom illustrations actively engage viewer emotions for stronger connections.

Spotlighting Specialised Services

Service providers can also leverage custom illustrations tailor-made to highlight specific offerings. Detailed service illustrations break down each step of working with your business.

Complex B2B services like custom software implementation, financial consulting or legal services involve nuanced processes. Custom illustrations efficiently walk prospective enterprise clients through service deliverables, project phases and client/provider interactions.

In contrast, lengthy text descriptions quickly overwhelm readers. Illustrations condense how you operate and the outcomes clients can expect by working with you. The illustrated flow feels welcoming and human compared to stiff corporate documentation.

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64% of customers feel better about purchasing when they understand how a business’s product or service works. Illustrations foster this essential comprehension.

Illustrated Infographics Capture Attention

Piktochart Infographics

Infographics simplify complex statistics and data points through creative visualisations. When infographics feature custom illustrations tailored to your brand, they become even more exciting and memorable.

Augmenting charts or graphs with illustrated elements produce infographics that elegantly balance information delivery with artistic expression. This highly engaging combination promotes stronger comprehension plus sharing.

Informational Illustrations Connect Facts to Faces

You can incorporate custom-illustrated characters into sections of your infographic as “tour guides.” These informative illustrations put a relatable face on stats to increase meaning and recall.

Viewers feel an emotional lift seeing illustrations of people enthusiastically interacting with data about your brand. The illustrated human connection makes dry facts feel exciting and relevant. Infusing statistics with illustrated narratives boosts engagement.

Infographics get liked and shared on social media 3X more than any other type of content. Blending custom illustrations into your data visualisations makes them even more primed for virality.

Illustrated Metaphors Clarify Concepts

You can also illustrate abstract infographic data through conceptual metaphors. A custom graphic translating complicated statistics into a more straightforward illustrated idea resonates strongly and emotionally.

For example, a SaaS company could illustrate a market share stat as a pie chart showing their slice dwarfing competitors’. But even better is an illustration metaphor comparing the SaaS brand to a towering skyscraper and competitors as small huts. This envisioned scale disparity sticks in the viewer's memory better than any chart.

Illustrated metaphors enable infographics to imprint brand messaging beyond raw data. Illustrations make dry numbers feel inspiring through envisioned analogies. Creative visual interpretations of statistics better convince customers.

Spot Illustrations Enhance Diverse Deliverables

Custom spot illustration subsets bring visual intrigue to diverse marketing and branding deliverables:

  • Advertisements: Spot cartoons and illustrated metaphors make print/digital ads more eye-catching while conveying brand concepts.
  • Direct Mail: Illustrated postcards, brochures, and packages feel like gifts rather than junk mail.
  • White Papers: Scenic context illustrations sprinkled atop branded reports better engage readers with critical data points.
  • Presentations: Animated illustrated sequences during branded slide decks build anticipation and emphasise crucial information in memorable ways.
  • Packaging: Custom mascots, logos, and icons unify product packaging designs across individual items and product line families.
  • Swag: Vibrant illustrated stickers, notebooks, t-shirts, water bottles and other fun freebies turn customers into brand ambassadors.
  • Events: Life-sized illustrated standees of beloved brand characters attract attendee selfies and shares at conferences, trade shows and pop-up shops for increased visibility.

The use cases for custom illustrations are nearly endless across the marketing, sales and branding playbooks. Just about any branded asset or campaign deliverable can be enhanced through commissioning matching artistic illustrations customised for your brand identity and customer base.

Conclusion: Illustrations Build Brand Love

In today’s oversaturated media landscape, custom illustrations help brands capture customer attention while conveying identity. Illustrated branding and marketing assets humanise companies through memorable visual storytelling full of personality.

Illustrations designed specifically around your brand’s goals, offerings and audiences outperform generic stock graphics. Original illustrations feel like an insider relic; only those who know will admire and cherish them rather than forget them.

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Commissioning reliable illustrators to craft ongoing illustration subsets united across touchpoints creates cohesive recognition. Customers come to expect and eagerly anticipate your brand’s signature illustrated style across social feeds, promotions, packages and more.

64% of people feel more positive about buying from a business after viewing custom-branded illustrations. Unleash this engagement-boosting creative content strategy to win customers' hearts, minds, and wallets.

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of custom illustrations work best for branding?

Character illustrations, scenic contextual illustrations, illustrated logos and spot illustrations applied across branding and marketing materials work best for memorable branding.

How do custom illustrations attract social media attention?

Illustrated hashtags, captions, and sequentially animated social content perform better than plain text and static posts alone. Illustrations bring artistic flair to captivate feeds.

Why use illustrations to demonstrate products and services?

Illustrated sequences simplifying customer journeys connect better emotionally than plain text explanations or generic stock photos. Custom illustrations spotlight idealised interactions.

How do infographics benefit from custom illustrations?

Illustrated data visualisation elements and conceptual metaphors aid comprehension and sharing compared to raw data charts alone. Illustrations give infographics mass appeal.

What are some diverse uses for spot illustrations?

Small custom illustrations enhance branded deliverables across channels, from ads to packaging to swag. Consumers appreciate illustrations’ artistic touches as welcome surprises.

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Stuart Crawford

Stuart Crawford is an award-winning creative director and brand strategist with over 15 years of experience building memorable and influential brands. As Creative Director at Inkbot Design, a leading branding agency, Stuart oversees all creative projects and ensures each client receives a customised brand strategy and visual identity.

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