Studio Blog

The biggest myth about Illustration design ( Are they just some pretty graphics? )

Though the thing is out of all design mediums (graphic design, illustration, photography, and 3d renders), the illustration approach seems to be the unusual choice because many perceive it as fun without the function. 

These are facts— that we need to debunk.

Myth 1: Illustration/Design can only either be fun or functional. 

Many seem to think design can only serve one purpose as if the world is black or white.

However, good illustration/design welds both fun and function together. The gift of this field is not just to serve the brand or product’s function. It’s using fun to create emotional connections with their audience, to make them resonate and build a relationship with the brand or product, to make the brand a ‘friend’ to grow alongside. 

Let’s dig deeper with Etsy, an online platform to sell creative goods. Their illustrated branding communicates their purpose of being an artsy/crafty platform. However, due to the customized colors and style, they also portray themselves as warm and down to earth. This fun quirk gifts another functional benefit of having these illustrations, which is attracting a similar kind of audience to their brand and building a distinct character in the market. 

Myth 2: Illustration can only be fun. 

Let’s take Waze as a case study. Waze is an app that gets drivers to work together to have the fastest journey. Focusing on the design, we can observe how the logo and elements cleverly combine fun and function. 

At a glance, Waze’s logo might be cute, but it immediately expresses the app’s function. The speech bubble hints to us it’s a social/community app, and the wheels tell us, it’s for vehicles. An app for the driving community, okay halfway there.

We venture to look at more elements, and the illustrations tell us more of the story. Though these illustrations indicate that the full app’s function is for road/traffic, they put a fun twist on this topic that many adults dread. The appearance communicates traffic jams can look less dreadful that it can be at ease, which for WAZE, that’s another benefit for them. The illustrations emotionally resonate with how most of us want traffic to be, and thus sways us more to use the app & brand’s favor. 

These are two out of many brands that know the truths of illustration, how it can be customizable to create a brand’s persona and use it to their advantage. Plus, they also understand it’s vital their brands are an approachable, fun character to support their audience at this time. 

This discussion may only be the start, and yet we hope this little nugget of info is your ponder of the day.

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