In recent years illustration has evolved far beyond traditional child’s play. The classic art form that many people associate with children’s books actually has serious B2B benefits.
More and more, illustration has become a focus of company web pages, getting more unique and colorful with each year. Illustrations can be a powerful tool in brand storytelling and avoiding the potential pitfall of cheesy stock alternatives. They can provide your customers with an approachable introduction to a brand, while also reinforcing design styles or colors key to your visual identity. For many B2B companies, illustrations have become an essential component of customer-facing imagery.
Here at Bluetext, we see a variety of purposeful illustration styles. Two of the main objectives for B2B companies seeking illustration is to visually describe abstract products, or depict meaningful customer experiences. For many industries, such as tech or cybersecurity, showing literal subjects or end-user experience is not possible through photography, therefore, illustration is an ideal solution.
Below are some of our favorite illustration themes used to take clients’ business goals to new heights.
There’s no reason to shy away from simplicity! Flat illustrations have been a huge trend in 2020, with many major companies including GoDaddy, Mailchimp, and Slack implementing them into their brand designs. This illustration style is most often used to depict people or experiences. Stock photography tends to favor extremely generic scenarios, or let’s face it, painfully boring subjects. When your business wants to highlight a specific experience or incorporate as much branded detail as possible, custom art may be the way to go. Illustrative styles offer far more flexibility and adaptation, without falling flat.
Bluetext produced flat illustration styles for Centauri’s employee engagement campaigns to depict unique company events and contests that stock photos could not.
Bluetext’s work for Cvent brought custom illustrations to life in a 3D animated video. Intended to immerse the viewer with a preview of the event experience, graphic designers and animators transformed human illustration into a realistic simulation. With this stunning visual design, Cvent was able to digitally communicate their in-person experience to remote viewers and translate their business value in the most powerful manner.
Bluetext’s work for GMAC, Graduate Management Admissions Council, promotes graduate school admissions in an approachable and digestible manner. Stretch illustrations were used in the revamped CallingAllOptimists.com campaign to inspire people motivated to improve their future opportunities into action. Juxtaposing a serious life decision and often anxiety heavy admissions process with a uniquely, optimistic brand identity captures both the courage and the celebration of the end-user. Illustrative styles complemented real photography to provide a snapshot of the user, decision factors, and end result.
In another successful campaign for GMAC, Bluetext designed custom humanistic illustrations to represent user personas. In awareness of a wide breadth of audience targets, the campaign opted to show a variety of potential applicants in a range of career stages. To resonate with a potential applicant, it was key that they could imagine themselves pursuing a graduate degree. To avoid isolating any potential audience members, Bluetext’s custom illustrations avoided biases of race or ethnicity by showing monochromatic styling of men and women in post-grad, young professionals, and even in established careers.
Another top use case for illustrations is product depictions. Especially in service-based or digital industries, it can be a challenge to accurately depict what you’re selling to customers. Bluetext client RevBits, a cybersecurity software and service provider, overcame this obstacle with branded product illustrations. With a complex product lifecycle, visuals helped conceptualize their cybersecurity offerings in a clean and user-friendly format. Especially on webpages, product illustrations were an ideal way to communicate offerings to users scanning a webpage and without the time or desire to read long paragraphs of text. The illustrations utilized key brand elements such as color palettes and iconography to maintain a consistent brand experience throughout the website.
Digital illustrations are catching a new wave of excitement from companies across all industries. With an ever-expanding range of use cases and applications, we predict this will quickly become one of the most effective ways for B2C or B2B companies to start a more emotional conversation with users. With the rise of personalization and hyper-targeting, establishing warmer and more “human” relationships with clients and customers is a proven way to strengthen loyalty and improve overall ROI.