Designs which involve the viewer do better.
Good illustrative design and infographics will always communicate clearly across language and cultural barriers.
The purpose of illustration is to make clear or to decorate an advertisement, brochure, logo, website or other textual story. Illustration continues to very often be the best way of providing visual communication or representation of something concrete described in the text or an abstract idea, function or process. Furthermore illustration will always guarantee that the client’s visual communication—whether logo, brochure or website—is a unique brand expression.
“I am an ‘Illustrative Designer’ I care about making beautiful things that are useful.”
My illustration skills and experience spans expressive and scientific images of wildlife and flora, diagrams of abstract processes, and technical illustration to give information on how to operate or use something, as well as decorative maps and cartographic diagrams.
Illustrations are memorable
Illustration provides an overall impression of what an object is or does, how a process flows or functions, or it maps or charts information with the aim of immediately engaging the viewer’s interest and understanding, and being memorable.
There is a growing interest today in original artwork used as illustrations in advertising, brochures, logos, magazines, posters, teeshirts, etc. In the world of visual art, rubbing up against fine art, illustration has have sometimes been considered less important, and in the communication arts and graphic design field, many thought it would be superseded by photography. In fact the term “illustrative designer” that I use to describe myself is sometimes used as a pejorative.
My illustration workflow always begins with thumbnail sketches or more fully developed illustrations or renderings in pencil or marker which I then use as a “tracing layer” in order to develop in illustration programmes such as Freehand, Illustrator, Photoshop and Painter using my Wacom® tablet as a rendering interface, which, because it is pressure sensitive has the ability to record gestures in a way congruent with “natural media” techniques and finish.
My technical illustration workflow always begins with thumbnail sketches or sets of reference photos which are traced over and developed using the Stylus and Tablet. The need for very precise and detailed imaging and ongoing updates to products and processes makes digital illustration the ideal work method for these subjects.
Pictures tell a story
Modern logos are streamlined and the illustration for logos is, out of necessity in order to reproduce well on the screen, often reduced to a silhouette and, unless you’re in the fashion business, the company name is set in a low key typeface.
The illustrated word, or wordmark is very effective type of logo, it is simple, distinctive and conveys a single-minded idea that involves the viewer.
Decima’s logo tells a story. The firm is a biotechnology company who develop “life affirming” therapeutic products in the laboratory for global markets. Their wordmark tells the story of the Greco-Roman fate who the firm is named after, Decima. Decima’s role was to draw out and measure the thread of life. The success of the logo rests on the proximity of the drawing to the type and the reversed line is carefully placed for legibility. The visual double entendre of the heart shape is the second way the reader is engaged to complete the picture.