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The Impact of Illustration in Brand Design

21 Apr. 2024
Hajer Al Amoudi
Haya Al Jamal


Hajer Al Amoudi_illustration.webp
Hajer Al Amoudi | Graphic Designer & Illustrator

When approaching the beginning stages of structuring a brand identity, the vision of how it may appear begins to take shape in our minds. It could start by visualizing colors, imagery, or considering the feeling it should evoke. No matter what part we choose to create for our brand first, the bigger picture always includes certain essential brand elements. One of which that is immediately recognized by the audience are illustrations.

As a component included within the bigger picture, illustration has a special role of presenting content in a visual form rather than conveying it through written information. It makes it easy for the audience to understand a brand’s message and personality when constructed within an identity. Furthermore, as an element, illustrations can be very versatile since these visuals can be stylized and adapted according to each brand’s character.

RWDC — Illustrating Culture for the Futuristic Age

Riyadh World Design Capital (RWDC), was a significant case of how illustrations played a prominent role in the brand's identity. The goal was to showcase the deep roots and history of Riyadh while also depicting it in a way that’s modern and futuristic — creating a connection between the past and future. Therefore, the illustration style followed a geometric and abstract look. It was composed to appear similar to puzzle pieces that are shaped within each other and constructed to create a static yet lively approach. This was cohesive with the rest of the brand identity which relies on shapes that are formed to symbolize different cultural elements of the city. By doing that, we were able to translate our brand by simply placing visuals at the forefront since the brand stands for utilizing design to improve the modern age.

Nana — Connecting with Local Communities

Nana, an intriguing case study, demonstrates how illustrations can engage an audience in various ways. The brand makes use of visuals in order to relate to their local target audience. By incorporating a camel as the brand mascot, Nana immediately transformed its image to be more casual and fun, resonating with the local target audience. Furthermore, Nana effectively utilizes illustrations in social media posts, showcasing unique motion graphics that depict the brand's services and playfully communicate the challenges of daily grocery shopping. The style of Nana in terms of illustration is certainly loud, bold and colorful, making it stand out in the market.

Read the full case: The Fast-Traveling Camel | Nana 

DAZ — Bringing a Child’s Imagination to Life

While not all brands require illustrations, certain ones rely on them to create an essential part of their identity. DAZ, a children’s brand that’s all about providing a space of entertainment for kids to play, have fun and explore, exemplifies the importance of illustrations. The brand’s rounded shapes and filled forms are reminiscent of the freedom and carefree nature of children and how they interact with the world. It showcases childlike environments, and cultural landmarks as detailed along with minor illustrations throughout the brand’s collaterals. The way these subjects are drawn give off a feeling of happiness making it interesting to look at in the perspective of the audience. Detailed illustrations of childlike environments and cultural landmarks throughout the brand's collaterals evoke happiness and resonate with the brand's target audience, making illustrations a core element of DAZ's identity.

The brand’s illustration is characterized with a childlike bubbly look, reflecting the overall brand personality.

The Cultural Talents Program  — A Dynamic Style for a Wider Audience

In some cases, illustrations are presented as the sole brand element along with supporting components in order to create balance. In this case, it’s important to construct something in an artistic style that stands out. The Cultural Talents Program was a project which encouraged students to showcase their personal talents. Therefore, it was instantly clear that the visuals needed to appear as if they are bursting with energy and filled with movement. It was established that even though the main target audience are young students, something to consider when creating the visuals for the brand was the wide age range. Therefore the illustration style needed to be carefully through out in order to appear interesting to all ages of school students. The brand’s main goal is to motivate individuals to join in on the competition. It gives off a feeling of calling to action and inviting everyone to join in which is why the illustrations are seen as an important key player when delivering this message visually.

Read the full case: Cultural Talents Tournaments 

The style depicted within the brand is abstract, sharp and rounded, making it burst with energy.

Le Croissant — Transforming a Beloved Brand

Le Croissant, a brand that was present in every household and every person’s childhood, recently underwent a visual transformation. The design revamp involved incorporating graphics and illustrations to create a more modern and cheerful image. The graphics played a huge role in depicting a younger and more cheerful character for the brand, and created a unique experience for the target audiences. By integrating illustrations with the main brand elements, Le Croissant enhanced its brand while maintaining its loyal customer base.

Read the full case: Le Croissant 

The illustrations show enthusiasm and humor, reflecting how customers feel when they interact with the brand.

In conclusion, illustrations have the power to elevate a brand's appearance and enhance the audience's experience. People tend to respond well to visual representations that convey ideas directly, rather than relying on messages from written text. While creating illustrations requires effort, their impact can be instantly understood and convey a clear meaning, making them a valuable asset in shaping a brand's identity.

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