In a world where consuming digital content is the new normal, good web design is indispensable for building a company’s visual brand. Good web design practices help brands communicate and connect with users. Aesthetics, usability and functionality are some key aspects to deliberate upon when designing a neat looking website. But the thing is, I have been visiting a lot of websites in these past 3 months, and have noticed a recurring characteristic amongst these websites. The characteristic, you may wonder? Illustrations.

There I said it. Like a long lost lover, in a sea of landing pages – my eyes will only search for beautiful illustrations. One might limit themselves to certain types of design if only one of the above mentioned aspects (Aesthetics, usability and functionality) are taken into consideration. Website illustration is that design solution that wraps in all the other aspects in itself.

In my ‘unbiased’ opinion, Illustrations on company websites often portray the culture behind the brand and its products or services. Although subtle, they may convey the brand’s vision while forming a visual identity that the brand wants to grow in. That identity could be serious, funny or at times even surreal. In all honesty, nobody wants to and has the time to read chunks of copy. They bore people and looking at badly photoshopped images is nothing but tiring.So, let me take you through some examples I found interesting from my recent research I undertook while learning about digital possibilities.

Why top apps and websites are embracing illustrations

What do we gain with illustrations?

The personal touch

Some memorable experiences

A simple approach

"More companies are incorporating design into their process, and as the future unfolds, creativity is going to matter.”

Great illustrations have the ability to solve complex problems within organizations, as they continuously evolve the culture in companies across the globe.

These examples just show different ways to foster engagement and how functionality, aesthetics and usability can be found integrated into well thought out illustrations. So don’t be shy to proclaim your love for illustrations when you build your next website.

Sometimes while copy takes a backseat, illustrations make the point. Atlassian, Animat and Slack are three websites that intend to humanize their brand by showing people in their illustrations. These websites also integrate illustrations both on macro and micro levels, having tiny icons created in the same illustration style

My absolute favourite illustrations are those that create a memorable experience for website visitors. Sometimes, these illustrations might not be the primary elements of the design - but they serve their purpose by delivering the brands vision and helping users connect with the product. Zendesk and AtoZ of AI are both great examples of this detail. AtoZ of AI especially uses bold illustrations with funny characters to convey information about tough subjects like AI.

I was particularly impressed by the illustrations done by Miro and Mailchimp. The simplicity of the drawings and the rustic looking lines really stood out for me. The muted colours with the grainy textures produced a sense of calm and warmth.

Ian Spalter, Instagram Head of Design

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