News & Views

How illustration can help your brand step up and stand out

Illustration of a hand painting on a digital tablet

Is illustration right for my brand?” It’s a question you’ve probably asked yourself. And you may have dismissed it because you think that creating high-quality illustrations is too hard and too costly, or that it’s inflexible and difficult to manage.

It may be time for professional services and other B2B brands to rethink this bias, because original illustration can be one of the best ways to differentiate your brand and illustrate (literally) your personality and ideas. It helps that access to diverse, high quality illustration has never been easier — it’s no longer as expensive, exclusive, and time consuming as you might think.

In the world of digital creation and production, illustrators can produce artwork more quickly and responsively — and at more accessible budgets. And by sharing and showcasing their work on Instagram and Behance and other dedicated illustration platforms, they can connect and work with clients more easily and efficiently.

A deeper connection between image and message

Today, many brands and media outlets are coming around to the power of illustration to create richer and more meaningful stories. This has led to a renaissance of sorts in editorial and brand illustration, celebrated in the New York Times, resurging in fashion, and upfront in some of the most exciting emerging brands. Today’s communicators are drawn to illustration for its ability to really communicate, not just decorate, and its potential to cut through and connect in the dense and competitive visual landscape of business communications and advertising.

A collection of illustration images from various companies

At Thinkso, we've used illustration to help a range of B2B clients make unexpected, emotional, and playful connections with their audiences—and help them stand out.

An almost infinite range of styles

Other typical knocks against illustration in the B2B world is that it feels old fashioned and out of step with today’s digital world. Or it’s not serious enough — too “retail.” Getting out of the mindset that illustration is an approach and style unto itself puts these concerns to rest. Custom illustration, by definition, is among the most unrestrained visual approaches you can use, limited only by your ideas and the artist’s imagination. And today’s digitally enabled and connected illustrators offer an unprecedented diversity of talent and styles — all at the ready to create something unique for your brand, and uniquely resonant for your customers.

Illustrations of nature patterns and flowers

Software giant Oracle employs subtle but rich backdrops and intricate illustrations to enhance its messages.

Photo collage with man and animated boy

CRM powerhouse Salesforce’s playful integration of illustration and photography set an optimistic and open mood.

A unique way to express a unique brand

Even with these new efficiencies, working with an illustrator (or illustrators) takes a certain commitment, and developing a style that fits your brand and set of assets you can use will take time. But if illustration is the right choice for you, you’ll find that the extra effort and time is worth the benefits you’ll get from a unique — and uniquely expressive — way to communicate your company’s personality, ideas, and brand.