3 Reasons to Use a Limited Color Palette for Your Next Brand Illustration

From Google and Dropbox to Slack and Airbnb, big brands made custom illustrations a rising trend in 2018, and 2019 doesn’t show any signs of this trend slowing down.

Yet, illustrated brand content is nothing new, and at one time when photography didn’t even exist, it was the only means of advertising visually outside of using straight-up text. Once color replication in print was more accessible, illustrations came to support marketing and sales of a brand.

Introducing illustration to your brand is a way to bring individuality, creativity, and even a larger than life effect. And we’ve found that when limiting the colors used in your brand, and subsequently, your brand’s illustrations, it helps to establish unity across everything that’s created.

A color palette is essentially the range of colors in a given piece of art or design.

These colors, like in traditional fine art, may be mixed or blended to create more swatches in an illustration. There are many ways a color palette can be decided, but this is usually already explored by a brand in their brand guidelines.

Color Palette

Limiting an illustrator to using your already established color palette can take the final illustration to the next level.

But why?

Here are 3 good reasons to use a limited color palette for your next brand illustration:

1. Elevate Your Brand Out of Stock Photography Prison

Your brand is evolving. You’ve already used every good stock photo you can find. You have a great brand color palette. Why not make more use of these swatches in your brand’s guidelines? Use the colors that are already associated with your brand in a new and exciting way, and in doing so, you’ll have created value around those colors and tied rich content back to your brand, all while avoiding cliché imagery.

Let’s take a look at Slack. We all know and love Slack for its revolutionary, streamlined communication tools, but ever notice how the illustrations literally draw inspiration from the same exact colors in the logo? The illustrator used these colors and only a few complimentary colors in the same range as the original logo colors. Therefore, all of these illustrations instantly feel like Slack and thus the brand is elevated to a beautiful world of richly colored characters that jump off the screen!