Throughout my 14 years in the design industry, I’ve used countless tools to work on my design projects. One of the first tools I used was the venerable design workhorse Adobe Photoshop, and it became my favorite tool for web and print design back in 2004. In the early days of my career, I considered Photoshop to be the most complete tool in terms of web design and mobile application design. Challenging Adobe’s dominance, Sketch arrived in 2010 and in my opinion revolutionized the UI/UX design process for Mac users. I loved Sketch and used it whenever I could for my web projects, but its lack of compatibility with PCs proved to be an inconvenient limitation in mixed-platform environments.
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.
Limiting an illustrator to using your already established color palette can take the final illustration to the next level.
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!
Our expertise is only as good as our ability to share it with you. Here are the latest thoughts and ideas from our team.
When I tell people that I’m a user experience (UX) designer, most people nod politely as their eyes glaze over for a second, and they try to move the conversation along. Early in my career I thought they were completely uninterested, but over time, I came to realize that many people simply don’t know what UX is and might feel awkward about asking. On behalf of misunderstood UX designers everywhere, please allow me to introduce you to the wonders of quality UX and why you should care about it.
What is a visual brand identity, you ask? It’s only one of the most important things about your business. Branding is far more in depth than aesthetics. It delves into the core of why you exist as a business. It requires hours of research and analysis to ultimately cultivate something visually appealing that communicates your message: your visual identity. A visual identity is comprised of a system of external expressions such as a logo, color palette and texture, typography, iconography, illustration, photography, motion principles, and composition.
I went fishing the other day and all I caught was a good UX lesson for you. Here’s the deal: my daughter entered the neighborhood annual fishing derby. For a decent UX guy, I’m a terrible fisherman. But I do know how to bait a squirming worm and unhook the slimiest of fish.