Illustration is an amazing tool.

It has the power to draw attention to items, products or services that may otherwise have been overlooked. There are 3 key reasons:

1

An illustration is generally one-of-a-kind and unlike a stock photo you purchase, a custom illustration will be unique to your story.
2

A good illustration style can be an ongoing, brand identifier, since it will often be the first thing people see.
3

Custom illustration can be factual or whimsical and entertain and communicate in memorable ways.

The key to using illustration in design, is understanding when it’s appropriate and what style will integrate with your message. Subject matter, target audience and medium dictate appropriateness. For example, an advertisement for a lost dog wrapped around a telephone pole with a cartoon rendering of the pooch, is not an effective use of illustration. It may briefly grab the attention of a passerby, but it likely won’t connect the missing pup with their owner.

There are many different illustration styles. A favourite of ours is conceptual/abstract, where shapes are simplified but the message is clear. This style lends itself well to many projects including infographics, logo and branding, animation, icon development and more.

Illustration Samples

We use illustration frequently and you will see examples sprinkled throughout our portfolio. Here are a few examples:

Ed Huck Marine Logo
Branding

A company’s brand is a visual representation of who they are. Illustration is used frequently in branding for logo emblems/icons, as custom graphics are developed to create a unique brand identity.

Ed Huck Marine has been in the 1000 Islands area of the St. Lawrence River for well over 100 years and when their logo needed updating and refinement to work in various media, without losing the connection their history and highly recognizable identity, we created this one-of-a-kind logo.

Beaver Mascot
Mascot Development

Many brands develop “mascots” as an afterthought. Sometimes it’s a cute drawing that gets reused and repurposed and without brand standards applied, it eventually discredits the overall brand.

When we were first engaged to work with Upper Canada District School Board International Education Program, we immediately noticed this very problem. They had created hand-out promotional items or small-scale print designs using a beaver, but they always tended to look different. We developed their beaver mascot as a Vector file with strict colour and usage guidelines, making it accessible for print, video, web and interactive. It can be seen on the new marketing support materials we have created and will soon grace their video stings.

Zmap
Map & Building Illustration

Graphics maps are used across many types of media to show location and establish a sense of place. We find that customized maps are very successful at making an impact.

A project for Upper Canada District School Board International Education Program was all about custom map illustration. We have created a unique hard-cover, fold-out map that is used to introduce potential foreign students to eastern Ontario and the UCDSB program. The map had to be highly visual and photographs of individual schools was not cost-effective nor visually appealing. We developed custom 3-D illustrations for each of the 21 high schools that allows each to have a unique quality and presence.

Infographic Poster
Infographics

Infographics are about presenting complex ideas, processes or information in a visual and easy to understand way. Infographics can exist in many forms, such as web graphics, video animation, posters and more.

While developing branding and content for Brockville’s Aquatarium, we partnered with the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation to develop an informational poster about the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway System, how it works and what it does for North America. The goal for the poster was to be a “cool” collectible, informative and bilingual, developed both in English and French.

Video Animation

Animation is a fun and engaging way to bring illustrations to life.

The Ontario Association of Cardiologists is the official association for Ontario’s heart doctors. A large part of their messaging is focused on peer-to-peer, but they often speak to the public as well. Using hand-drawn illustration as the starting point, we created this award-winning video animation that shows the incredible powers of the heart.

Kaitlyn Claus

Kaitlyn Claus

Kaitlyn has always been an artist and creative thinker. She has a Bachelor of Design and loves to jump in and try new creative techniques. When not designing or crafting, she loves cooking up a new recipe.