A brief insight into modern illustrative web design
Illustrations breathe life into an otherwise standard web page that simply comprises interactive elements and textual content. Be it stock illustrations, freehand doodles or sketches, or even picturesque images – illustrations serve to break the monotony of content, highlighting some of the most important aspects by means of visuals. Web design today widely uses graphic and stock illustrations, given the time and monetary constraints associated with keeping the page contents of the website updated at regular intervals. However, there are quite a few aesthetic enthusiasts that go the extra mile to create or commission illustrations and hand-drawn sketches to adorn their websites. Here are a few illustration techniques that serve to enhance the visual appeal of websites.
Character illustrations serve to add a fun or humour perspective to the message that is being conveyed. A serious message is rendered in a lighter vein, while still emphasising the importance of the content. Mascots that are representative of specific brands, products or business offerings often add a personal touch to the message, irrespective of their usage. In addition to being prominently displayed on the homepage of the website, mascots essentially form a part of the advertisement banners instantly connecting the viewers to the corresponding brand. Along with this, the mascots will have to be unique, custom illustrations, pretty much on the same lines as a brand logo.
Thematic illustrations impact the entire presentation aspect of the web page – the layout, page elements, content all go hand in hand to focus on a given theme. Often presented in the form of a backdrop to a web page, these illustrations actually highlight the purpose of the website by means of their visual appeal and look. They either standalone or blend with other web page elements to communicate the intended message to the visitor.
Contrary to thematic illustrations, random ones simply add to the aesthetic appeal of the website, comprising almost any design that gels well with the purpose of the site and its contents. Geometric or floral designs, textured background, a transparent collage of colours, any interesting figment that adds value to the site qualify as random illustrations.
Very similar to freehand sketches, hand written text has its own appeal and serves to draw the attention of visitors to the hand written message.
Inforaphics effectively combines images with the corresponding information presented alongside, making it easier for the reader to correlate the messages with the pictures to understand the full picture. Infographics today are increasingly adopted to convey elaborate messages in a simple but effective format. It is certainly a great alternative to reading blocks of running text. Extending the same concept, an apt mix of illustrations and information on the home page of a website is a neat way to communicate with the user.
Irrespective of the technique adopted, it is important to delineate illustrations from interactive elements on screen such as links, command buttons and other elements that prompt user action, in order to present a clear picture. The visual medium has a greater reach when compared to other communication media. Illustrations not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of a web page but it also serves to make a lasting impression on the visitors!