The importance of illustration

Why is illustration important in marketing? – part 2

This guide gives us 12 ways in which illustration can significantly boost an organisation’s marketing. Using examples from industry, Part 1 looked at the first six:

01: Creates awareness to your audience
02: Draws attention to your brand or products
03: Cost-effective
04: Enhances text
05: Promotes a better response
06: Stands with your audience

Now in Part 2 of we continue with the various ways in which illustration can be a powerful tool in marketing and advertising.


Here we look at how illustration:


07: Delivers customer education

08: Catches visual attention

09: Customisation for your business purpose

10: Replaces boring and overused stock photos of styles

11: Is the selling power of aesthetics, and

12: Introduces storytelling to unite your organisation

07: Delivers Customer Education

Education can be a critical part of a successful marketing campaign. E.g. some adverts are created to help customers with how they need to use a product or service. But the typical intellectual approach that is seen in schools is less suitable for the wider population.


Illustrations epitomise the golden rule of “show, don’t tell”. They are ideal ways to educate customers in a way that doesn’t make them feel they are at school. Illustrations allow for a more relaxed, informal delivery that connects with the customer’s emotions.

08: Catches Visual Attention

Illustrations allow you to convey both complex or simple messages. Or you can break up an advert with different illustrations that inform large or small pieces of information. Therefore, illustrations work as excellent tools for relating your story that resonates well with your audience. Our eyes are the doors to our soul, so what makes the eye happy will make the soul happy.

Also, the visual hierarchy of a webpage can be significantly enhanced with illustration. Effective marketing and advertising design must to consider fonts, white space, forms, and other information. Bespoke illustrations help your audience navigate the whole interface, providing a visual link or breathing space between sections.

HelpScout’s website utilises a simple yet effective illustration of two people having a conversation in a calming, naturalistic environment. This is used alongside HelpScout’s in-app messaging feature:

09: Customisation

An effective a marketing or advertising campaign needs to be memorable and therefore it needs to be unique.


Illustrations are easy to customise with a style and colour scheme that suits your brand or promotional campaign. Using illustration, you are able to tell the story you need for your campaign. You have complete control over the characters and the scenes you want to portray, creating the right visuals for your organisation and tell the right story.
Ecommerce seller Etsy uses brand colours throughout its illustrative content to align with its logo. They even have illustrations on their gift cards:

10: Replaces Boring and Overused Stock Photos or Styles

Photographs can be important in marketing campaigns. However, it is possible to use an overused style or subject of photographs. Even irregular visitors to the internet will have seen either many of the same photos or the same style of photo used on various websites. It is true that illustration styles are not immune to becoming generic, such as the flat and widely used Alegria art style, but there are very few other examples.

With photographs it is also possible to unwittingly use copyrighted photos and be dragged into expensive legal action. But with illustrations, you avoid overused photos that are a public persona for organisations within a specific industry. This is why many discerning and creative advertisers use illustrations because they provide broader and deeper options for creativity. Also, bespoke illustrations ensure that all images are unique and designed to suit an organisation’s brand and needs.

11: The Selling Power of Aesthetics

Alongside the great functionality of illustrations, they also provide an aesthetic value to the design of your marketing. People will always desire beauty. Having a functional marketing campaign or website coupled with desirable colours will make people notice your brand or product. The old saying “packaging sells”, remains applicable to the online world.

Slack uses illustrations throughout their website:

12: Storytelling Unites Your Organisation

Finally, storytelling combines many blocks of information about your organisation or campaign into one story. This cohesion makes the blocks more memorable while demonstrating a strong, clear connection between them.

This also shines a good light on your organisation. It is important that your audience see a pleasing oneness being presented within your organisation. Ask yourself, would I feel comfortable in giving my business to an organisation that was fractured and lacked unity? We love to see oneness – it is very appealing – and the storytelling aspects of illustration promotes this beautifully.


In addition, an organisation can use storytelling illustrations to set an atmosphere, relay a message or present benefits so they correspond to your organisation’s personality or mission while staying relatable to your audience.
MailChimp uses such illustrations throughout their website: