Deciding to use or create illustrations within website design can be a tricky decision – as designers we should ask ourselves how it will influence the look and feel of the brand. Will it help or hinder the website?
Many businesses resort to buying stock photography as it's quicker and easier, however this isn't necessarily for the best. For example, when we were tasked with designing our new 'My School Portal' website, you search for 'school communication' and it brings up hundreds of generic options to sift through. Selecting the right stock images makes a huge difference to a website, but a leap of faith is required when using illustration – it gives you the opportunity to be unique and customise your message.
When we were designing illustrations to fit in with 'My School Portal', ensuring illustrations tied in with the website was key. My School Portal communication is a platform created by mso to streamline the communication between schools and parents, the website (and the illustrations) needed to communicate this. When brainstorming the style of the illustrations the below were at the forefront of my mind:
This is the first illustration I created – it clearly represents a parent with their child in conversation with a teacher. The iPad in the hand highlights the communication platform: My School Portal. The style of the illustration encourages minimalism with the use of simple shapes to create the characters. Reverting against using facial features ensures there are no distractions for the user whilst communication of our product is at the forefront.
Placing illustrations in the website to ensure it is not overpowering is vital – it is important it enhances the website and doesn’t distract. This includes considering size and positioning on the web page:
From this initial illustration, we continue to develop the designs to use across all of our print and digital material creating a consistent and strong identity which is now a fundamental part of our brand.