Illustration systems have become synonymous with a brand’s identity. Whether it is a social media page, email, or webpage, one of the best ways to provide a colorful yet meaningful and fun user experience is with the use of powerful visual elements. Irrespective of whether it's a website, UI for an app, or social media, illustrations are soon becoming integral to a brand’s image.
What is an illustration system?
Illustrations define a brand’s image and they are the cornerstone for branding design. The number of ways illustration systems may be used is practically limitless, which explains why they are becoming increasingly important to providing unique brand content. It is quite similar to a design system, in the way different pre-existing reusable illustrations are mixed and matched to create new illustrations and compositions.
Illustration systems consist of customizable illustrations and templates that can be both static as well as animated. The avatars can be changed and molded at will and as per brand requirements. The multitude of ways in which these systems may be utilized is practically limitless, which explains why they are becoming increasingly important in providing brand content.
Humaaans, Hey!, Blush and Ouch are all examples of illustration systems that brands can use to create enhanced visuals for their products, both online and offline. Each of these systems is made up of a variety of components, such as scenes, objects, moods and characters and so much more!
It can help to add an extra zest of life into an important piece of content/information. Irrespective of whether they’re animated or static, illustrations are fast becoming one of the most sought-after options for brands to make their overall image a little more lively and human!
Who uses illustration systems?
Illustration systems act as a playbook to help achieve design goals and ensure they remain cohesive throughout.
- Design teams and individuals looking for quick animations usually opt for illustration systems.
- There are thousands of companies all around the world that use illustrations to engage with their customers.
- Barring design teams, illustration systems enable stakeholders to be a part of the design process too, as it helps them to communicate their thoughts and requirements in a smooth and frictionless manner.
- Different departments such as product design, marketing, engineering, or HR, get to engage with unique and super simple illustrations to help save adequate time in designing something super cool and fun!
Given below is a list of six unique illustration systems, both free and paid, that are sure to help solve some quick illustration woes for you and your brand.
Blush by Pablo Stanley is a one-of-a-kind illustration library with tons of free illustrations by artists from all around the globe! Not just that, their illustrations are completely customizable and provide brands with complete creative control over their illustration projects. You could also go random and let their algorithm create a unique avatar for you. Blush illustrations are usable on both Figma and Sketch, in static and animated forms.
To create a unique illustration on Blush, all you’d have to do is pick a style from one of the umpteen themes put together by artists from all over, use different variations and create an art style best suited to your needs. Blush has a subscription model of both paid and free versions, wherein the Doodler plan comes free and there’s a Pro plan (that you can try for free, before buying), which can be billed monthly, quarterly, and yearly.
Hey! is the brainchild of the design team at QED42. This customizable illustration system provides a sustainable collection of different styles that can easily help create unique concept-based illustrations for commercial and personal use. It is an open-source playground and has been put together to give back a little something to the design community.
Hey! is available on both Figma and Sketch and is 100% free to use as well. Enjoy recreating and reimagining your design solutions, using their cool, trendy and artistic illustrations, and bring your creative ideas to life!
BlackIllustrations is a unique illustration library, depicting people of color, founded by John D Saunders, with the idea of creating diversity and inclusivity in design. It comes in packs, that are available for free as well as a nominal sum of money and are divided into various themes such as - activism, business, 3D, children, coffee, design, education, disability, and more. They’ve also got templates for an agency, Instagram, and illustration websites, should you be needing more specific content for those less represented.
You could also opt to hire illustrators, in case you’re looking for customized illustrations that are specific to your brand goals. BlackIllustrations are compatible with Figma, Sketch, Adobe XD, Adobe Illustrator, and Photoshop and there are umpteen different file formats to choose from and help you get started. They also have a rare minted collection of illustrations available as NFTs too!
DrawKit’s Peach Illustration System consists of 100 different and unique kit components that you can mix and match to create custom scenes, colors, characters, layouts, and illustrations, specific to your website and app needs. The DrawKit team, led by its founder Francois Arbour is a small team of 15 members who are looking to provide sustainable and inclusive illustrations that cater to brand needs.
They have both free and paid plans (that can be availed on a monthly or discounted annual pack). The free pack comes with a single illustration style and full customization abilities. They have a wide variety of icons and illustrations available DrawKit’s custom animations and illustrations are available in SVG, jpg, and png downloadable format. You could also make illustration requests and vote on which specific illustrations you’d want from them next!
Ouch is a collection of design assets put together by icon8. It has free vector and 3D illustrations created by top Dribbble illustrators and that are suitable for all subject categories, such as - AI, healthcare, sports, people, military, SaaS, etc. However, attribution is required for personal and commercial use and original vector source files are available through purchase. Illustrations are available for direct download and there’s also an offline version for the icons only.
OUCH has both free as well as paid (monthly and yearly) plans based on individual and brand requirements. The paid packs include those for single illustration, subscription, and full-set.
Storytale was created by the team at Craftwork with the idea of curating an organized and unique library of high-quality illustrations. The Storytale illustration system consists of over 3400+ 3D, raster, and vector images, that can be used by designers and project owners, for personal and commercial use! They also provide custom works, in case that’s something you need. The team plans on making Storytale available as a platform in the future for selling work from the best graphic creators and illustrators from around the globe!
You could easily navigate the site by searching for appropriate tags and they keep their inventory well-stocked with new releases twice a month. Storytale has three purchase plans - starter (suitable for personal use), creator, and teams.
One of the best ways for brands to ensure a fun and colorful user experience is with the help of visual elements. Companies are going all out to provide unique and enhanced visual branding, through colorful logos, designs, fonts, and artistic renditions to get users to sit up and take notice of their brand. Irrespective of whether it's a website, UI for an app, or social media, illustration systems are soon becoming integral to branding image.
The above-mentioned illustration systems provide unique illustrations compiled by some of the best creative minds and will surely help with your illustration needs, one animation or doodle at a time!