I'm a branding expert and graphic designer based in NY. I specialize in the development of brands: brand strategy, identity & web design. Need help with your project?—Get in touch
As a branding expert, I'm excited to share with you some great examples of brands use illustration to elevate their brand identity.
Illustrations have become increasingly popular in website design, marketing campaigns, and on packaging.
When done well, they can add personality and character to your brand, helping you stand out from competitors.
Here are 10 examples of brands that have successfully used illustrations in their brand identity.
Let's take a closer look at these examples to see different ways of how brand illustrations can be used effectively.
Bolt is a payment and checkout platform that uses illustrations to create a strong and unique brand identity.
The illustrations, created by Koto, are energetic and animated, with bright and saturated colors.
What's unique about them is that they are designed in the style of using a fisheye lens, which makes them right in your face.
The illustrations are used throughout the Bolt website and social media channels, creating a cohesive and recognizable brand identity.
For those interested in learning more, I've included a link to the case study on Koto's website.
You can also visit Bolt to see how these illustrations are used on their website.
Spotify is a popular music streaming service that used illustrations to promote its premium subscription service and gift cards.
The illustrations created by Peter Tarka, are unique and eye-catching, with a 3D-style, clay-like style.
The goal of developing those illustrations was to increase awareness and improve retention.
Peter has designed a total of 20 unique key visuals that have been used across Spotify social media channels and in marketing campaigns.
Time is a company that provides fast internet in Malaysia and Southeast Asia.
Their illustrations are trendy and playful, using fluorescent and bright colors.
What's unique about them is that they are designed in such a way that they can be used in headlines by replacing some characters.
This design approach speaks to meme culture, which connects messaging with imagery.
The illustrations are used across Time's website and marketing materials.
Time’s brand illustration were created by For The People Agency.
ZocDoc is an online medical appointment booking service that uses minimalist illustrations to show different healthcare scenarios.
The illustrations used by Zocdoc were designed to represent healthcare scenarios in a fun, playful, and approachable way.
While some of the initial illustrations incorporated the Z from the Zocdoc logo, it was later decided that it was too redundant.
These illustrations can be seen on the ZocDoc website, app, and marketing materials, and they are used effectively to enhance the user experience.
Zocdoc illustrations were done by Wolf Ollins.
The Headspace illustrations are even more simplistic, as they feature only an orange circle—the brand's logo incorporated into the designs.
The illustrations are simplistic, using primarly the orange circle taken from their logo, which appears with faces on all illustrations.
The illustrations are witty and friendly, without being too childish or cartoony. They are used throughout Headspace's website and mobile app.
This is a great example of using storytelling in design to great effect, as these illustrations are a big part of their website and mobile app.
Headspace illustrations are both friendly and witty, striking a balance between approachability and maturity, avoiding being too childish or cartoony.
MailChimp is an email marketing service that used hand-drawn illustrations in their brand identity.
The MailChimp illustrations take a unique, artistic approach to represent complex marketing tasks and processes.
The illustrations are playful and expressive, featuring simple objects in an abstract, artistic way.
These illustrations were designed by COLLINS, check out their website to read the full case study.
Casper is a mattress company that used illustrations in a unique way to advertise their products.
These illustrations were designed in the style of a comic book—as a sequence of images (telling the story).
They were primarily designed for use in an advertising campaign on New York City subways, taxis, and other mediums.
The illustrations are playful and unique, using just an outline and distinct color for each illustration.
Red Antler in collaboration with Tomi Um have created a hundred different illustrations for Casper.
Little Wolf is a coffee brand that uses illustrations to create a fun and playful identity.
These brand illustrations were created using just a one-weight line set in the brand's color, featuring their brand mascot, the wolf wearing a monocle.
What sets them apart is the addition of gray shadows that look like a marker, which gives it a human touch and texture.
The illustrations were created by Perky Bros and Lindsay Lasseter.
The illustrations are used across LittleWolf's packaging, website and in marketing materials.
Airtable is a cloud collaboration service that uses illustrations featuring geometric shapes and a flat design style (often referred to as Corporate Memphis).
The primary colors from the logo were used, but a secondary color palette was also developed to add more visuals effect.
These illustrations were created in order to effectively communicate Airtable's features and benefits showing its diverse user base in various scenarios.
You can check out Ali Jay Revees' portfolio to see more examples.
Last but not least, is Iris Telehealth, a collaboration between me and Column Five Media, who set the overall style and direction for the illustrations.
I was hired to design a set of over 50 different illustrations and creating a visual system.
Iris Telehealth relies heavily on the use of these brand illustrations on their website—it’s a big part of their branding.
The goal of these illustrations was to make the user experience more engaging and approachable.
In this article, I’ve featured numerous different illustration styles: from flat design to 3D to outline, plus other trendy styles.
I hope these examples can inspire you in developing your own brand illustrations.
To sum up—Using illustrations in branding can provide numerous benefits for your businesses.
It allows you to stop relying on stock photos and instead, design a visual system exactly the way you want.
Developing a strong illustration system can help you create a memorable and distinctive visual identity that sets your apart from your competitors.