January 30, 2015

Design Trends 2015 – Week 4 – Using Illustration

We've widened our trend hunting this week beyond packaging design... inspired by her journey through London to and from work, Point 6'er Sam Owen shares her thoughts on the increasing use of illustration in the myriad of marketing messages faced by consumers every day.


The growth of on-line image libraries has been absolutely phenomenal over the last couple of years. Designers and business owners World Wide are increasing loosing nearly as many hours trawling through image libraries, in order to find the perfect not too obvious, staged or contrived but effortlessly encapsulating and indisputably relevant image, as they are watching cute cat videos on YouTube!

Don’t get me wrong I think photography can be truly excellent when you do find that one picture perfect still moment in time. However, when recently asked what kind of stylish visual delights I thought would be trending in 2015, the use of illustration throughout advertising and marketing was the first thing that was drawn to my mind! Illustration will always be someone’s first hand and direct reaction to your brand or concept, of course design is subjective but it’s hard not to get excited about seeing something so personal.

In this first very cold and wet month of 2015, the use of illustration is reigning supreme through TV adverts, print, point of sale and editorial design. In order to best illustrate my point to you I thought that I would very much avoid listing all of the many many places you can possibly find this prevalent re-emergence of illustration in mainstream advertising, and instead show you how much I encountered on just one everyday commute during my rush hour struggle from the South to the North of London town.


• Please take your paper with you or recycle in the bins provided – Mayor of London – Transport for London


• Please use the whole platform – Mayor of London – Transport for London


• A bit of caution won’t kill you – Mayor of London – Transport for London


• Reporting anything unusual won’t hurt you – Mayor of London – Transport for London


• The Big Reveal – EE British Academy of Film Awards


• South of the Thames by Tube – Mayor of London – Transport for London


• Landline’s are so 90s – The broadband without wires – Relish

It must be said that I personally am a little more partial to some than others of these examples. But, that is the beauty of design being so subjective.

Regardless of whether you have a penchant for some nice scratchy pen to paper realism, abstract expressionism recreating the truly bizarre world we live in or simplified info graphics, bringing order to the absolute chaos of a busy London lifestyle, illustration is increasing top trumping the hours spent trawling through on-line image libraries.


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