There are many types of illustration: a scientific illustration tries to be as literal as possible; an editorial illustration will accompany a story or article or narrate fantastic tales; or a web illustration that can help us explain an abstract concept, represent an idea or simply be a visual support of a user interface.
When using illustrations within a website, it is important to have clear communication objectives as well as tone of voice, shapes and color palette. With this we can define the illustration style, formats, sizes and outputs that we require.
It is very important to have a clear understanding of what we want to convey before drawing a single line or think about style. To reach the written concept, we usually brainstorm ideas with the team and gather them on a file; sometimes we rely on visual references from image banks. Once the concept is agreed, we start defining the visual style.
Illustration style goes hand in hand with the concept and goals of communication. For example: the illustrations within this site reflect the identity of Matrushka, through a friendly, happy, colorful and human outline; through characters who are doing an activity that represents what we do in each of the stages of developing a website, in a light and easy to interpret way.
The illustrations on the blog, on the other hand, do not have a defined style because their posts are written by each of the team members and address different topics. This allows us to interpret each text freely, and then generate its visual accessory.
It is always advisable to generate sketches, either on paper or digitally. This helps us define the structure of the characters and elements that will shape the final illustration and allows us to show a visual idea in a short time. Modifications are much faster than in a finished illustration.
When we begin the digitization stage, we already know in which format we require the illustration. The idea, concept, style, structure and visual narrative have already gone through a period of evaluation, adjustments and modifications, to become approved sketches. Now it is time to apply everything that was defined in the previous stages to produce the final illustration.
These four steps roughly summarize our work process to generate illustrations. Here are a couple of examples of illustrations we made for two completely different projects in concept and style: