For today’s brand board, I just could not help but collect and show off samples of my favorite styles of illustration. Everything from vintage Mary Blair (the genius behind classic Walt Disney’s look) to edgy pen and ink- Illustration is seriously one of the most fabulous ways to execute expression. Ah, Expression. Seems to go hand in hand with communication, doesn’t it? Oh it does, folks. You know it does.
When I talk about using illustration to express something, I mean having a concept/idea/point of view in which to be expressed. Yeah, it may sound nit picky, but you’d be surprised! Illustration isn’t just about the look of the piece, the style or the medium, but also how the medium and style are used to further push the idea being expressed. It’s a one-two punch combo. Look at the sweet images of the deer, turtle + birds. While it’s very clear that these are more representational images of animals, rather than artistic expressions of them, what DOES stand out for me is how Mary Blair uses line to express the long, free-form elegance completely inherent in the deer. Or how she uses fun plays on color and pattern in the turtle shell. The illustration goes expressive on the elements in which the artist wants to “show off”, to make more sense of these artist’s methods.
Whenever a client comes to me with an idea for illustration, an icon, whatever the case may be, I always look to the idea and concept first– way before the style of the illustration is even talked about! Knowing what you want to say before you even start to make that message beautiful, is always going to give the starting point (AND the end point) so much more strength. Illustration without a message or a concept is honestly, just pure decoration; and if that’s the case, it would be so much better for the illustration to be replaced with a pattern, a texture, something more for look+ feel/mood purposes over expressive ones.