designmango-Introduction to Illustrations

Introduction to Illustrations

The portrayal of written text in a visual format is called illustration. However, it isn’t mandatory that an illustration is always ‘drawn’, for instance a picture in an encyclopaedia is also an illustration simply because it explains the written text. A painting, carving, collage, drawing and photo can all be considered an illustration. If your drawing isn’t explaining something it will be considered art and not an illustration. They have the unique freedom to exist without words, but still have the potency to communicate ideas through their vivid storytelling. There are various types of illustrations, though on a broader spectrum they can be categorised as traditional and modern illustration.


Source: design4users


The early age of illustration was heavily intertwined with culture and natural beauty. The glow within these was brought by the usage of various traditional techniques, tools and materials. Woodcutting illustrations, pencil sketches, charcoal illustrations and watercolour illustrations are a few traditional forms of illustrations. Like everything that has evolved in this fast paced technological world, artists also practise modern forms of illustrations, i.e. freehand digital illustrations and vector graphics illustrations. If we delve deeper into the world of illustrations it is further divided based on the areas they are used in. Editorial, advertising, fashion, technical, creative-art, infographic and packaging illustrations. Although it is called an art form it is not art in the literal sense. The main goal of art is building aesthetics, it depicts the inner world of the artist, and illustration on the other hand is quite the opposite. 

Source: Fashion history-LoveToKnow

Illustrations are used widely and found anywhere, especially in published media like magazines, books, posters, educational materials and flyers. In the digital space of websites and mobile apps, you’ll often find illustrations created by both freehand (on a digital tablet) and vector graphics (using colour and shapes to mimic an illustrative style). Illustration is a very interesting area that simultaneously contains a lot of creativity and close work with the client and designers, the process becomes full circle when your designs end up on shelves.

Swarnim Dwivedi

Dog Mom. BTS ARMY. SK Enthusiast.