Performante Mar 10, 2020

The age of illustration

Graphic trends that we can observe in 2020 are diverse. Typography and unusual color combinations are on the rise. We can also see more and more retro-style designs, but what in our humble opinion becomes the most important, is the big and loud return of illustrations, that slowly but surely substitute the use of stock photos.

The use of illustrations in graphic design isn’t something extraordinary or new. For years it has been more or less present but now we can observe that many brands turn away from using photography and choose to incorporate illustrations so as to communicate their messages. Moreover, we are not even talking about intricate works, but rather simplified illustrations or even line art.

We are out of stock… photos

A few years ago, in the times when stock photos were almost as popular as coffee in advertising agencies (some of them have even entered pop culture), no one would’ve thought that they would lose their spot to simple lines. Nowadays though, many brands are deciding to simplify their visual communication more and more often.


Simple is meaningful

Many experts from the graphic design industry claim that the year 2020 will be a year of simplified illustrations. And by that, they mean using flat colors and a limited palette, and most importantly — a lack of detail thanks to which both designer, as well as the viewer, can focus on the message itself. Of course, for some people, the illustrations in line with the hottest trends in 2020 might look a bit oversimplified or even resemble sketches, but it is believed to be one of the most efficient ways to deliver a clear message.


Color is not the limit

We have already mentioned that flat colors and limited palettes are extremely popular. Moreover — some brands go a step further and decide to use illustrations that base only on palette that refers to their brand identity or go monochrome. Even though at first it might seem to limit it can have an opposite effect — not only introducing such limits might have a great impact on the creativity of the designer, but also it can result in strengthening the awareness of a given brand in terms of how it communicates visually.


It’s getting personal

The fact that a brand decides to limit the use of stock photos to a minimum or introduces more illustrations that are created with the use of its color palette definitely helps it stand out in the crowd. But it is not only an eye-pleasing way of communicating but it can be also very effective. The elements used on the illustration might suggest the viewer that they should take a specific action, and that makes them really useful while designing any user interface.


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