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The Case for Funky Marketing Illustrations

We know what you’re thinking — using funky marketing illustrations is a big risk.

Obviously, we’re fans. We create quirky, colorful illustrations every week for our Monday Marketing blogs. If you’re not convinced, today’s blog presents the case for why illustrations (especially funky ones!) are effective. 

But first, we need to talk about “imperfect” design.

Using illustrations in your digital marketing strategy can feel risky in a world of perfectly curated Instagram feeds, website templates, and vector images. 

Before we make the case for illustrations, we want to present to you the power of what we’ll call “intentional imperfections.” 

In the world of design, a longstanding debate exists about which is more important form or function. Head of Product Design at Juspay, Shekhar Gurav wrote,

In the first decade of consumer Internet, websites were crafted by programmers and focussed mostly on Function: on getting things done, on presenting the information, on simple hyperlinks.

Then slowly — especially with the advent of flash, slightly better Internet speeds, and an enthusiastic but nascent digital design discipline — Form took over after 2005. Thus we got those super-heavy, skeuomorphic websites and apps.

A pendulum swing results between seamless functionality and flawless form, making designers leery of integrating quirky or imperfect elements into their design. 

 

A lot of people put illustrations in that category, but we think you should consider using these and other “intentional imperfections” in your digital marketing strategy. Here’s why:

1. Imperfections humanize your brand.

People post their highlight moments or lessons learned on social media. We all know those are small windows into their lives, which are also marked by struggles, pain, questions, uncertainty, complexity — namely, imperfection. When you pepper intentional imperfections throughout your marketing strategy, you demonstrate empathy and humanize your brand for your target audience.

2. Imperfections evoke emotion.

At Sigl Creative, we talk about two types of problems your target audience is trying to solve: immediate problems and emotional problems. Because imperfections are a vehicle for humanizing your brand and extending empathy, they also speak to emotional problems your customers or clients are facing.

3. Imperfections make your target audience feel like being a hero is possible.

Do you know someone who seems to “have it all together?” Do you sometimes feel like that person isn’t approachable or relatable? The absence of any imperfection can give your brand the same vibe. Your target audience might think, “I will never have it all together like that,” and go elsewhere for a more attainable solution to their problems. 

Remember, you’re not the hero of the story — your customer or client is. Imperfections level the playing field and position your audience as the hero of the story with you as their relatable guide.

Now that you’re hopefully more open to imperfections, here’s why you should use funky marketing illustrations!

1. Illustrations set you apart from other brands.

You’ve probably seen the same stock images recycled in blogs, articles, and websites. With so many people using Unsplash and iStock for design, stock images don’t set you apart from other brands. 

While hiring a photographer is ideal to capture images that represent your brand, small businesses or marketing teams don’t always have the budget or personnel for professional photography. A service company whose employees work remotely or in different locations will also have a hard time capturing its services in photos. 

Illustrations are a perfect solution to these problems. Funky illustrations aren’t easily reproducible by other brands. You’re also more likely to have a designer or illustrator on your marketing team who can create some illustrations.

2. Illustrations invite people into a story.

Think about your favorite children’s book. Chances are the imperfect illustrations evoke emotion and add to rather than take away from the story. Right? 

At Sigl Creative, we emphasize this a lot: we are storied people. Humanity has been telling stories for thousands of years, and we think in terms of story without realizing it. Illustrations are a great way to invite prospects into the story of your brand. 

Here’s a bonus: once you’ve created illustrations, you can turn them into GIFs or animations down the road, making them come to life even more!

3. Illustrations save calories for your target audience.

Do you remember our blog about how good writing saves calories? Here’s a quick summary: “Everything the brain does every day (like reading and processing copy!) requires calories. If your copy burns too many calories because it’s hard to comprehend, prospects and customers stop reading and go in search of another product or service they understand.”
The easier your brand is to comprehend, the better. Then prospective customers’ brains don’t have to work as hard. 

Here’s why that matters: interpreting images and illustrations requires even less energy than copy. You can use illustrations to communicate information clearly and effectively in infographics, blog article images, tutorials and other videos, processes, notifications, and more.

We know funky marketing illustrations go against the grain, but you can see why they might contribute to your digital marketing success. If you love the idea of funky illustrations but don’t have the time or personnel to create them, let our designers at Sigl Creative work their magic and create the perfect illustrations for your brand! Schedule a call today, and let’s talk about how we can tell your story with illustrations and other “intentional imperfections.”

Ready to tell your story? Let's get started.

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