Illustrators are the unsung heroes of the graphic design world. In fact, many graphic designers are talented illustrators as well. There's also a lot of cross over between the world of comic illustrations and graphic design.
Hand drawn illustrations can be created digitally with a stylus and drawing pad, or uploaded to the computer. Once digitized, these images can be tweaked and perfected much like a photograph in Photoshop.
Veer.com is a great place to look for cost-effective, creative illustrations for your graphic design needs. You can also search for illustrators to work with by doing a few Google searches and seeing which talented illustrator's websites come up.
If you are thinking of using illustration either in your company branding, or on your postcard or business card printing, then check out these nine illustrated business cards below. These samples will give you inspiration for different ways you can incorporate illustration into your marketing materials. (I especially like when websites use illustration that looks hand-drawn, this just adds a bit of the unexpected to a regular web experience!)
It's quirky, memorable and a mnemonic device! I am really impressed with this card because it solves a really big hurdle that this woman must have in business. While she has a beautiful and unique name, "Shyama," it must be awkward for new clients to figure out how to pronounce her name on the phone. So instead of having that be a hurdle, she's turned it into a great marketing gimmick. Since her name rhymes with llama, she's featured an illustrated llama a wearing glasses on her business card and made her tagline "rhymes with llama." Amazing! Image via ohsobeautifulpaper.com.
This illustrated portrait makes the card memorable and makes it easy to remember who the cardholder is. I like how she combines hand-lettered font treatments, mini-illustrations and regular fonts too. Image via dzineblog.com.
From looking at this card, it looks like the business gave a bunch of candid photos of employees to a talented illustrator and that illustrator made up these sketches. There are a lot of great people on Etsy.com who do portraits, and it may be a good idea to search on there and find an artist who can do portraits for a business card design like this. This treatment also reminds me a little bit of the pencil sketches in the Wall Street Journal. Image via dolcepress.com.
I love this business card that features an illustration of all the employees and their names. It's designed as an Ace, which is a playful way of saying, the business is "Aces," or holding this card means you are holding the strongest one in the deck. The yellow colors also convey high-energy and happiness, two good feelings to have associated with your business. Image via cardobserver.com.
A low-key use of illustration adds a little playfulness to this card design. The illustrations are used as icons to get the main ideas across. On the front the light bulb represents the creative spirit of the art director's enterprise. On the back, the phone, envelope and mouse stand for all the ways you can get in touch. Image via creattica.com.
Here's another really simple way to use illustration to spruce up a minimalist card design. While I am not sure what the cheese has to do with the photographer, it's cute and attention getting. This is a great example to borrow from in your own card design because it uses illustration in such a basic way. Image via creattica.com.
The colorful lettering and clouds in this business card design remind me of the film poster for "Science of Sleep." This card design does a nice job of balancing the imaginative and quirky with a serious logo and serif font on the back. Image via dzineblog.com.
Wow this business card design is so whimsical and fun to look at! This card would have fit in well with our previous post on feminine business card designs. I really appreciated the color combinations and rounded edges of the card. My only complaint is that the text is difficult to read and it's also tough to figure out what kind of business this card is for. I'd venture to guess it's an illustrator, art director or other type of creative. Image via itevenhasawatermark.com.
Without seeing this card, would you believe me if I said that an elegant illustration of a fork can carry an entire business card design? Here's proof that the simplest illustration can really spice up a business card or a postcard too. Image via bestbusinesscard.net.
Featured image credit: J Wynia.