10 Reasons to Apply Illustrations in Web Design

Adding illustrations to your site is a must if you are looking to create memorable website that your customers will get back to. Here is how.

Today when we have an endless sea of options when it comes to web design, creating a beautiful website isn’t that difficult. Web design tools offer everything from pre-designed themes and layouts to advanced functionalities you can incorporate in your website. No matter how versatile and rich with options they might be, there is one area they are lacking in, and that is creativity.

Don’t get me wrong, using web design tools is a must. They save time and energy and simplify the process as much as possible, giving anyone the ability to create a website. For instance, you can use a online tool for creating visual sitemap in a few clicks.

So how can you stop that from happening? A very popular practice today is to use illustrations as part of your web design. If you aren’t sure how that would benefit your website, then keep reading to find out. Maybe you’ll be more sold on the idea after reading these 10 reasons to apply illustrations in your web design.

1. Make your site stand out

Like I said, creating a website nowadays isn’t really complicated. Most times it doesn’t even require any coding knowledge, only an idea for a website and a general feeling for what it should look like. What it should require, in the case when you want to have a successful website, is a touch of uniqueness. Being unique has always been the factor that makes you stand out.

Be unique

Using illustrations will allow you to create a look for your website tailored specifically for your brand, a look that will convey the true essence of your brand to the visitor.

2. Show character

Let’s be frank, the minimalistic design was all the rage in recent years, and it did provide a very sleek and modern feeling to a website. Especially after the horrors of web design in the early 2000s. But recently, people have been drawn to more creative and unique designs.

This type of design resonates more with people and gives more warmth and personality to a website.

Incorporating a company mascot, for example, will help you build character and show more of a “human side” to your site.

If you don’t have design ideas for your website, but you do have a company mascot, you can always make use of it. By using illustrations, you can always center your theme around the mascot and then have the theme wrap beautifully around your layout.

3. Have complete freedom over the design

While designing your site you have a variety of design options for every single part, from the minuscule details like the font to the overall theme for your website. The problem is that a lot of those things come in a package. A certain theme comes with a certain layout, a certain font and etc. Although those things are almost always customizable, it’s often not easy to do so. The person who designed it all had a specific vision, and customizing someone’s vision doesn’t always give a satisfying result.

Artistic design

By using illustrations, you have complete freedom over the design. You can create everything unique. Unique font, unique theme, you name it. If you still want to use something predesigned, no problem. Illustrations can be used on their own, or in combination with a variety of things. A theme can be “spiced up” by decorating it with motifs using illustrations, a picture can get a new appearance by adding illustrated elements to it, the possibilities are really endless.

4. No copyright issues

A website can’t consist of only text, otherwise, it’s destined for failure. Putting images, videos and other visual elements is necessary to make your site more appealing, to better convey your message to your audience, to give a better explanation of your content.


Finding the perfect picture isn’t always easy, and even if you find exactly what you are looking for, it might be copyrighted material. Getting the artist’s approval can involve a lot of back and forth between you two and might come at a hefty price, that is if the artist is even willing to give you the rights. For this reason, a lot of companies resort to stock images. They are free, easily accessible and won’t lead you into any legal trouble. But the issue with using stock images is their limited selection and them being overused. It’s not rare than multiple websites use the same art, which doesn’t really scream originality or help them stand out.

This easily avoidable by opting to use illustrations instead. If you find a graphic designer that has an ability to create exactly what you have envisioned, no stock image or purchased piece of digital art will even compare or come close to depicting exactly what had in mind.

5. It’s memorable

With the growing presence of social media, we are constantly exposed to images and videos, and they most often don’t leave a lasting impression on us. The same thing happens when a user enters your website which is filled with those same things.

Having an interesting illustration as a part of your site will surely be more memorable for your visitor, similar to seeing an interesting art piece at a gallery.

It’s something different, special and worth remembering and will add artistic/aesthetic element to your webs design.

6. Has a modern approach

You might be thinking “How does adding illustrations in today’s day and age, where everything is very structured and made in a specific mold, give a modern approach?”. Well for that exact reason. Generic web design nowadays feels very outdated, and like it was created with not so much effort. While a unique look that can be achieved with illustrations gives off an innovating and forward-thinking impression and makes the visitor feel like they are browsing a site for a company that does state-of-the-art business.

7. It can soften up your look

Let’s be honest, we all dread having to visit certain websites. Usually, it’s government websites, banks, and other sites of a similar sort. The reason people don’t particularly enjoy browsing these websites is often due to their unapproachable appearance. These websites focus mostly on their functionality, and not so much on the impression they are leaving in their visitors.


This often leaves people hesitant to reach out over the website in cases when they need help or further information, resulting in people coming to the offices in person because they feel more comfortable speaking to a worker than contacting through the website. Adding a few illustrations here and there can soften up the appearance of your site quite significantly making it less intimidating to people and making them more inclined to use it as a communication channel.

8. Create a coherent theme

A website most often consists of multiple pages. The landing page, login page, and many more, the number and types of pages vary depending on the type of website. Often, it’s a challenge to make them visually work together.

Illustrations can help you bind them in a coherent theme, providing an easy transition between the pages at least in terms of appearance.

9. Make it move

Illustrations can be used for more than just static images.

You can use them to create dynamic images that will be moved by the user interacting with your site, to create videos that could serve as a perfect background in your layout, or as a front piece on your landing page.

10. Tell a story

Maybe the best aspect of illustrations is that you can use them to tell an entire story. Often, we want to tell something without having to use words, or words just aren’t enough. Since people are truly visual creatures, they generally relate more to something when seeing a visual depiction of it, rather than reading it in the form of text.

Tell a story

By utilizing all the possibilities illustrations have to offer, you can tell visual stories for your brand, the content you are displaying, or the product you are advertising. All simply by using illustrations to create videos, images (static or dynamic), or anything else that you might find fitting.


After you’ve read this article, I am sure you are considering integrating illustrations in your web design at least a little bit. I’ve mentioned only a few ways of doing it, and only a few benefits you would have from doing so. At the end of the day, it’s up to you, your team, and your illustrator to decide what will be the most suitable way for your brand to use and reap the benefits of an illustrated web design.

Don’t be afraid to let your imagination run free, because creativity is one thing all of us are able to appreciate, and in no time, you’ll have the perfect illustration right there in your hands.

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Published on October 28, 2019 by Peter Hughes; modified on October 13, 2020. Filed under: , .

Peter Hughes is a digital marketing consultant and author. Peter has more than 10 years of experience in SEO and Internet marketing.

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