You will find out more about how we've created some of our best custom illustrations for worldwide gourmet brands & more, and basically what are the key benefits of using them for product branding.
We wanted to create an article dedicated to both graphic designers & clients, both looking to have a better understanding of how packaging illustrations are created and how they can be used to convey emotions to customers in a matter of seconds.
But before we start, what are packaging illustrations? According to Wikipedia, "An illustration is a decoration, interpretation or visual explanation of a text, concept or process, designed for integration in print and digital published media." To summarize, an illustration created for package design presents to the customers a specific characteristic of the product or the brand while generating emotions & connecting with the audience.
If we go back in time, the earliest illustrations came from ancient Egypt. We all heard about hieroglyphs. One classic example of an ancient illustration can be found in the Tomb of Pharaon Seti I, around 1294 BC. In terms of history, the art of illustration as we know it, started to develop & extend its use in the early 19th Century and has a close connection with the industrial process of printing & distribution. It was used mainly for children's books, magazines, newspapers, various printing materials & product packaging design to clarify and support a message. The Golden Age of Illustrations had now started. From the 1800s the illustration world grew and adapted with the upcoming times and the New World. Back to present times, illustrations are now frequently used in product branding, for label design or creative packaging, and even in the digital world, where they can add value and visual appeal to different apps, websites & e-commerce platforms.
What is special about packaging illustrations?
You know what they say, "A picture is worth a thousand words". A meaningful, eye catchy illustration can be so easily remembered by the audience, can enhance the emotional appeal, and convey the product or brand message in one single glimpse. All the above reasons and more make them the perfect silent salesmen when used on a packaging design box, bottle packaging, label design, or other branding identity design element. We've selected from our portfolio some of our favorites custom illustrations that we would like to present to you in this article, their story, what they represent for the product branding and how they help elevate the product inside.
1. Establish a powerful connection with the audience through a bold and powerful illustration.
Meet the Cardinal, a modern freehand digital illustration we've created for a Roasted Coffee Brand. The custom illustration uses the red color palette to command attention. The layered style adds complexity to the illustration while offering full control to the illustrator in all the creation phases. The Cardinal bird is a colorful, Indigenous-inspired illustration with a complex and intriguing pattern that will generate an emotional response from the target audience. The red color used in this composition describes a powerful & exciting presence and reveals to the customers the intense aroma of the coffee even before they open the package. Such responses can be triggered using a meaningful illustration that visually reveals the essence of the brand.
2. Connect easily with a younger & more hip audience through a playful and colorful composition.
We opted for creating a vector illustration in the Clouds Product Packaging, so the entire composition can be easily scaled and adapted for any printing environment while guaranteeing a high-quality resolution. Because packaging illustrations can have so many different styles & colors, you have a wide palette of possibility to choose the one that better represents the brand. In this particular packaging project, the illustration of clouds and space rocket has a double purpose, inviting the customers to taste the energy drink but also offers the illusion of flying while suggesting an out-of-this-world energy boost. You should opt for a vector illustration when you have multiple surfaces, materials, and package types to print later on. This type of vector illustration will offer you the possibility to use it on any kind of package, label design, or brand stationery.
3. Add an original, contemporary & elegant style to the brand identity to elevates a brand
This handcraft pencil and ink illustration adds a unique feeling to the entire composition of the Swiss 15 Project. Various stages of this illustration were sketched, starting from pencil structure and composition to the ink-crafted details. The ink illustration is celebrating diversity and amazing hand-craft products. Using a bespoke, hand-drawn style for the illustration gives a brand the power to stand apart from its competitors. The message of the brand becomes much clearer than using a text description and remains in the memory of the consumer for a longer period.
4. Use metamorphosis to intrigue and captivate the audience while breaking the usual patterns and accelerate sales
Starting from the basic vegetable and fruit, shapes and colors, we brand & package this unique collection of jams and salads. The illustrations gather their inspiration from an unexpected combination, the complex game of chess and colorful vegetables and fruits. The metamorphosis inspired these contemporary vector graphics illustrations that will remain in the heart and soul of today’s consumer. The modern style of the illustrations instantly calls for attention while helping the products to be easily recognizable on e-commerce platforms and shopping apps next to the classic marmalade.
5. Use 3D graphic techniques to create 3D rendered models that transport the customer into a virtual world, adding a deeper and modern dimension to the branding design.
This method offers designers the opportunity to explore the 3D environment and create virtual elements that add a touch of reality to the packaging or go the opposite direction with a futuristic creation. This option also gives the illustrator the chance to be original while creating something perfectly adapted for a specific target audience. 3D illustrations will offer the product brand a custom image and style that cannot be replicated by competitors like a photo from stock libraries that can be found available online.
You may wonder why food & beverage packaging imagery lean so much on illustration instead of the basic realistic photographs.
When the commercial printing techniques start to deliver the reproduction of photos on packaging, big and small brands, all together started to use them. Why we move back to illustrations? When we finally had the means to print high-quality realistic photographs on different materials and containers? It maybe means that people are starting to move back from the industrial process, the big commercial movements, and look for a natural, more personalized connection with the brands. The packaging illustrations bring forward a more symbolic side of the brand message; carry a more complex message than simply a photo.
Imagine this. Ten brands are selling pineapple in syrup. Nine of them use beautiful, high-resolution photographs of the specific fruit in syrup. On the other hand, one brand uses a meaningful and playful illustration of pineapple, it can easily send its specific message to customers much faster in today's market where so many similar offerings compete. Which one would you choose?
To summarize, illustrations in Packaging Design offer the perfect method to use storytelling in this fast shopping environment.
People have always been intrigued, seduced, and fascinated by stories, so using packaging illustrations for a product brand offers a great advantage.
Using illustrations in the packaging design will help the brand appeal to an emotional level and connect with the consumer which is the ultimate goal of a successful branding design.
Packaging has transformed its initial purpose, to only transport what is inside, and had become, since the Industrial Revolution, a creative form of communication.
The most important question you should ask yourself is: What's the story that lies behind this product brand? Can an illustration bring this story to life in a matter of seconds and engage the consumer?
A world of colors, a lavender field, fresh-cut green grass, pink strawberry ice cream or just simply, a red tasty apple. Beautiful colors that simply inspire. Yes, it's all about color. Colors in design had always made a difference. And when it comes to color The Pantone Color Institute offers us a world of great choices that are fit for any occasion, job or hobby.
Pantone Matching System (PMS) company, was founded by Lawrence Herbert and began its story in the city of New York in 1950 as a commercial printing company. In 1963 Lawrence Herbert created an innovative color system that would reinvent the way printing was done. The foundation of its system was that every individual sees & interprets the color spectrum differently so to have the same color the PMS was born. Now by using this standard color system(PMS), people from different locations can all use the Pantone system to make sure colors match perfectly without contacting one another.
Clients, packaging design companies, branding studios & many more all use this system to ensure their continuity of work when it comes to the perfect color no matter where is printed and on what. The color system offers immense liberty of printing on different materials and obtain the envisioned result. What you see on your laptop can now be printed on polyester and no compromise have to be made there. For example, the colors of a logo or a label will look the same no matter what ways of promoting used. We always advise our clients to choose from the beginning a color system that matches their business needs.
More than just a color institute, Pantone opened a vast world of possibilities for color printing and people's imagination. As a packaging design studio, we can rely on this system to offer our clients persistence when it comes to color printing and that's simply fantastic. More then just a color system, Pantone has entered in our daily lives, offering trends, color ideas and even PANTONE Color of the Year to capture the intensity and direction of each period. We can all measure time now simply by using colors.
Color psychology is the study of colors and its strong relation with human behavior. Colors have the power to affect our day to day decisions even when we buy different products.
Do the colors of a package make us choose the product? The answer is yes, simply because colors visually describes emotions and evokes feelings.
Don’t forget that for retailers, shopping represents the art of persuasion.
Ten years ago this new phenomenon infogragraphic design appears on the graphic design stage & people are using it nowadays in all possible environments – in the classroom, at the workplace, in presentation, on the web & of course on PACKAGING. But what is an infographic?
In order to not become too confusing, let’s simply say that an infographic design is a style of visual communication that contains imagery, charts and minimal text for a quick understanding overview of a certain topic.
When the infographic design is unique and very creative this graphic elements become very easy to notice and have the power to convey a clear message to the audience.
When you have complex information that you want to present to your customer or maybe show them the difference between your company products or summarize a report, infographics may be exactly what you need.
Infographics and packaging illustrations can help you build brand awareness, they can describe your business and your products better and much faster than words.
Nowadays you can find pre-made infographics templates to buy, however, if you are looking to stand out and easily grab the attention of your potential customers, it is recommended to have them created by a design company especially for you.
The best infographic will have the power to tell your story with innovative graphic style, create emotions and convey a customized message that will help your brand differentiate itself from competitors.
Need to better explain your amazing dessert recipes to your customers - how & why your cakes are so tasty and divine. Well, with some creative infographics that were created especially for your brand you can not only convey your message fast, but you can also add a more upbeat, fun, contemporary style to it.