Illustrated Part 4
4th edition — by Patrick McNeil — Oct. 31, 2007
The Design Element
The usage of illustration in web design creates difficulties that can be difficult to over come. First it costs money to generate one, then you have to effectively fit it into your design, and finally the implementation of illustration heavy sites can often have various technical gotchas. In the end though, it is well worth it. Each of the samples below is rather distinct and much more memorable due to its usage of the element.
The Guide to Making Passive Income is a prime example of how this style can vastly enhance the memorablity factor of a site. This site uses several illustrations as key parts of the page design. They have been beautifully meshed into the design of the site through color unification and by overlapping the elements with other portions of the site. By not compartmentalizing the illustrations they are allowed to interact with the rest of the design for a unified feel. Ultimately though, the fact that the site looks utterly unique is what really stands out. By creating such a distinct visual experience the creators have established a brand that doesn't escape you. I browse thousands of sites, and yet, when I see a thumbnail of this site I always remember it, not because of great content, but because of a distinct look and feel. The real bonus is that it has a nice set of articles and is well worth reading, certainly these two elements go hand in hand.
Obviously the actual illustrators (the artist that is) have the upper hand when it comes to using this style on their portfolio site. Not doing so would be almost silly, since the illustrations easily represent what the artist style is, and really effectively sell them. Take a look at the portfolio of Pedro Lamin for example. He has placed wonderful illustration on his home page. In fact it is huge and takes up the better part of the page. And why not, it instantly draws you in and hooks you on his style.