There are around two billion websites in the world in 2021. By the time you get to the end of this article, thousands more will have been created.
Standing out in a sea of two billion is a daunting task, to say the least. And although you never really have to compete with someone outside your niche, you do still need to capture attention. Ideally, you’ll do that with your unique website design, for starters.
Let’s look at seven reasons to use illustrations on your website and how to use them right.
You Are Trying to Illustrate Complex Ideas
You want your audience to be able to almost instantly grasp what it is your brand is about. However, you don’t want to make them read a lot of your copy (although you do want them to read some of it). Or, you may not be able to explain your ethos in less than 200 words anyway.
As illustrations speak louder than words, they can be the perfect solution. Look at We Recycle’s homepage. If their domain name isn’t clue enough, their hero will tell you exactly what they do and why.
You Have No Product to Show
If you are in SaaS or any service industry for that matter, you won’t have a product to feature. And since you do need to incorporate some sort of visual element, an illustration can do the trick.
Your goal here is to convey the benefits your service (or digital product) has or what kinds of problems it can solve. Essentially, you are enhancing your website copy with these illustrations.
Spores does this well with their minimal yet illustrative solutions. They’re simple and effective, without going overboard.
You Want to Tell a Story
Storytelling is an incredibly important element of branding and marketing. And while you’re certainly using your content to do it, you can level it up with your illustrations.
If your visuals are able to take your audience on a journey, and especially if they can evoke the emotions you want them to associate with your brand, you will have overcome a lot of their objections already.
Pitch achieves this effect marvelously. Their simple yet magnificent illustrations help you imagine yourself using one of their products in an unobtrusive way.
You Want a Unique Design
Illustrations can also help your overall design be, well, different. As a lot of websites rely on templates, and by commissioning your own unique illustrated design and layout, you will ensure you can’t ever be confused with someone else.
This will also make it more difficult for others to copy your brand. Most importantly, you can demonstrate your core values and brand ethos more thoroughly than with a pre-designed template.
Here’s Flamingo with their illustrations: first of all, on-brand, and second of all, in-line with the industry and niche standard, but with a personalized twist.
It Enhances the Product
Illustrations are also a great way to add more depth and meaning to your product or to simply make it more eye-catching. They enable you to draw attention to certain aspects of it, enhance certain features, or provide a contrast that is both intriguing and memorable.
The only way to explain this is with an example, and the House at Khlebny is not only a stunning website but also a prime example of using illustrations.
They’ve created beautiful visuals that match the style of 100 years ago when the property was built to set off the modern yet classic interiors.
It Sets You Apart
If you’re operating in a saturated niche, setting your website apart from competitors’ sites is sometimes the main challenge. This is especially true in the world of SaaS, where a project management tool will always be a project management tool, very much like all similar solutions.
Incorporating illustrations in your website design can help you be more memorable, and they’ll definitely help visitors not to confuse you with the next guy. This is what Toggl does well. Their website is not quite like anything their competitors are doing, so it will certainly stick in your mind.
Finally, you might just want to use illustrations because illustrations are a part of your brand’s work. Maybe you’re a web designer? Maybe you illustrate children’s books? Maybe you do dog portraits? All of these brands can benefit from using illustrations that showcase their work.
A prime example: the Wizarding World website, which is just about as magical as it gets.
Could you even imagine the homepage of the gateway to everything J.K. Rowling to be anything but as evocative as this?
Using illustrations can help you make your pages look more beautiful, unique, and put together. They can help you tell stories, inspire emotions, and establish a deeper and more meaningful connection with your audience.
However, be warned: poor illustrations will result in the exact opposite. So, make sure you only work with truly talented individuals on your pages’ design.