Diversity and inclusion
One of the big advantages of illustration is being able to create exactly what you need. The shortage of diverse and inclusive imagery is still apparent across the charity world, so this could be a great chance for your organisation to better reflect your audiences and their needs. And it’s always a good time to ensure you’re commissioning BAME artists, balancing their lack of representation in creative industries.
And remember, despite the trend towards colourful illustrated people, you can’t just draw purple people and call it diverse!
So what style to choose? Like any creative field, illustration has trends, so it’s worth bearing in mind how long you want your images to be relevant for – versus being fashionable if that’s important to your audience.
If you’re a larger charity you no doubt have the brand police that will help direct the kind of style that fits with your wider communications. But if you haven’t updated your visual identity in recent years, perhaps it’s time to?
Illustration can become an important way you communicate, especially when so few other charities do it successfully. Clue: if your guidelines reference assets being available on ‘floppy disk’, it’s definitely time (true story!).
Another big advantage of illustration is its ability to convey ideas and moods. A simple visual joke, pun or concept can communicate, as the cliché goes, a thousand words – and even go viral if done well. Think about how many cartoons get shared on social media.
Finally, the biggest advantage at the moment is clearly being able to still tell those vital human stories without the need for photography. Illustrators often work from home or their own studio, so they’ve been ahead of the (flattened) curve.
So branch out, drop one an email and start a creative relationship that could help build your brand for years to come.