Illustrations are potent tools of communication. If used wisely, they are capable of creating wonders, especially in the world of branding. Illustrations can profoundly impact the viewer, thus imprinting the brand in a potential customer’s mind. This aspect has edged several marketing specialists to urge upcoming brands to associate themselves with an original illustration. Read further to understand the use of illustration in branding, as explained by the Italian illustrator Monica Alletto.
The first impression is essential for forming any sort of lasting bond. When it comes to a product, this first impression is established through branding. By definition, branding is a process through which a company ascertains its identity by creating a name, design, and symbol unique to it. This vital process is bought to fruition with cleverly composed, thoughtfully drafted designs, often accompanied by gorgeous illustrations.
It is through the use of such wonderous illustrations that Monica Alletto, a renowned illustrator from Italy, designs illustrations for brands. Born in Palermo, Sicily, Monica graduated in didactics and Pedagogy of Art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Palermo. Her habitual practice of seeking challenges and continuous self-learning resulted in her signature style where vibrant colours and soft shapes are predominant. Monica boasts a brilliant career that is divided between exhibitions, magazines, agencies and publishing houses.
Her illustrations are a result of her keen observation, experimentation, passion and rigorous practice. “Illustration has always been an important part of my life. It helped me communicate with others while also helping me overcome my walls of insecurities that only became higher with age. Thus, there is no defined beginning for when I started to illustrate. It has always been with me and always will be.”
These illustrations are not just another work of art, but a tool of communication, narrating the brand’s story and its ideals. But its function does not end there; “the illustration must also increase the product’s potential, both in terms of appearance and sales to the customer. Shapes, colours and signs must be able to communicate with each other and in turn with the product, with the sole objective of making you understand what you are sponsoring,” explains Monica.
Hence, one can simply state that communication is a highly crucial aspect of a design. While being a visual treat, the illustration must also engage with the potential consumers and enforce the brand ideals. To communicate these effectively, Monica offers three critical factors to keep in mind during the designing process, and they are, “The theme, the sensation to be showcased and the audience Once these three factors are defined, the chances of success in the production phase will be higher. I want to add a fourth factor, which in my opinion, should never be missing. It is ‘the unexpected’. This factor leaves the possibility of inserting something at random, which might have seemed wrong initially, but can work up to your advantage if analysed and implemented correctly,” elucidated the artist.
But these factors hardly scratch the surface. To successfully narrate and reflect the brand, the illustrator must first know the brand and product. “It is necessary to talk with those who work closely with the product, enquire its origin, the target audience and possible changes in its future. Understanding the history of the brand is also crucial. These will ensure that the illustration increases the product’s appeal, mirror the brand’s history and hint at innovation.”
Alletto’s signature style is a minimalistic illustration, sketched with simple shapes and a vibrant colour palette. These illustrations deliver a clear message in the simplest form. “These minimal artworks arise from the most complex thoughts. After a thorough analysis of the theme and rigorous brainstorming, a beautiful idea is born. Once all the superfluous things are taken away, the idea is clear and simple,” comments Alletto.
The idea is then implemented through cleverly composed art pieces consisting of basic shapes. “An illustration in its simplest form carries with it a very clear message, even as it leaves some room for personal interpretation. A message becomes apparent only when it is understandable to as many people as possible. Hence, the more universal the form, the higher the read.” The artist further explains their composition process, “A composition works if the elements find their balance and provide a coherent overall picture.
But finding the perfect balance between elements is not immediate. I draw series of drafts; this will take me to the final work. I start with the sketches of all the illustration’s crucial elements and work with them, like a puzzle, until I find the perfect balance for that illustration.”
Monica’s passion for art is profound and asks young artists to let their passion guide them. “When you create something, be it for yourself or a client, your love for what you do should motivate your work. Your passion for your work will help you excel in your field, help you stand out and remain fresh and current. Your art is your mirror; it reflects you. So, always be sincere, and you will learn to love your work.”
Published in Issue 52
The pandemic has brought many different challenges for everyone. But educating our young ones is among the top priority. The issue focused on how design education is still possible while most of us are locked in our homes. We also interacted with illustrators and photographers such as Jasjyot Singh Hans and Anirudh Agarwal, who seem to stand firm with their uniqueness in this time of chaos. Overall this issue serves food for thought with visually stunning creativity on a single platter.
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