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Home Blog Guide to Simplified & Isometric Illustration in the Design World 2020

Guide to Simplified & Isometric Illustration in the Design World 2020

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Guide to Simplified & Isometric Illustration in the Design World 2020

As we enter a new decade, trends in the illustration will continue to evolve and it is important for designers to stay in-the-know to make high-quality, relevant, and modern works of art. Illustrations are a visual way to portray a written text through aesthetics, harmony, and graphic expression. The isometric illustration is one of my favorite.

In this article, I would be sharing top ten Illustration types, that’s gonna feature onto the trending charts for the calendar year 2020, and in the end, I would be picking two of the topics (which in my opinion would be the most trending) and would like to share my views on it. I hope you will like it.

Top 10 Illustration Trends In 2020

1. Abstract Illustrations: Geometric Design

abstract flyer
80’s Festival Flyer by Pikisuperstar

2. 3D Illustrations: Futurism

3d Illustration
Instagram – Create Don’t Hate Official Poster by Leo Natsume on Behance

3. Neon Illustrations: Cyberpunk Colors

neon poster
Cyberpunk Illustration Poster by Uzicopter

4. Isometric Illustration

isometric illustration
Modern Isometric Illustration by Creative Graphics

5. Illustrations in UI: Characters

ui illustration
Let’s get lost App by Thomas Rohlfs

6. Simplified Illustrations: Flat Color and Limited Palette

simplified illustration
simplified illustration by Creative Graphics

7. Line Art & Minimalism

line art
Line Art style Poker Flyer by Blerc Studio

8. Hand drawn Illustrations

hand drawn illustration
Hand drawn Illustration by Typegang

9. Paper Cut-Out Collages: Illustration & Photography

Paper cut out illustration
Nokia 5G Illustrations by Eiko Ojala On Behance

10. Packaging Illustrations

Packaging Design
Independence Brewing Company Illustration by Joshuah X. Miranda on Dribbble

Perhaps you’ve noticed any other trending themes for illustrations in 2020? Share them in the comments below and let everyone know!

So, out of the whole 10 trending illustration themes, I would like to express my views on two of them, which totally in my opinion would be the one to top the charts in trending columns. Before starting I would like to express my views on why illustrations are necessary in today’s designing world.

Why Is a Brand Illustration System Useful?

Illustration has the ability to reimagine reality in a way that is familiar yet delightfully uncommon, which makes it particularly useful when an idea is difficult to explain. It’s a powerful way to cut through distractions and relate complex emotions quickly. But why design a system of brand illustrations? Why not create individual images as needed, each with its own distinct style?

The first answer is language. An illustration system is a way to enrich a brand’s visual language and say more nuanced things that a logo, colour scheme, typeface, or even words cannot convey alone.

The second answer is consistency. Consistent branding (i.e., promise-making) creates expectations for a business to meet, and people reward met expectations with loyalty.

A brand illustration system gives a business the ability to unfold its brand story with consistency on multiple platforms (web, print, social, etc).

Enough of deviating off from the topic, so here are my views on the two most trending topics in designing world. 

Simplified Illustrations: Flat Color and Limited Palette

simplified illustration 2

Why Simplified Illustrations Will Improve Conversions on Your Website or Mobile App?

Simplified Illustrations is reaching maturity in the design world, but why is it so important to your business?

According to Forbes, it is our increasing familiarity with digital interfaces that are inspiring major corporations such as Microsoft, Google, and Apple to move to flat user interfaces. Such companies are picking up on users’ improved skill in engaging and interacting online.

As we’re becoming more familiar with the concept of interacting with devices, we’ve come to expect interactivity. This is a dream come true for designers, who are able to convey the information they want the user to have without having to apply big, shiny buttons in bright and unsightly colours.

Simplified illustrations are the minimalist designer’s dream come true. It is fresh, new and offers a range of real benefits for your business. Let’s take a look at what makes simplified illustrations so important in modern web design.

But First… What is simplified illustrations?

Nothing more, nothing less – Simplified Illustrations uses shapes in a distinct two-dimensional style. There’s no embellishment – just a flat interface that is easy to use.

Simplicity – Interface elements, icons, and buttons use simple shapes that allow intuitive interaction.

Sparse Typography – Bold typography should match the design style and should be matched with simplistic, yet effectively written content.

Bright Colors – Simplified Illustrations use vibrant hues of bright colours, and often, designers use up to eight colours equally.

Indie Air Fest
Simplified Illustration Pamphlet of Indie Air Fest by POWER BISCUIT

Why You Should Consider Simplified Illustrations?

Now that you understand what simplified illustrations are, you may wonder why it’s a fantastic idea to consider including a website makeover before the busy season…

  • Simplified Illustrations are Evergreen.
  • Simplified Illustrations basically remove any design styles that can date your website, thus future-proofing your website to help the style remain relevant for longer. That reduces time and money wasted on frequent redesigns to stay in vogue.
  • Simplified Illustrations is Functional. The modern consumer doesn’t want to jump through hoops to achieve his or her objectives, so it is important to make your site as simple and functional as possible. Many of the older, outdated designs contain elements that serve no useful purpose, which – as we learned with the advent of the user experience movement – is detrimental to the UI/UX. Better user experience equals improved user interaction.
  • Simplified Illustrations Embraces Minimalism.
  • Simplified Illustrations makes the web more efficient. There are no excessive design elements to clutter up your website, which helps it to load faster and easier. It’s especially useful for mobile pages, as sites don’t have to resize to work on smaller devices.
  • Ultimately, simplified illustrations are clean, uncluttered and beautiful. It ensures that your brand portrays a tidy, modern image. When you’re deciding on what you want to include in your brand make-over, consider simplified illustrations.

Today, the term “simplified illustrations” is applied to graphics for numerous purposes and tasks which have common stylistic features. simplified illustrations are the direction that found its broad and diverse expression on digital art and is famous for minimalistic and concise use of visual expressive means. Nowadays the term is widely used as the opposite to “rich design” due to harmonic simplicity taken as the basis of this design approach.

The most prominent feature which actually has inspired the name of this direction is applying flat 2-dimensional visual details as the opposite to highly realistic and detailed skeuomorphic images. simplified illustrations have been developing actively for the last couple of years covering more and more fields of graphic design still finding the broadest and most diverse application in the sphere of digital design for web and mobile interfaces. This design approach is found as the style favourable for enhancing usability and visual harmony of user interfaces.

Flat illustrations are still on-trend. Bold colours are perfect for illustrations. They create a joyful and active atmosphere and emphasis on characters and abstract forms. Bright and flat colours have been an important trend in recent years and 2020 will be no exception.

Basic and prominent features of the Simplified Illustrations include:

  1. the simplicity of shapes and elements
  2. minimalism
  3. functionality
  4. bold and highly readable typography
  5. clear and strict visual hierarchy
  6. close attention to details
  7. the thoughtful appliance of bright colors and contrast supporting quick visual perception
  8. avoiding textures, gradients and complex forms
  9. applying the principles of grids, geometric approach, and visual balance.
We Are Okay Book Cover by Nina LaCour

Benefits of Simplified Illustrations

Simplified illustrations has a number of benefits determining its popularity and diversity in digital design which influenced the trends of modern print design as well. Among the most significant of them, we would mention:

  • readability and legibility
  • clear visual hierarchy via shapes, colours, and fonts
  • effective support of quick and intuitive navigation in web and mobile interfaces
  • easy adjustability in terms of adaptive and responsive design
  • effective legibility on various screens
  • being easier for developers and usually presents less load for the digital system.
simplified illustration 3

User Interface Design

User interfaces have definitely become the broad and favourable field for simplified illustrations glitz and gloss. It found its development in both abstract user interaction concepts and a variety of original interfaces, mascots, icons, interface elements, and illustrations.

UI Interaction Concepts

Business Card
Business Card UI concept imitates the funny effect of pulling out the card from a profile avatar
Home Budge App
Animation concept for UI of Home Budget app adds dynamics

Isometric Illustration and Whats in it for You

An isometric illustration can be described as three-dimensional objects on a two-dimensional flat surface (also known as a “plane”). Isometrics are more common in UI design and presentations. Combining bright colors or gradients and futuristic shapes, isometric illustrations are great attention grabbers.

We’re living in a 3D world. So why on earth should you stick to simplified illustrations? Isometric illustration—the latest design trend—gives you the best of both: a 3D design in which there are no converging perspective lines.
Kind of like simplified illustrations and 3D design having a baby.

So let’s get you ahead of the curve so you can be the first on your block to have this dynamic technique at your disposal. Put on your 3D glasses, grab a bag of popcorn and get ready to bob and weave, because the ins and outs of isometric illustration are coming your way.

Why is Isometric Illustration Trending right now?

Here are three ways that simplified illustration can hold you back:

Simplified illustration isn’t as ergonomic as isometric. (Say that one 5 times fast!)

When icons have depth, they look embossed or raised. Users know exactly where to tap or click.

isometric icons vs simplified icons

Simpler isn’t always better

If designs are too elementary, displaying complex visual information can be difficult.

Isometric Illustration: A New Angle Of Creativity

Cutting edge businesses and designers should strongly consider using isometrics. It’s a way of visually showing your values without having to write them down. This shows that your brand goes all the way with its philosophy and communicates that you are an authentic outfit.

A cool psychological benefit of the isometric illustration is that it mentally places the customer above your product or service. If you’re looking at something head-on, you feel on the same level as it. But the high angle provided by the isometric illustration makes your audience feel in charge because they can look down on the subject, similar to the way a bird of prey does.

isometric illustration 2

When should you use Isometric Illustration?

Thinking of using isometric illustration, but not sure if you should? Here’s how you can see if they match up with your goals:

When you want to stay simple, but add depth

Isometric icons are a booming category of isometric illustration. This technique increases the visual appeal and recognizability of an icon. The chances of your customer squinting their eyes and saying, “What’s that?” is less if your icon has 3D structure and depth.

isometric-icons
Isometric Illustrations of Icons

When you want to convey more details

Traditional 2D maps view an area from the top. But what if you want to see the front? Or aside? Tough luck. If only there was a way… Oh yeah, there is isometric illustration!

isometric-map
Isometric Illustration of a Map of Seoul

When illustrating interconnected information

You can show an entire neighborhood in an easily digestible way with Isometric Illustration. And we’re not just talkin’ buildings, bodies of water, and streets. Automobiles, trees, billboards, park benches, people, heck, even doggies can be depicted and understood at a glance.

isometric neighborhood
Isometric Illustration of part of City Life

When you want to take a refreshing approach

Isometric Illustration might be trending now, but, there’s an evergreen appeal to seeing objects with shape and depth. Back in 1988, comic books illustrators figured out how to draw with more depth than ever before, and they’ve never gone back. Why? ‘Cause it’s cooler when Spider Man’s web is coming right atcha!

spiderman
Cover Picture of The Amazing Spiderman inspired by Isometric Illustration

What Makes a Brand Illustration System Meaningful?

A final word of encouragement: Joy and intuition are the brand illustrator’s best friends. Branding is one of those fields where people sometimes take themselves very seriously and say things like, “All of our design decisions must be based on data,” or “This isn’t art. We’re trying to solve problems.” Don’t let that harsh your mellow.

For pro designers and illustrators, it’s a given that each element made for a project has to vibe with the brand. But at its core, a brand illustration system is a collection of drawings, so have fun! Be funny. Be creative. Be human.

Should there be reason and rationale behind the look and feel of illustrations presented to a client? Yes. But don’t overthink every little creative decision. The path to a brand illustration system that is both meaningful and enduring is paved by experience, instincts, a solid grasp of the brand, and good old-fashioned hard work.

We at Projectsio can get you covered with all sorts of creatives that are required for your business, be it a flyer, be it UI/UX, etc. So, if this article draws the attention of such an organisation or person who wants to grow their business with some sort of trending illustration, feel free to contact us, we will surely get you covered.

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Bibliography: Article inspired by Creative Market. All credits go to the respective owner of the creatives which are taken from Pinterest and Freepik.