We connect brands with their target audience. What is your brand's unique story?

29 November 2016

Picture this. How illustration can enhance your advertising and draw attention to your brand.



Your starter for ten. Who are the most influential illustrators of all time? Here are a few candidates selected by The University of Jazzbones.

William Blake, Victorian artist whose haunting illustrations remain the Gothic touchstone. Charles M. Schultz, comic strip pioneer who gave the world Charlie Brown and Snoopy. Rene Gruau, creator of Dior’s iconic ‘New Look’ illustrations. Richard Corben whose distinctive cover art helped Meat Loaf’s ‘Bat Out of Hell’ LP sell 43 million. Quentin Blake, Britain’s first Children’s Laureate and the illustrator who brought Roald Dahl’s tales to life.

Next question. What do these guys have in common, apart from being awesome illustrators? Answer. Not a lot. But from poetry books to comic strips, fashion ads, record covers and kids’ classics, they all proved that great illustration sells.

The same goes for bespoke illustration at the service of marketing and advertising. Coca-Cola’s vintage Christmas ads have little in common with Esso’s ‘Put a tiger in your tank!’ campaign or contemporary ads for IBM, Pacha or Hedkandi. But what all these commercial illustrations do is add eye-catching style and personality to a client’s brand and products. And needless to say, if you’re not attracting attention, your sales won’t amount to a hill of beans.

“As creatives, we love illustration for all kinds of reasons,” says Jazzbones senior designer Mitchell Nelson, whose own CV includes a degree in Illustration. “For starters, the only limits are your imagination; professional illustrators can convert the driest subject matters into exciting visuals. Illustration can also be a good way to bring to life concepts that resist photography, or it can enhance digital images. And depending on the complexity of the project, it can be more cost-effective than other formats.”

“Illustrations can seamlessly blend with existing brands, colour templates and logo designs. An array of processes and styles – though I swear by pencil and ink – allow us to reflect any brand, from high-end realism to hand-printed patterns for an organic feel. Illustration is also great for targeting different age groups. It can be childlike for children or sophisticated for adults. Or vice-versa. The beauty of illustration is that rules can be broken.”

“The days when all ads contained illustrations are long gone, but used strategically, illustration is still an effective way to reach your audience amidst so much digital noise.”

Benefits of Illustration

Adds unique personality to ads and marketing campaigns

Eye-catching, helps your product stand out from the crowd

Bespoke finishing; whether brand-new or on brand

Potentially more cost-effective than photo shoots

Flexible, illustration style reflects target audience and ‘mood’

More conceptual routes can be easier to represent

Can be superimposed on other design formats





Mitchell Nelson
Senior Designer


Ask Jazzbones to draw you a picture. Our talented in-house illustrators are poised - pencil and ink pot in hand - to discuss your brief.