Illustrations in Web Design


When you build a website design, you want it to be a logical extension of your brand. After all, it is your face in the digital expanses that conducts dialogues with visitors and potential clients. Like it or not, but it should be aligned with the company’s philosophy. At a minimum, it should use language appropriate to the target market as well as feel and look like an official representative of your company.

However, sometimes this can be hard to achieve through traditional means, like photography. The latter is a bit limited and often fails to support the meaning of the website, especially when it comes to complex, intricate, or unusual concepts.

In this case, web designers resort to an illustrative approach that is much more flexible and much more efficient to capture a complicated subject. It helps to ensure that website design and your company’s image are in sync. In addition, it is one of the most inspiring, practical, and fun to work with. Let us consider some good reasons to use illustrations in website design.

Reasons to Use Illustrations in Website Design

There are several good reasons why the use of illustrations in your cold artificial digital place, aka website design, may bring you substantial benefits, such as:

  • The illustrative approach adds a unique touch to the overall look.
  • The illustrative approach can easily meet companies with surreal, edgy, imaginative, or whimsical brand identity.
  • Illustrations help the website design to stand out from the crowd. This is especially true for niches where photography is a prime option like travel or hospitality.
  • Illustrations are simply indispensable for storytelling experiences and infographic-based projects.
  • Illustrations provide the warm human touch that people adore on websites.
  • Illustrations are unique. Even the stock illustrations can be customized to perfectly blend into the website environment.
  • Illustrations present the company in friendly, fun, and attention-grabbing ways.

Types of Visual Styles to Make your Website Design Look Fresh and Modern

Keeping the site up-to-date is increasingly vital for every business in every niche. The deal is that the fresh look of your digital space increases engagement, keeps user’s interest alive, builds trust and loyalty, and, most importantly, helps generate traffic and drive conversion. Therefore, every aspect and detail (especially the visual ones) should be modern and on-trend. Illustrations on your website are no exceptions; more so, they occupy the lion’s share of the screen estate, making everything about themselves.

Therefore, you cannot just go for any art you like; you need to choose styles in trend. There are four mainstreams:

  • Abstract approaches that advocate tolerance and imperfection;
  • Whimsical approaches that give food for thoughts;
  • Bright and impersonal that break the ice from the first seconds with a gamut of positive emotions;
  • Neat, subtle yet refined line style illustrations that go perfectly well with techy and black designs and flat style.

Several Good Examples of Websites that Use Illustrations

The theory is one thing; however, how about practice? It is here where we can get some good insights on how to implement illustrations in real-life projects and not ruin everything.

Therefore, let’s consider some fantastic examples of websites that use illustrations not just to add spice to aesthetics but also effectively convey the main message, establish a proper atmosphere, and of course, advocate the brand.

  1. Summary Story – Library of Free Essays Online

The first example to look at is the most extensive database of book reviews on the web. What can be more boring than that? Unless, of course, you are a student that seeks some good material that can be used to nail the following essay.

However, surprisingly, the homepage of this serious portal looks cheerful and vivid. It instantly draws attention and ignites interest winning over visitors with its bright charisma and friendly attitude. What is the secret? The secret lies in a clever use of illustrations that can do magic even with the most boring themes and subjects.

The designer’s team behind the Summary story capitalizes on an illustrative approach.  Note, there is nothing extraordinary here. In a core, it is pretty basic and typical. But it looks incredible. The designer’s team has come up with an illustration that echoes the company’s philosophy and at the same time helps the portal stand out from the crowd since websites in this niche mostly stick to traditional photography-based solutions.


Illustrations in Web Design

  1. The Full Circus – Digital Marketing Agency

The full Circus stands in stark contrast to Summary Story. This is not only because it occupies an entirely different niche but because it makes the most out of a storytelling experience that can’t survive without an illustrative approach.

However, this is not the only reason why we have included this project in our collection of websites that skillfully employ illustrations in their designs. The deal is, this website is vivid proof that the illustrative approach is no longer static. It evolves and matures. And, most importantly it skillfully collaborates with other techniques, stepping away from the vacuum

Unlike Summary Story, which features illustration only on the landing page, here artworks can be found everywhere you go. They are the core of user and visual experience that creates aesthetics, delivers the message, and reinforces its meaning.

Note, this is an online portfolio of a digital marketing agency. Brilliant.

Illustrations in Web Design

  1. Kitchen – Web Design Studio

Although the site isn’t completely devoid of photos, nevertheless illustrations play here an important role. I even say they play here the first fiddle. They nicely collaborate with images giving overall aesthetics exceptional appeal.

Along with that, they perform some critical tasks. For instance,

  • They give the hearo area extra meaning.
  • They create a friendly and cheerful atmosphere that increases engagement and drives conversions.
  • They unobtrusively guide users, focusing attention on the crucial details.
  • They advocate the brand.

The Kitchen is a perfect example of website design that balances illustrations, images, and text, creating an exceptional user experience.

Illustrations in Web Design

Top Sources to Find the Best Illustrations in the Web

So, where to find the best illustrations for your website design? Along with premium portals like Creativemarket, many standalone artists offer series of illustrations made in one style and theme. For instance, Absurd. Design, Drawkit, UnDraw, ManyPixels, and others. Some of them feature artworks with paid licenses, while others are free. All of them are customizable and infinitely scalable so that artworks look and feel great across all devices: small, medium-sized, and of course

Last but not least, you can always find something unique and inspiring in such communities of talented creatives as Dribbble and Behance.



Illustrations in web design are not something new. I even say it is something that we can see every day. However, it never ceases to amaze.

The deal is, every illustration has a warm personal touch that is irresistible in a cold artificial environment. On top of that, it has the power to draw attention without much effort and make any online estate look artistic and creative.

Therefore, if you are sick and tired of stock images or photography that is too explicit and obvious, you can always exploit an illustrative approach even if you work in the most boring niche ever where creativity is rare, like a white crow.

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