Illustration: Brand Your Startup Uniquely (Pt. 2)

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Using illustrations as a marketing tool will help your startup stand out from the crowd. All you need is to find the right artist who understands how to deliver your companys' message to get your brand and product noticed in a unique way. Check out these tips on how to get the attention you need!

The previous article explained why you should brand your startup in a unique way and how illustrations can help you in that matter. Since the market for illustration is still small, this post will give you tips on how to approach illustrators, how to work with them and which tools you can use to get the best results for your purpose.

I want to give you a quick overview of the benefits of illustrations for delivering the message to your target audience:

  1. Illustration is unique. It helps your company stand out hence it will be remembered.
  2. Illustration is flexible. You want to show different topics in just one image? Illustration can do that.
  3. Illustration can be budget friendly. Depending on what and how many topics you want to illustrate, this tool is a perfect alternative to stock photos.
  4. Illustrations are easy to understand. If you want people to understand a lot of information or a very complex issue, illustrations can explain it to them.
  5. Illustrations are honest. Illustrations sell ideas instead of reality which is why customers will trust them more than (potentially) processed photos.

Approach the right illustrator for your needs

Now, how can you approach an artist who will illustrate your thoughts / products / brand? In Europe there is an endless number of illustrators who work either for themselves or with an agency. If you know an upcoming artist whose style you like and fits your startup brand – great! You can ask them directly how to cooperate – maybe even a long term working relationship which benefits both of you will be developed from there.

If you are not sure where and how you can approach illustrators and which style fits your company best you can get assistance from an agency such as They represent artists and are specialized in advising you which artists will fit your needs. Agencies are a great option to find the right artist because they represent a wide range of illustrators, they know their skills and also know which artist will have the best understanding for your startups’ brand or product.
Once you find an illustrator whose work you like and who will give your brand a touch of his specific style you can brief them directly – digitally or face to face. A meeting is not always necessary, depending on your project. Since co-working also requires an amount of trust, a personal appointment is recommended tough. This way you will not only get to know the person you are working with (and perhaps gain a new friend!) but you can also reason out questions which might appear along the working process. Questions which are answered beforehand ensure that you will get the illustration you are looking for – so prepare a well elaborated briefing the artist can work with.
In case you get a feeling something is not working the way you want it to, you can turn to the agency for support. They will work things out for you and make sure you get a result you and your target audience are happy with. The artist you approched will most likely do his best anyway because your product or service represents his work too. So the illustrator himself should always be content with the result as well.

For what can you use illustration?

Apart from logos, there is a ton of other items you can use illustration for. Let me introduce just a few of them to you to show you that an illustration is more than just a pretty image to look at:


This is the most common tool for which illustrations are used because it helps you market or launch a product or service easily. Since flyers have limited space to communicate your message to your audience you not only have to make it eye-catching but also understandable and interesting.


Another promotional material is the postcard – it is quite different from the flyer because here illustrations are used to do artistic work. Companies can use postcards to present and advertise their products in a simple and sincere way. And since customers can keep them, they are also a great tool through which they will remember your startup.


Because of its compact size (it is printed on a single page with limited information) a leaflet is easy to deliver – you can consider it an instant message to your target audience. Use it as an advertising tool if you have a new product or service you want to present. Do not use it to present your startup instantly to the public – you will need a platform which gives you more space to bring across your information.


Brochures are a tool specifically targeted at prospective customers. It is a very effective way to communicate your message to them if they are well designed and arranged. Take your time and not only concentrate on the information it contains but also on its apperance: Color, design, font, size and last but not least quality of print. Your brochure can be as informative as possible but if it looks cheap, chances are nobody will get these informations because they are just not reading it.

Illustrations give new products or services your startup offers a special, fresh look which sets you apart from competitors. When you work with an artist you will get a unique and customized result which presents not only your products but also your startup in the desired light. Using this tool in a promotional or corporate identity sense has to be well elaborated and it also has to fit your brand. Keep in mind that you have it in your hands to brand your startup uniquely.



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Illustration by Everett Glenn