With the steady increase in readily available free stock imagery, I often wonder about illustrators and how they are staying afloat in the growing pool of image libraries. Are illustrators being put on the back burner because stock imagery is so easily obtainable? Or is the price to secure a freelance illustrator so high that stock imagery seems like the only wise choice?
New stock houses keep popping up, selling images at such cheaper rates (or even better free!), that it makes sense to use stock imagery rather then contact a freelance illustrator for a particular job. You can’t really blame people for wanting the cheaper option, it’s basically getting something ‘kinda’ similar to what they want, but for far less money. Don’t forget the convenience of spotting something online and being able to directly download it to your computer ready to use. Less money, less hassle, what’s not to love right?
Personally, I believe nothing beats working side by side with an amazing creative who understands your design desires and can achieve the difficult task of nailing an illustration brief so well that you probably never thought of the direction the project could take without their creative input. That’s something that stock imagery cannot do, not to say that stock imagery doesn’t have its perks because it can be the life buoy which saves you from drowning in a project deadline. There are amazing stock images out there which you can use that totally nail the job you need it for, but illustrations (traditional or non-traditional) are a completely different commodity, and they should be treated that way. They can be complex and time consuming and if the first initial sketches are not what you are after then they have to go back to the drawing board, literally, and try again.
As for price, well that all depends on the project, the artist and the time you need it completed by. It is all relative and seeing an illustration can be the main hero of the overall design. I believe it is worth the pennies it costs, whatever that may be. Don’t forget you are also paying for the illustrator to nail the brief right on the mark, and not be “maybe something similar to this image but not quite this image, does this make sense?” – which I am sure everyone hears at some point when trying to nail the creative.
Here at Truly Deeply we have a huge amount of respect for illustrators and love working with them on our branding projects. One of our projects in particular you may know is Tom Organic, a range of feminine hygiene products which are 100% biodegradable, made entirely from organic cotton and free from chemicals, bleaches and synthetics. A series of illustrations were crafted specifically for the packaging by Sydney-based artist Sarah Carter-Jenkins. Each product featuring a unique colour and illustration design that together creates a strong identity, standing apart from its competitors.
Another one we loved working on is Spud Bar. These ‘spud inspired’ illustrations are by talented local artist Miso. The brand image had to richly and evocatively reflect the brand’s proposition of local, authentic and a purveyor of potato heritage. By unlocking the code of visual language for these high-loyalty, non-franchise food businesses, we developed the Spud Bar brand identity to work in a similar, non-cookie cutter manner.
We have also recently completed two exciting Formula brand and packaging projects which will hit the Chinese market soon. Working with amazing local artist Tommy Doyle, we created a set of beautiful illustrations for Royal Warton, a goat’s milk formula for children and another set of illustrations for Full Joy, a cow’s milk formula.
Here are some other amazing illustrators who we have the pleasure of knowing and working with and some we admire. Such creative work deserves recognition and appreciation.
1. Jesses Mess
3. Mel Draws
4. Abby Diamond
We would love to chat with you about any illustration projects that you have in mind. Contact us today to discuss how we can help make those creative dreams come true.
Senior Finished Artist