Illustrations or Photography: Which is Right for Your Brand?

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

A lot decisions go into creating a brands voice, and the choice between illustration and photographic can make a huge impact on a brands message. So how do you choose?

Here’s a few things you should consider when trying to make the choice.

Does Your Brand Sell Products?

While it’s not always the case, most retail brands utilize photography. This is because customers want to see what they are buying. Imagine a customer is thinking about purchasing a new pair of shoes from your website, but it’s filled with illustrations. A customer might be a little confused why your products aren’t taking center stage within your branding. While it may not have been the intent, this tells the customer that you probably don’t want people looking closely at your products, and in turn, giving off the impression that you must not have high quality goods. As a result, they take their business elsewhere. That’s not exactly something that’s going help your sales.

Check of a few product based brands that fill their website with images of their goods:


Pottery Barn:

If you are selling consumer goods, it’s safe to say you should be featuring those goods as your main art source within your branding. It’s always important to make your key selling point is the star of the show.

Does Your Brand Provide a Service?

Selling a service is completely different story. Brands that provide technology-based services often use illustrations to supplement their branding because it gives them the ability to demonstrate more complex processes and explain their services. In short, some services just need more explanation than a photo can provide.

Here’s some examples:

Many Pixels:

Other services might need more tangible imagery to show what a customer might be getting. Services like housecleaners and contractors that produce more physical products, would probably want to use of images to show the outcome of their services.

What’s the Tone of your Brand?

When trying to decide which is right for you it’s also important to distinguish your brand’s tone.
Does your brand lean towards a more playful, light-hearted voice? Or is it more corporate, professional? Images can set a more professional tone, while illustrations can add some personality to your brand. Illustrations could mean using character to personify your brand like Headspace ( or Servin. Or they can be simple graphic elements to add some color or explain concepts (

However, there are many brands that can benefit from the use of BOTH illustration and photography. While you may want to use images, you can also supplement those photos with splashed of illustrations like icon, and playful graphics on top of or in place of images.

Take, for example, the way Slack’s feature page uses images of their products along with icons, and graphic headers to help separate the text, and break-up the information  (

Here are a few other websites that can be found mixing up their use of imagery:


Teleon Health:


At the end of the day, the choice depends on the message of your brand. Want to use illustrations? Go for it. Need to give off a more serious tone? Try images.Want a to err on the more playful side? Mix it up and use a little of both!It’s not an exact science. Stick with what feels most true to how you want people to see your brand.

Interested in chatting more with us about UI/UX design? Contact us at

Posted on:

March 3, 2021




Ready to scale and grow your business?

Schedule a Call
latest post

The blog

Launching a Platform For Founders: I Want to Create an App, Where Do I Start?

You have a business or a great idea for one and you’re looking to create an app, where should you start? Let’s discuss the simple way of getting your app from idea to the app store.

Go to Link
Read more

How Great UI/UX Can Scale Your Brand

Good UI/UX design is key to a successful platform, great UI/UX design will take your business to new heights! The biggest names across all industries have one thing in common, a platform that caters to the user experience. Let’s take a look at some of today’s top companies and how they use UI/UX to keep people coming back.

Go to Link
Read more

2023 UI/UX Design Trends in Tech

It feels like 2022 was just yesterday! Okay, maybe it was. While we’re still in the first part of the year, we’re sharing the top design trends that are coming to the forefront in 2023. These trends are becoming more visible in all niche tech industries for SaaS and mobile apps, including fintech, edtech, telehealth and more.

Go to Link
Read more

Tech Founders: How to Find Your Product-Market Fit

Everyone who has a great idea should go through some research and validation because you want to make sure you're building a solution to a problem that people actually have! So, let's walkthrough the steps in doing some research and discovery.

Go to Link
Read more

Hiring a Design Agency vs. an In-House Designer

We know hiring a designer for your app or software is a long-term investment. You want someone who will be there for you through and through! So, how do you find the best fit for you that meets all of your needs? You can go through a hiring process to find someone (which typically takes 1-3 months and then another 1-3 months for them to get acquainted), or you can hire an agency on a rolling month-to-month basis.

Go to Link
Read more

5 Questions to Ask Yourself When Creating a Meaningful and Impactful App

Have you ever had an experience with an app where you’re like “Oh wow! That is so cool?” It’s these amazing moments that change lives and behaviors. So, how do you cultivate these moments in your app and create a platform that everyone loves to use and come back to?

Go to Link
Read more
The Blog