“A picture is worth a thousand words,” says an old English adage.
When we have to explain a concept or break up a text, we often turn to visuals to do the heavy lifting. Visuals can be photographs, videos, or illustrations. Depending on the intended purpose and your available budget, photos and videos can sometimes be too costly and too time-consuming to produce. Illustrations, however, are a flexible and budget-friendly way to support your written text. To create them, all you need is imagination, skill, and a bit of software, such as Adobe Illustrator.
As you draw illustrations from the ground up, they do not need to comply with any physical or optical norms. They are illusions helping you to make your point. They can combine objects in one image that a photographer would have difficulties to replicate. In this sense, illustrations are incredibly flexible, sometimes even pushing the limits of what is possible and thus can become exceptional art pieces on their own.
On websites, however, illustrations often play a supportive role as logos, decorations, or background images. They help to bring your story across, making a point more understandable. They can also add some interest to a page, subtly breaking up the content flow, and improve your text’s readability.
If you are considering adding illustrations to your website, keep them focused yet sophisticated. Try to find a balance between these two as too much complexity can also distract visitors from understanding your point. I would also recommend making them scalable so that they can be legible across devices.