Design Trend: Use The Power of Illustration To Unlock Emotions

Design Trend: Use The Power of Illustration To Unlock Emotions

“A work of art that did not begin in emotions is not art,” is a sentiment from Paul Cezanne that is firmly rooted in every artist’s need to create images that touch the soul. Ask any illustrator why they became artists and they will say they seek to express human feelings and desires. Their personal journeys inspire work that captures imaginations. Their results asks us to stop, breathe and feel without judgement and appreciate their ability to explore humanity without saying a single world.

Capturing Editorial Messages

For example, editorial illustration gives vision to complex feelings and emotions that make the headlines.

Whether it’s inciting happiness…as Nathalie Dion illustrated for Parents magazine for an article exploring how to hold on to magical memories of your child’s fleeting yet treasured moments.

Or reflecting frustration…as seen in May Ly Degnan’s latest work for NPR about the need for diversity and inclusion at elite universities, which is even more poignant in the wake of the recent college bribery scandal.

Or spurring hope…as Robert Cigna captured in this work for Focus Business celebrating the power of start-ups to fuel economies and personal dreams.

Creating Emotional Connections in Marketing

Illustration is also powered to help marketers and advertisers connect with their consumers. According to Behance, the number one design trend of 2019 is illustration and they cite custom made illustrations convert 7 times better than any stock photography. The next time you start-up an emotional campaign, explore how an illustration can spark an authentic feeling for your audience.

In-store, illustration can spark joy like Nicolas Gremaud‘s work for Val de Rance ciders. His retro and comic-inspired work tapped into the feel-good moments that come with sharing a meal with loved ones.


Graphic portraits  add a wave of otherworldly bravado. Pablo Laboto emboldened the superhero status of NBA stars Kobe Bryant and Lebron James for these special edition Nike tees.

Holiday Inn hired illustrator and graphic motion artist Hanna Melin to express the charitable spirit and story of its local employees. This short animated piece shows the kind-hearted nature of the hotel’s team during a recent local blackout.