Illustration. Here is how “a drawing” can help your small Business.

When is an illustration a good option for your business and why? Let me help you think about it!

When you need an image for your business, you probably think right away about stock images, start browsing your phone’s gallery, or you will think of the good photographers you had the chance to meet at networkings and events.
What you might have never considered is the option of commissioning an illustration.

Central Belt Leaflet Distribution - Central Scotland Map
Central Belt Leaflet Distribution – Central Scotland Map
"How to place an online order" 
Illustration series for Saunderson's butcher in Edinburgh.
“How to place an online order”
Illustration series for Saunderson’s butcher in Edinburgh.

An illustration can be a good idea when:

  • You want to show something that wouldn’t look so good in pictures.
    Let’s say your home office is more a corner in the baby room, but you want to show how you work, an illustration can keep the general look of your desk and things, but cut out the teddy bears and balooned wallpaper.
  • You want to be sure to keep consistency through the years.
    You have changed your salesperson but the photographer that took your team photos five years ago has moved to Puerto Rico.
  • You want to show something that doesn’t exist yet.
    Say you offer a loft enhancement service and want to give an idea of how a loft can look after you are done.
  • You want to avoid stock photography and prefer to have something bespoke and that can also grow and change with you.
    For example you are a leaflet delivery company and want to show what areas you cover with a map, or you are a dog walking company and want to show your services using bespoke icons.
    In both cases a vector illustration allows you to modify the map in the first example, or add/remove/modify the icons in the second.
  • You want to show or hide specific details and do that in a photo would be too complicated or not appropriate.
    For example you want to show your ideal client type without showing the actual shop, or you do massage, waxing or therapies and want to show what the service is like without taking pictures of your actual clients or going for stock images that will not look like your workplace or won’t have the right people or service in them.
  • You want to explain a procedure in a simplified and easy way such as in an “infographic” or “how to series”, because words would be too long and boring.
    For example you want to explain how to order from your shop step by step, or what the steps are to get a boiler installed, or a social media plan or website to be made, or… anything you can think of really!
    Instead of an interminable and not really interesting bullet point list, you can have some images that will explain better and stay with you for use on your social media, website, brochures… anywhere, and they will say so much more about your business!
"How to place an online order" 
Illustration series for Saunderson's butcher in Edinburgh.
“How to place an online order”
Illustration series for Saunderson’s butcher in Edinburgh.

In short, illustration takes all those images that were impossible, because too specific to get into a picture or too hard to find, or just that would be nothing special in a photo, and makes them not only possible, and turns them into an asset for your business: they will be yours forever and will give your branding character and distinction.

If you want to know more, book a free consultation with me,
or to have a look at some more of my past illustration projects click here.

Watch the way you look

Shop front illustration

A few simple questions that will apply to any small business owner with premises:

  • How long since you had a look at your shop or office with the eyes of your new potential customer?
  • How long since you cleaned the sign or checked that the colour of the walls was still the right one?
  • When you last changed your business cards, brochure and website, did you change the shop front accordingly?

Some things may feel very secondary when you are chest deep into running your business but can actually make a big difference to those who don’t know you yet.

Will they see you, find you if…

If you have an orange business card with yellow writing, yellow and orange website, orange and yellow branded car, but your shop is royal blue.
If you use cursive writing for your printed material and website, but your sign’s lettering is as straight as a dye.
These seemingly secondary things could well enough make your potential customer, who is searching you with your corporate image in mind, walk straight past you without finding you.

Your shop sign is definitely the centrepiece of your shopfront so no letters or lightbulbs should be missing, but it is by no means the only important one: wall paint, blinds… everything works together to compose your shop’s image. Also remember, your shop is there even when it’s closed, so make sure your shutters look good too!

Does your shop serve your values?

Let’s say you sell amazing food, you have a very nice brochure and amazing photos on your website, but you couldn’t find the time to redo the shop front which is crackled and took on a brownish dirty tint.
Or maybe your front sign has lost that letter a few years ago and you just couldn’t find the number of that sign company you used, or simply one light is not working anymore.
Stop and think about it, would you eat from a dirty plate?
For passers by your shop equals your product.

The way your shop looks will project on your clients’ expectations of your product or service.
Could they perceive you as dirty, shabby, malfunctioning, just because of the way your shop looks?
Consider, are your on-site sales lower than your delivery sales?

Try to see your company through different media:

What image does your printed material paint of you?
What do you look like through your website and social media?
And what about your premises?

Make sure all of these images of you are:
  • Consistent – send the same image to everyone on any media. Be recognisable.
  • Correct – show your real you, or be a little cheeky and try and look even better.
  • Current – Update your look regularly, your clients change and evolve all the time, so should you.
  • Creative – make sure you make as obvious as possible what makes you different from your competitors.
    You don’t know yet?
    Find out what a Unique Selling Point is on my favourite marketing blog: