The illustration is considered to be commercial art, as it is used to decorate, clarify, or embellish something. There are many types of illustration, and they can range from a simple, minimalistic cartoon, or they can be a giant billboard. Even though illustrations and illustrators are ancient, this profession is still highly popular today.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released a report for 2017 that shows how illustrators have made an average median wage of around $50k per year – the highest wages going up to $100k per year. In 2018 pay scale reported that book illustrators had a pay range from $15k to $100k.
An illustration is an ever-evolving field, and things change often, so there are always dominant styles which are in high demand. Today we will go through some of the most popular styles of illustration of the past ten years.
Architectural drawings with lots of details
French illustrator Thibaud Herem is one of the advocates of this traditional illustration approach. He spends hours on drawing architectural-like drawings using Indian ink and pencil.
This type of illustration is hand-drawn on large pieces of high-quality paper. After the drawing process is finished, the whole sheet is scanned at high resolutions.
All the imperfections and dust are then cleaned up in a digital manner. This process can last a long time and exhaust the artist, but the results are simply amazing, and they are quite authentic, both for the digital and the physical world.
These architectural drawings allow the viewers to understand the subject in a more profound manner, and they communicate the message more clearly.
Even though this style of technical drawing was first used in architecture, today we can see it in many different art forms, even the ones that describe nature. However, the conventions used for architectural drawings still need to be followed. Today many Artwork Abode Illustrators find their sanctuary in this style.
Traditional woodcut-style illustrations
Woodcutting is a very old technique that dates back to ancient times. Some of the oldest manuscripts in the world have woodcut illustrations and are still preserved until this day. This style of illustration was used a lot during the middle Ages, and it became a standard after the printing press was invented.
With carved block illustrations, mass-produced books were illustrated for the first time, and all the illustrations came from the same cutting. These types of illustration were also a standard in feudal Japan, and this style remains popular today with artists like Chris Wormell being in high demand. The traditional woodcut-style illustrations have a strong contrast between light and dark areas, as well as between colors. They are also characteristic for having big strokes, and many people still love the rough feel that they give, along with the textured look.
Expressive watercolor style
These illustrations require the use of color pigments for drawings and shapes. It also includes adding different layers of transparency on the color with the use of water. These illustrations have a lot of depth – they are airy and soft. They are generally used for cookbook illustrations, fashion magazines, children’s books, and so on.
These types of illustration are light, and they are one of the easiest ways of making color splashes and merging them together. However, it’s important to understand that watercolor art isn’t only used for flower arrangements and landscapes.
Today we see a great demand for ink watercolor illustration, and this is evident with the success of Sarah Maycock. Fashion has changed today, and it explores different visual experiences, ones that are perfect for this sort of illustration.
Simple & minimalistic sketch types of illustration
Mr. Bingo is an artist who has been profoundly successful with this style in the last 15 years. His minimalistic sketch illustrations are hand-drawn, and they often come with a dark sense of humor.
He worked for The New York Times, The Guardian, The New Yorker, TIME, and Channel 4. This is a clear indicator that this kind of style is popular and that it resonates with viewers.
His “Hate Mail” project from 2012 was a big success, and this is how he earned his reputation. With this project, people would send Mr. Bingo their addresses and pay him $5 to receive hand-drawn postcards specially made for them with abusive messages written on the front. This project was so successful that it quickly grew into a whole book, which was funded on Kickstarter. The book included many postcards that Mr. Bingo made for his fans. He has proven that you don’t have to always go with full details and complex shapes to impress audiences.
1950s retro style
Even though this style isn’t that popular, it’s obvious that these types of illustration are coming back very fast and that we are going to see more of it in the future.
These illustrations were very popular during the 40s and 50s, but they’re coming back as a retro technique that has nostalgic and comforting qualities. This classic style definitively has universal value and timeless appeal if used properly.
With this traditional illustration style, it’s all about the perception of age. When looking at illustrations done with this style, we experience mixed emotions, and this is directly caused by how old they are. They remind most people of their childhood and of different times, which had different values.
However, the new retro illustrations present subjects who are modern in a traditional fashion and this give them another layer of intricacy. This “retro” style is called mid-century art, and it was used in architecture and design.
Illustrations and graphic design overall might not seem too important, but once you get into these things a bit deeper, you quickly realize that this is not the case. If you need business visuals, illustrations can help you get more customers and increase brand awareness.
This is why it is important to find a professional graphics design company that can do this for you and ensure good results.