Written texts are often accompanied by images that must be able to tell, accompany and sometimes replace words. This is the superpower of the illustrator: to create images with a strong communicative power and immediate understanding. He illustrates school books, children’s books, novels… everything that revolves around publishing and graphic design, thanks to his artistic and manual skills (he works with pencils, painting, and obviously with computer graphics).
But not only that: an illustrator also deals with everything that has to do with the coordinated image of a company and with the presentation of its products or services. His artistic skills are therefore declined in various fields (we will see it later), but there are some necessary and essential characteristics to translate one’s potential into a full-fledged profession.
The starting point: talent
It all starts with a real aptitude for illustration. The profession of the illustrator is not exactly like the others, but it is on the same level as the artist, the writer, the musician: it requires a concrete and marketable talent. It starts with skill, plus determination, motivation and training aimed at strengthening its practical application.
Training: the basics of graphic design and creative graphics software
The marketability of your talent is bound to a thorough knowledge of the techniques and tools necessary to put it into practice. Today there are many technological means to best express, in practice, the creativity of those involved in visual communication. But practice without theory cannot stand up. For this, it is always necessary to know the fundamentals of graphic design to recognize a good illustration and to know how to design it.
Graphic Design beyond the Salona: from theory to practice
To break the rules (or to go beyond the rules) it is first necessary to know them: knowing the history of graphic design and the works of the illustrious masters of graphic design ensures you the tools to design illustrations and graphics in conscious way.
Creativity needs knowledge to be able to express the best of it.
During this course we explore not only the principles of Il Canone Vignelli (the fundamental principles underlying his design vision are discipline, meaning, timelessness, typography) but also the values that have historically characterized visual culture. We learn to know them and distinguish them according to the reference period, from the 60s to today. To then deepen the classification of the families of typefaces and analyze the work of art directors, designers, photographers and illustrators
Once the foundations have been laid, you can move on to practice: today in the world of work, in the field of creative graphics, one cannot fail to know and know how to use graphic design software.
Create illustrations and vector graphics with Adobe Illustrator
Adobe Illustrator is the software that allows you to process illustrations and vector graphics and to transform your projects into illustrations to be used on all media: print, websites and apps, videos and animations, blogs and social media.
It is the ideal tool for those involved in digital custom illustration design(creative graphic designers but also communication and style office workers, since today communication must not only be effective, but above all fast. And Adobe Illustrator allows you to create all kinds of illustrated compositions. product or company logos, infographics, icons, drawings, typographic effects, packaging designs for commercial products, printed or digital maps, posters.
Those who professionally deal with illustration, visual communication and digital creativity in the field of communication and marketing, often use Adobe Illustrator, as the most used vector image and infographic creation program in the digital graphics sector.
How to use Photoshop strategically?
b. Correct images and photos with Adobe Photoshop
Knowing how to optimize photos and digital images for web, print and video is a necessary skill if you want to work on photographic, creative or communication projects. And for this purpose Adobe Photoshop is the most widely used digital graphics software.
Professionals who know how to use adequate IT tools to graphically design and build effective communication are an indispensable resource for every company today, to build a coordinated corporate image that is coherent and graphically appealing. Often for this we make use of the help of Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator: a presentation accompanied by captivating graphics and original infographics often makes the difference, especially in today’s culture in which image and design take on primary importance.
c. Layout texts and images with Adobe Indesign
Why should an illustrator know how to use Adobe InDesign, which is page layout software for print and digital? Because it is not enough to ‘build’ an effective image, but it is also necessary to know how to place it correctly in a harmonious context of text + images.
In fact, Adobe Indesign is a graphic design program and is considered the standard in the organization of editorial content and in the design of page layouts.
For example, to design a flyer, it is necessary not only to know where to insert and adapt your images (perhaps modified with Photoshop or created with Illustrator), but also to introduce titles and texts, layout everything in a harmonious way, choose the colors appropriately, use the font styles and paragraph, insert logos and resize them while maintaining the proportions. All this is part of the construction of a coordinated image: this too can be part of the profession of an illustrator.
We talked about computer graphics software such as Illustrator or Photoshop, but let’s not forget that there is still a market for more traditional techniques, such as pencil, watercolor, oil painting, chalk … It is important to choose which artistic current to adhere to. Based on the type of subject you want to represent.
Unique and recognizable illustrations
Choose the technique and computer graphics software according to the subject you want to illustrate. It is important to be familiar with all the techniques, so that you can better communicate your finished product ideas to others. But then you decide what to specialize in and what kind of illustrator to become.
Do you want to become a children’s book illustrator?
Illustrations for children must necessarily be beautiful, immediate, and communicative.
They must capture the attention and tell a plot without the help of words. Children’s illustrators have the tough task of transferring the simplest emotions into an image and making them instantly recognizable. Exactly what the great figurative (and non- figurative) artists of the past have always done (which is why it is necessary to have a solid training also in this area, as we said). And like these great artists, even children’s illustrators can be divided into categories (broadly speaking, of course), based on the pictorial choices, the visual language used and the stylistic choices. Choices that depend not only on the personal illustrative style, but also on the message that an illustration intends to convey and on the age of the audience it is intended for.
The personal illustrative style
It is important to develop a personal and unique illustrative style, which can have a specific declination in the job market where today, thanks also to digital innovation; the role of visual communication has become decisive.
Images convey universal information and messages: knowing how to conceive and process digital images and adapt them to any platform to disseminate them are therefore highly required skills and abilities since today, for anyone who works and in any sector, communication passes mainly through the web and social channels. Insert well-constructed visual elements into communication it is a winning strategy to strengthen and disseminate the identity of a brand and the quality of the products and services offered.