Using Illustration in Graphic Design
Illustrations are commonly used in graphic design projects. A beautiful illustration can often grab the attention of your audience just as well as a photograph, and in many cases it can be even more effective. Illustrations are often necessary to “illustrate” a point, such as in graphs, charts and maps or in a set of icons for a website. There are several sources of illustrations, each with advantages and disadvantages in terms of quality, cost and time. Regardless of where the illustrations are obtained, be sure to include the terms related to such work in a contract, to make sure you are paid for your time, and that payments to others or stock agencies are covered in the budget.
Of course, creating an illustration yourself is always an option, provided you have the skills to complete the job. The complexity of illustrations can vary greatly, so whether or not you take on the work may depend on what the client is looking for, and what was agreed on. If you don’t consider yourself an “illustrator,” but a project requires a simple shape or icon, you may want to work on it yourself. The most common software for illustration work is Adobe Illustrator, though many programs, including Photoshop, have the tools necessary to complete this type of work. Again, what is used will depend on what you or a client is looking for.
If you are not an illustrator, and a project requires a custom illustration, an illustrator can be hired on a project basis. This is often the most expensive option, as you will be paying the illustrator for their time. However, you will end up with something that is created specifically for your needs and never seen before. Because of this, hiring an illustrator is a great option, assuming your budget can handle it.