Cartoons aren’t just for kids

Illustration is a web design trend that won’t be saying
‘See you in the funny papers’ anytime soon.    

Forget the road, what do you get when you cross a chicken with a pirate? A ‘Cluckaneer’ of course. 

The Tevao team had a blast coming up with new scenes and activities for this clucky crew on the White Spot kids’ menu. But illustration and the creation of custom cartoon characters for your business or brand is far from just kids’ stuff. 

Here’s why the trend is only gaining momentum in 2021.

C’mon get happy

After a year of doom and gloom people are ready to put a positive spin on things. And what better way to do that, than with creative imagery and characters that allows users to escape reality – if only for a little bit. Illustration brings vibrancy and humor to web design and allows designers to push limits, stretch our imaginations and satisfy your every whim. Want your homepage to feature a penguin wearing a cowboy hat playing the harpsichord? An alien flying a space ship filled with avocados? An Eiffel Tower made of cheese. (We could go on.) No problem! (Let’s see you try and ask a photographer to do any of that?) And if it puts a smile on your customer’s face, their foot is already in the virtual door of your business.

Illustrations as unique as you

A custom character or company mascot can set you apart from the pack. Connect you with, and make you more memorable to, the client. When Meg Energy wanted to promote their competitive and comprehensive coverage plan to potential employees we knew it was a job for Meg-A-Fits Man. Sure they could have just used stock photography – ‘man brushes his teeth,’ ‘man gets a massage’ – to illustrate their medical and dental benefits, but we think a super hero doing it all says it so much better. And when he pops the question with a ring in hand (employer-matched savings plan) or gets spit up on by his new baby (8-week maternity top up) the viewer is cheering (or cringing along with) him thanks to a natural bond formed with the fun-loving and friendly character. 

To infinity and beyond

For Mainland Floral’s logo we wanted to feature owner Fred, the man behind it all – clogs and all. But in a fun, clean aesthetic that could work for them in limitless ways. Fred’s little overall-clad cartoon doppelganger is now happily holding his tulips on their sell sheets, pop up banners, trade show booth designs, stickers and delivery truck. A good illustration can make your company instantly recognizable – and likewise, unforgettable – from website to business card and beyond.  

Bottom line, incorporating illustration and cartoon imagery in your web design can feel like child’s play but it can have serious benefits when it comes to conversion.

Carly Krug is a freelance writer, and former lifestyle reporter for 24 Hours newspaper, whose work has appeared in Flare, Elle, House & Home and TV Guide.
Freelance Writer