While you likely interact with illustration and illustrative design elements daily, do you know the difference between the two? The skill sets required for both fields are strikingly similar, however, each has a unique design function. Let’s walk through what makes the two similar, what makes them unique, and how to know which program is right for you.
What is illustration?
Illustration is commonly found in children’s books but extends into other areas, such as concept art and graphic novels. While illustration is not always tied to a narrative, it is often associated with storytelling through non-photographic images, making it similar to animation but focused instead on still images, physical or digital. As such, the final products that an illustrator might deliver may be characters, settings, or objects. Illustrators play an important role in several industries, whether they are submitting final drawings for a comic book, pre-visualizations for architects, or product designs for fashion designers.
What is illustrative design?
Illustrative design takes illustration techniques and reconceptualizes them to solve design-based problems, not unlike graphic design. However, illustrative designers solve these types of problems by creating unique illustrations. Both illustrators and illustrative designers create unique assets that they have drawn. A common example of this is User Experience and User Interface or UX/UI. In UX/UI, illustrative designers may design new fonts for a website to accommodate accessibility, style, and brand standards. Other projects include logo design, motion graphics, and data visualization. All of these designs help individuals and organizations navigate both physical and digital media.
How do I know which program is right for me?
One of the most important things to consider when deciding between the illustration and illustrative design programs at any institution is the types of illustrations you enjoy doing. Is your goal to tell character-driven stories? Or are you motivated by providing unique design solutions to 21st-century problems? This is just one of many things to consider when selecting a degree, so remember to do your research! Click below to learn more about the on-campus and online programs for illustration and illustrative design. Additionally, for those looking for a more in-depth discussion about which program is right for you, click here to request information.
If you would like to read other blogs like this we recommend checking out What Is The Difference Between Graphic Design And Illustrative Design?