Illustrations in the simplest words are the pictorial interpretation of a certain concept or literature. It may often be humoristic or personal or even have a cartoonish look to it. It is used to convey a message to the viewers. It is expressive and doesn’t demand attention. It is majorly used in books and magazines. However, as it evolves, it has been used in advertisements, cartoons, fashion designs, storyboards,and video games. There is no single way of making illustrations, so without any further ado, let’s discover some styles of illustrations.

Literal illustrations

Further divided in to three parts, it describes a reality in a similar way as a non-fictional book. It describes a credible scene while incorporating drama or fantasy in the image. The types of literal illustrations include:

  • Photorealism—a photographic image describing authentic scenes

In photorealism, the artwork is often confused with an actual picture or photograph. Drawing, perspective,and the choice of colour are the essential tools of this artwork. It can be said that photographic illustrations are a realistic replica containing exquisite details.

  • Illustrations showing history

These illustrations can be found in history books that describe a particular historical event or culture. This type of illustration has been used within the era of photography in order to add a sense of drama in the picture.

  • Hyperrealism—the closest to reality

This form of art crosses the line of art and reality. It is an advanced form of photorealism. It adds extra features to represent or use monochrome pencils to convey a social message.

Conceptual illustrations

Conceptual illustrations are metaphorical in nature with imagery taking the place of realism. This form of illustration is something to fictional writing, where anything can be compared to anything else. It is divided in to further three types:

  • Abstract or distorted designs

An expressive form of art, but away from reality, abstract designs expresses the imaginativeform of art.

  • Sequential images

Images set in a sequence can tell a story and are widely used for cartoons, graphic novels and plan movies. It may differ in styles depending on the message.

  • Information graphics

These artistic forms represent knowledge. They are often used to assist and understand complexknowledge.

  • Freehand digital drawings

Artists draw on a digital pad allowing smooth transitions between shadow and light.They might layer imagery to create complex backgrounds and add fine details within the image.

Vector graphics and illustrations

With vector images, mathematical equations are used to make illustrations. Vector graphics are different from freehand drawings and have clear shapes and outlines which are popular for web illustrations.

Children’s illustrations

Often writers hire books illustrations services to produce a visual representation of the written tale. The style of illustration depends on the age group of readers. Some may be realistic and complex, or they can be cartoonish. However, they need to be colourful and contain a sense of movement in the image.

Graphic novels or comics

Who doesn’t remember the famous heroes in the comics?The styles of the design may differ from line drawings to airbrush.Comic images are drawn in the panel and contain a sense of movement to describe the narrative. It may contain actions combined with words. The size of the panels in a comic defines the pace of the story or narrative.

Logo designs for branding

Logos define a very specific style of illustration. Its goal is to provide information to the audience using colours, shapes, fonts,or images. Logos are simple images but are able to grab the attention of the audience while defining a particular brand.

There are many different styles of illustrations which might overlap. However, understanding the different styles and types of illustrations can give you an insight into the principles behind each type of illustration.