Illustration design is a field that incorporates both function and form in various blends based on its application. The various forms of illustrations include:
• Fashion Illustration
In the field of fashion design and apparel production, illustrations are used for three main purpose.
1. To document existing clothing trends.
2. To conceptualise new garment ideas.
3. To make detailed technical sketches called ‘Flat sketches’ with exact measurements used for creating garment manufacturing standards.
• Product Advertisements
Before the arrival of cameras, product advertisements were largely hand illustrated and printed. Illustrations for ads usually depict usage of the product.
E.g. Magazine ads
1960, Eno Fruit Salt Ad, (Image source)
• Product Packaging
Product packaging design often uses illustrations on the box.
E.g. - Matchboxes in India have a history of illustrations printed on them as part of branding.
Matchbook, Indian Match Box Labels. (Image source)
• Technical Illustration
In the field of architecture, drawings depicting the structural plans of the buildings are used in many ways while designing. From concept sketches to form exploration sketches, illustration in architecture ensures a visual communication of ideas and concepts.
Architectural sketches by Charles Correa. (Image source)
• Medical Illustration
In the field of medical sciences, illustrations are used to document various life forms as well as to explain the biology of the organic form.
E.g. - Diagrams
NCERT Books, CBSE 12th Standard. (Image source)
• Narrative Illustration
In comic books as well as graphic novels, illustrations are used to narrate the story along with text.
E.g. - Ajanta paintings, cartoons
Amar Chitra Katha :: Suppandi the simple. (Image source)
• Picture Books
Various children’s books across languages use the medium of illustration to make stories more engaging for children. From books for young age groups to adults, illustrated images are a widely appreciated medium.
E.g. - Children’s book
Pulak Biswas for Children’s Book Trust. (Image source)
• Archaeological Illustration
In the field of archeology, illustrations are used to describe and document various properties of any structure under study.
E.g. - Topographic sheets
Survey Sheet No. 45 D/7, Geographical Survey of India. (Image source)
• Book Illustration
From textbooks to novels, Illustrations are often used to complement the text. Unlike comic books and graphic novels, book illustrations are more text heavy with a few illustrated examples.
Delhi Through the seasons: Khuswant Singh, Illustrated by: Suddhasattwa Basu
Illustrations are used widely for an informal but direct communication Via the medium of graffiti by various artists. Either as campaign, promotional art or decorative art, street art and murals are a significantly popular form of creative communication.
Street art by Inkbrushme (Image source)
Films posters are a simple yet engaging way of reaching out to the audience. In India, hand painted film posters not only have a utilitarian purpose but also have a cultural legacy in promoting the two highly skilled creative fields of film making and painting.
E.g. - Film Posters
Ramachandraiah prints (Image source)
Illustrations are often used in decorative form in India. Even though the form of the illustration may not signify a direct meaning but there are several cultural and intangible messages depicted in decorative illustrations of India.
E.g. - Tribal Tattoos, Festival Rangoli.
Gondan, Indigenous Tattoo art of India. (Image source)
In India many small business owners use illustration to make hand painted signboards of their business field or name. Signboards are also used during campaign rallies and in public places for directions.
E.g. - Information sign, Protest Flyers, Signage, Privilege sign
Hand Painted Signboard at a Tailor shop (Image source)