Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Minimalist Advertising Illustration

Although we don’t think of illustrators as being minimalist artists, or an illustration as having minimalist characteristics, none-the-less, there are great examples of illustrative minimalist work out there. This is particularly evident in advertising where an illustration is used to fulfill the need to visualize a concept by way of a style of rendering using a particular type of media. In most cases this means creating visual interest and also attractiveness, usually by adding details and embellishments to fully depict the concept. Conversely, minimalist illustration goes in the opposite direction by taking subject matter that is present in a concept and rendering it with less detail than it has in reality, while retaining some form of specific reference to it.

Minimalist Illustration Vs. Conventional Symbol Design

Minimalist illustration diverges from symbolic design as pertains to the purpose and intention of an image. Even so, the difference in appearance between the two forms of visualization may not be so apparent. Although they are similar physically, and also with regard to an amount of detail, or lack thereof, and both involve some form of stylization and simplification of a subject, each functions in a different manner. Minimalist illustration seeks to specify a single subject even though the subject is rendered in a symbolic manner, while symbol design tries to represent the subject generically on the whole. A comparison of the two images below demonstrates this.

Minimalist illustration for Pnntone Color Systems. Agency, Young & Rubicam,
Shanghai.

Symbol Design for Gweezy. Agency, Florin Gabor Studio, Montreal.

Minimalist illustration for self-promotion. Agency, Josh Brill Studio.

Symbol design for Puget Sound Partnership. Agency, Monumental
Design House.

Minimalist Composition Vs. Conventional Composition

Conventional illustration composition presents a subject or narrative within a contextual setting, or at the very least, suggests one through compositional devices, even if the imagery is not fully rendered out. A minimalist illustration appears independent of a setting or composed environment, usually in a void or non-suggestive space. All focus is on the subject as an object that acts as a conveyance for the message content.

Client, Animaster Animation School. Agency, Rediffusion DYR, Bangalore.
Client, Animaster Animation School. Rediffusion DYR, Bangalore.

Client, Sports Association for the Handicapped. Agency, Age Comunicações, 
São Paulo.
Client, Sports Association for the Handicapped. Agency, Age Comunicações, 
São Paulo.

Client, Sensodyne Toothpaste. Agency, Grey Advertising, São Paulo.

Client, Sensodyne Toothpaste. Agency, Grey Advertising, São Paulo.

Minimalist Advertising Vs. Conventional Advertising

Up until now the material presented here has focused on the form and appearance of minimalist advertising illustration, but there is an underlying purpose for its use as it relates to advertising visualization. To editorialize, conventional advertising seeks to attract, educate, explain, and persuade a viewer to subscribe, believe in, advocate for, support, and/or buy a product service or message. Minimalist advertising is based on the same principals with a couple of exceptions. It’s alternative purpose is to challenge the viewer to participate in translating the concept behind an image, entertain the viewer by editorializing a message through the presentation of an image, and to influence a viewer, even a non-visually educated one, to recognize the visual form of an image and read it as verbal narrative message. As such, marketing by using minimalist advertising encourages conceptual thinking within a viewer. This is shown to have a profound influence among those audiences that respond to conceptual coaxing.

Client, Jeep. Agency, BBDO Proximity, Malaysia.

Client, Jeep. Agency, BBDO Proximity, Malaysia.

Client, Alka Seltzer. Agency, BBDO, Paris.

Client, Alka Seltzer. Agency, BBDO, Paris.

Client, Canon Powershot. Agency, Giovanni+DraftFCB, Brazil.

Client, Canon Powershot. Agency, Giovanni+DraftFCB, Brazil.

Client, Federal Express. Agency, BBDO, New York.

Client, Federal Express. Agency, BBDO, New York.

Client, Polo Mints. Agency, JWT, United Arab Emirates.

Client, Polo Mints. Agency, JWT, United Arab Emirates.

Client, Levis Slim Jeans. Agency, JWT, Mumbai.

Client, Levis Slim Jeans. Agency, JWT, Mumbai.

Client, Corre Cutia Bookstore. Agency, Lápisraro Comunicação, Belo 
Horizonte.

Client, Corre Cutia Bookstore. Agency, Lápisraro Comunicação, Belo 
Horizonte.

Client, IKEA. Agency, JWT, Warsaw.

Client, IKEA. Agency, JWT, Warsaw.

Client, Listerine. Agency, JWT, San Juan.

Client, Listerine. Agency, JWT, San Juan.

Client, Staedtler. Agency, Simple, Santiago.

Client, Staedtler. Agency, Simple, Santiago.

Client, Smart. Agency, Conexão, Rio de Janeiro.

Client, Smart. Agency, Conexão, Rio de Janeiro.

Client, Oogmark Opticians. Agency, LG&F, Brussels.

Client, Oogmark Opticians. Agency, LG&F, Brussels.

Client, McDonalds. Agency, TBWA Paris.

Client, McDonalds. Agency, TBWA Paris

Client, Nabisco Oreo. Agency, Pixonal, Dokki Giza.

Client, Nabisco Oreo. Agency, Pixonal, Dokki Giza.

Minimalist Fees Vs. Conventional Fees

A debate exists concerning fees as related to minimalist illustration and conventional illustration. One school of thought believes that illustrations should be priced according to what is involved in their execution, i.e., the amount of time and detail they take to render, while another school of thought believes they should be priced according to the value of their concept. Rightfully so, minimalist illustration subscribes to the latter, taking a cue from graphic designer’s fees for logo and symbol design. Although a minimalist illustration may not take long to render, in most cases there has been a substantial investment of time in its conception and design preparation for execution.