If you think infographics are boring, think again. Visual data representation has reached new heights. Content is not boring anymore, on the contrary, we are in the new age where data is represented through visuals. We all know it! Everyone uses visuals to explain business ideas or other complex subjects. There is a lot of competition out there, which in turn requires greater efforts from designers and illustrators. It means you constantly have to be out there with new work and an impressive portfolio, so you can keep up with the ever-growing competition in the creative market. That’s not new.
The question is now, how can you keep up with the new trends that are circulating in the industry? You might think that trends are very important. We’re here to ask you to think again. If you want to be leading the game, you need to be setting the trends instead of following them. That is the hard part. However, for established businesses, like Smartup Visuals, trends might matter less, because of our style and niche visual product offering. Clients recognise Smartup Visuals thanks to their distinct style – and buy into it.
The best advice I could give after years of experience in the industry is find what makes your work unique. Look for inspiration from the artists and designers of the past, you may find something extraordinary and may want to update it to a contemporary setting and implement it in your work. This renewed design or illustration approach may become the guiding principle for your work for some time and that could be of an advantage because it gives a unique creative twist to your visuals.
In my opinion, it is not necessary to follow the trends. Better learn the basics of graphic design and illustration. Then, be brave enough to experiment and create something original out of it. So that becomes your key driver in the market – the one unique style that clients choose you for and recognise you for.
Our story, at Smartup Visuals, started with quite a chaotic mix of styles. Slowly but surely we have developed it to the point where it now speaks for itself. We started from a hand-drawn approach. Later, we recognised that the industry’s demand for vector visuals is huge and that we needed to present our work in a much more professional way, so we decided to turn our visuals into vector files.
Nowadays, we combine the hand-drawn approach with digital illustration. Some of our clients specifically request the hand-drawn style for their illustrations and animations, and others for a more concise style but with a Smartup Visuals twist to it. That’s a sort of fluid, hand-drawn design combined with flat minimalistic digital vector illustration. The hand-drawn feeling gives the flat computerised 2D illustration some warmth, the feeling that it has been created by a human, not a computer. And that, my creative friends, may be the secret! People are looking for a sense of human interaction and things that they can recognise and that are close to them, something that might be coded in our genes. Why do we love elements of nature and natural patterns in visuals and videos that we see? The dust and grain filters? – Because it makes all the virtual and computerised graphic turn to life.
It means we can add the much-needed natural dimension and a human element into the work that we create on a computer, in turn then ready to be presented to a human.
Don’t get me wrong – there is loads of important and valuable data stored in the virtual cloud and we make good use of it. The world is turning digital and that’s inevitable and nobody can stop nor wants to stop this process. Technology, indeed, helps our lives. But what I want to say is that we will never lose human interaction and a good old hand-shake, a hug, the warmth of the sun and sounds and visuals of nature. It is our natural habitat and this is where we all come from. So, if we add a little bit of that to the work that is stored on computers and made by computers, it will be like a breath of fresh air for people who engage with the masterpieces you create. Just a tiny piece of texture or a shadow will make a difference. I promise.
By combining hand-drawn designs and turning them into a digital format at Smartup Visuals, we maintain the human element in our work and experiment with typography. This is not the only distinctive style feature we use. We also play with typography styles and colours. No more than 3-4 of each.
Here are all our secrets revealed. And, as mentioned earlier, infographics don’t have to be as boring as everyone imagines them to be: computer created, structured, separated by straight lines. Don’t be afraid to use regular compositions as draft guides and see how you can turn them to life, so they become a lot more aesthetic and fun to engage with.
Love, Smartup Visuals.