Top Illustration Trends in 2024

Have a spark but unsure how to attract potential customers and build solid-looking branding? Discover the latest illustration trends for 2024 and use them to your advantage:

Top Illustration Trends in 2024

Key points:

  • With eye-catching illustrations, you make a profound impact on brand identity and increase customer engagement.
  • AI and AR are one of the top tools for creating art in 2024.
  • Implement trendy art styles depending on the industry you want to dive in.
  • Pick minimalism for healthcare apps. To showcase products, use hyper-realistic illustrations.

Are you a startup founder or a designer striving to make your mark, pouring heart and soul into your product or creation? You’re armed with an innovative vision, a killer idea, or an ingenious solution. But here’s the hitch – how do you translate all that brilliance into visuals that not only grab attention but also forge an emotional connection with your audience?

The answer lies in the realm of illustration, where strokes of creativity transform abstract ideas into tangible narratives. In the quest for authenticity and engagement, the path to success is paved with the latest illustration trends that not only complement your brand’s essence. They also elevate it to a level that commands attention and admiration.

If you’re a startup eager to shine bright amid the fierce competition, or a designer keen to breathe life into your creative visions, you’re in the right place. In this article, we journey together through the compelling landscape of the top illustration trends of 2024. From the fusion of art and technology to the revival of timeless techniques, we’re about to embark on a visual voyage.

Why illustration trends matter for startups and product owners

For some people, pictures are just lines, but I can say one thing for sure. Art transcends mere aesthetics – it wields the ability to create a profound impact on brand identity and customer engagement. From logos and social media content to website visuals and product packaging, illustrations offer a unique avenue to tell your company’s story. Simplifying complex concepts through visual narratives, you convey information effectively and captivate target audiences with their compelling visual appeal. Its versatile nature makes art a valuable asset for startups looking to make a lasting impression in a crowded market. For instance, Google is famous for its dynamic “Doodles” that transform the logo for celebrations, adding a personalized touch to its brand identity.

Top illustration trends to use in your business

Neural-inspired art with AI

It is a groundbreaking tendency that has taken the artistic and tech worlds by storm. Driven by the fusion of artificial intelligence algorithms and human creativity, this approach produces visually stunning and thought-provoking artworks that resonate with audiences on a profound level.

There are several reasons why you should pay attention to this trend as a startup founder or designer. We all know that traditional art creation can be time-consuming, and time in the business world is precious. With AI, you get a range of creative outputs in a matter of minutes. Moreover, Artificial Intelligence offers you a novel way to express your brand identity, fine-tuning the machine to adhere to unique art styles and values.

Despite the controversy, this trendy tool really helps save time and money when it comes to sketching or brainstorming. How about luxurious branding images for men’s suits with a bit of anime? Here is what I created using Stable Diffusion in under 5 minutes:

AI illustrations for branding images

Branding image for men’s suits made with Stable Diffusion Astra model

Augmented Reality (AR) fusion

This revolutionary illustration trend is reshaping the way we perceive and interact with visual content. It combines the power of augmented reality technology with artistic creativity, resulting in immersive and captivating visual experiences that transcend traditional boundaries.

AR Fusion has gained immense popularity due to its ability to bridge the gap between the physical and digital worlds. It overlays virtual elements onto real-world environments, offering users a seamless blend. This trend has found its way into a variety of industries, from entertainment to retail, e-commerce to healthcare. It transforms the way business approaches customer engagement, branding, and product visualization.

Web design and navigation trends

Apple Vision Pro Spatial Design Exploration by Shakuro

Hand-drawn illustrations

The style has been around for quite a while, but it becomes an art trend in 2024. Why should you consider this tendency as a startup? In an age dominated by technology, the revival of hand-drawn elements reflects a yearning for traditional craftsmanship and a desire to infuse a human touch into digital aesthetics.

It’s a go-to option if you want to stand out from mainstream-looking competitors. Like a smith, you craft a memorable brand identity through hand-drawn illustrations. They become instantly recognizable, making a lasting impression on potential customers. Moreover, you have a perfect way to incorporate visual storytelling into the company’s brand illustrations. In the tech-driven world, where online oceans are flooded with digital art, hand-drawn icons give a sense of human touch. With this illustration style, you cut through the noise and grab the audience’s attention with your unique charm.

Surrealism

The current trends in art include surrealism, drawing inspiration from the unconscious mind to create fantastical and thought-provoking visuals. Think this style is meant only for art galleries and traditional painting? It’s true that surrealism has gained popularity for its ability to challenge norms, evoke curiosity, and create a lasting impact on viewers. Still, you can use those qualities to your advantage in the business arena.

Utilize surrealism to tell stories and communicate complex ideas, creating a distinctive visual language that is memorable and stands out. Surreal compositions have the power to evoke emotions and provoke thought. There is a chance not everyone will understand the concept, however, if the target audience is set correctly, the art can become an iconic representation of a startup’s brand identity.

Art can become an iconic representation of a startup's brand identity

Art Night | Main page design concept by Tanya Shegol

Evolved minimalism

The minimalism graphic trend is very widespread: we see it every day on posters, ads, UI/UX design, etc. It is characterized by simple, clean lines, geometric shapes, and a limited color palette. However, in 2024, it gains a modern and evolving aesthetic, incorporating elements of depth, dimension, and texture to create more visually engaging and dynamic illustrations.

Unlike traditional minimalism, which often leans towards stark simplicity and austerity, the evolved version adds a touch of sophistication and complexity to the artwork. One of the key aspects is the use of negative space to establish balance and harmony, as well as the mix of both digital and traditional techniques.

Illustration trend in 2024

Wildlife Protection 2D Illustration by Shakuro

Minimalistic illustrations can effectively communicate complex technological concepts in a simple and intuitive manner, especially if you combine them with an isometric illustration style. They are highly adaptable to various design applications, including websites, mobile apps, social media, data visualization, and branding print materials.

Hyper-realistic illustrations

The style has become the illustration trend in 2024 where artworks are created with meticulous attention to detail, often achieving a level of realism that closely resembles a photograph. It aims to replicate the texture, lighting, and nuances of real-life objects, resulting in highly detailed and visually stunning illustrations.

The ridiculous level of detail immediately captures attention and makes a strong visual impact. In the competitive landscape of IT startups, grabbing and retaining the audience’s attention is crucial, and using hyper-realistic illustrations can help achieve that.

Use hyper-realistic illustrations to grab the audience's attention

SELECT Branding by Shakuro

If you offer complex and advanced technological solutions like IoT apps, cybersecurity, or healthcare, then this trend can visually communicate technical prowess. Hyper-realistic art instills a sense of trust and credibility in the audience. What’s more, you help potential clients or users visualize and understand your product functionalities better. That’s why hyper-realism is a perfect choice for IT product illustration.

Moody and warm colors

Using moody and warm colors as an illustration trend of 2024 involves enriching your regular color palette with rich and deep tones of reds, warm browns, earthy oranges, and dark blues. With this approach, you evoke a sense of warmth, coziness, or intensity.

Just like any other illustration style, this one has a strong ability to evoke emotions and create a specific atmosphere, particularly — a cozy and feels-like-at-home sensation. So utilize this trend to infuse your art with emotional depth, effectively conveying the desired tone, whether it be excitement, nostalgia, comfort, or intensity. This can you help stand apart them from competitors who may opt for more conventional or cooler color schemes.

Along with coziness, the warm palette often exudes a sense of elegance and sophistication. Applying this art trend in 2024 can elevate the perception of your brand, giving it a refined and polished image. This can be especially valuable in human-centered design when showcasing user interfaces, product experiences, or community engagement.

Moody and warm colors are an art trend in 2024

Knitting The Present by Shakuro Graphics

Tips for using illustration trends in different industries

Obviously, each market sector has its preferences in art, there is no silver bullet.

In the fashion or retail industry, pictures often lean towards depicting stylish and elegant figures, showcasing garments, accessories, and clothes. The art style ranges from evolved minimalism to more whimsical and artistic, depending on the brand’s aesthetic.

Tip: employ hyper-realistic illustrations to showcase intricate product details, especially when you run an e-commerce business.

If we take the cosmetics industry, it often focuses on conveying the desired look or effects of beauty products, like age regression or color application. So be sure to include illustrations of makeup application techniques, before-and-after transformations, or product visualizations. The style ranges from soft and feminine to bold and vibrant, depending on the brand’s positioning.

Tip: consider using art that showcases the benefits and actual results of your products, highlighting the transformative nature. Hyper-realism will help you demonstrate the advantages with a real-life effect, while warm tones create a cozy and trustful atmosphere.

The situation in the healthcare industry is quite the opposite. Here, everything serves the purpose of educating, explaining complex medical processes, or conveying empathy and care. So you need to pick graphic trends that are more technical and precise, with a focus on accurate anatomical representations or data visualizations of medical concepts. Clarity, simplicity, and a balance between realism and approachability are essential in healthcare illustrations.

Tip: prioritize clarity and simplicity to ensure that complex medical concepts are easily understandable for patients and professionals. Opt for hyper-realism if you create anatomical pictures or evolved minimalism and vector graphics if you build user interfaces.

As for the IT industries, illustrations often focus on visualizing abstract or complex ideas, showcasing digital interfaces, or offering futuristic concepts. For an IT startup, you can make isometric illustrations in a minimalistic way, with clean lines, geometric shapes, and vibrant colors. Alternatively, if you pitch some high-tech concepts, go for hyper-realistic styles.

Tip: try AR fusion to create immersive user experiences. Prioritize clarity and simplicity while maintaining a modern and innovative visual aesthetic to effectively communicate technical concepts.

Conclusion

In a world dominated by visuals, illustration trends are a vital tool for business growth. They enhance brand identity, engage potential customers on a deeper level, and carve out a distinctive niche in respective markets.

Staying visually relevant is no longer an option but a necessity for sustained success. Without compelling art, people won’t notice your product among the colorful sea of competitors. It’s not a competition of who is the brightest, but using current trends in the art to your advantage. Enhance your branding materials with new color palettes, try captivating styles for printing materials, make a set of UI icons in a minimalistic style, and implement AR into your online store  — there are so many illustration trends to choose from in 2024.

Need eye-catching designs and illustrations that make your brand stand out? Let’s work on them together and make an impact on the digital market.

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Written by Mary Moore

August 28, 2023

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