Telling Your Brand Story Through Art
In a world where we are faced with visuals nearly everywhere we look — in both our online world and when we step outside — it is no surprise that visuals are one of the most effective tools small businesses can use to engage with their current audiences and attract new ones. In fact, 91% of consumers prefer visual content over written content: our brains naturally gravitate toward visuals because they help us retain information more quickly, are more engaging, and are easier to process!
All of this to say, when you make use of beautifully designed visuals for your product or service-based small business in your print marketing materials, website, content, packaging, and more, people are not only more likely to engage with you, but they are more likely to remember you. That translates into loyal and more aligned customers and clients that keep coming back! Isn’t that what we all dream of?
Let's talk about what custom illustrations can help you achieve just that!
1. They Tell Your Story
I like to think of visual design as something more than just a marketing tool: it’s a way of storytelling that connects us back to our roots and one another. To me, illustration is a way to tell your story in a unique way and invite others to become a part of it.
There is something heartwarming and nostalgic about holding a piece of stationery in your hands or scrolling through a website with unique graphics that make you feel like you’re wandering through a small town and popping into character-filled shops. That feeling is something that I think can be encapsulated so well through illustration! It is why I hand-paint all of my illustrations: to add something authentic and handmade in an online world that sometimes lacks that.
When you incorporate illustrations into your print and digital marketing materials, they often communicate what you do and what you stand for, helping you foster meaningful connections with more like-minded clients and customers. Whether it’s a postcard featuring an illustration of your brick-and-mortar shop or illustrations on your website featuring some of the products you carry, they have the power to represent you and your ethos!
2. They Create a Recognizable Visual Identity
By putting your story at the centre, custom illustration has the power to create a recognizable visual identity for your small business. Having a unique and compelling brand that finds the sweet spot between being authentic to you and appealing to your ideal client/customer is key to attracting new audiences, communicating what makes you stand out, and cultivating brand loyalty!
By incorporating custom illustrations across all platforms of your business (including your website, signage, print marketing materials, social media, and beyond), you’ll create a consistent brand, which increases brand loyalty and makes your small business unforgettable!
3. They Bring Your In-Store Experience Online
If you have a brick-and-mortar location, one thing that may be on your mind is how to bring the experience of your physical location to your online store. There is truly something magical about browsing shelves, holding products in your hands, and finding that special something! That experience is hard to translate online, but I believe that illustration has the ability to bring some of that serendipitous magic to your online storefront!
A storefront illustration can be a unique way to highlight your physical location — which you can slip into your online orders as a postcard or use on your website and social media to capture the character of your shop even when people aren’t able to pop by in person.
4. They Make Unique Print Materials
Speaking of postcards, in an increasingly online world, the value of connecting in person is so much more rare and appreciated. Putting in that extra effort to send thank yous and connect offline can mean all the difference and create a little something "extra" for your clients and customers.
Whether it’s a postcard to slip inside your packages, a booklet to hand out, a print advertisement, or beautiful packaging, illustration helps you create quality-designed print materials that people actually want to keep — not just throw away!
5. The Power of a Handwritten Note
According to Hallmark, handwritten notes build relationships and demonstrate more care: two valuable things for a small business to cultivate, and all the more reason to get your pens out! When people receive a handwritten note, they are not only more likely to remember its contents, but according to Forbes, it evokes an emotional response that technology simply cannot achieve.
The act of taking the time to write a note to a client or customer on a custom-illustrated postcard or greeting card demonstrates a level of thoughtfulness that helps you make the experience of working or purchasing from you more memorable and adds a personal touch that builds deeper connections and increases conversation rates!
As a small business owner, building meaningful relationships, attracting new audiences, and telling your story in a way that stands out in a saturated online world is top of mind — and investing in custom illustration is certainly one way to help you engage authentically (and effectively) with your ideal customer or client!
Ready to get started on your custom-illustrated postcards, greeting cards, stationery, or graphics? I’m a watercolour artist who works with small businesses to create sustainably-made paper goods and would love to work together! Feel free to peruse my portfolio and reach out to see what we can dream up here.