Digital, Drawing & Doodles: 6 brilliant and bold illustrators from around the world (Part One)
Providing the unifying glue in an identity system, illustration can be the vehicle of personality, humour or communication for a brand’s visual language. Whilst illustrators bring magic to the design world, they don’t always get the spotlight they deserve. Here we’ve highlighted six wonderful illustrators from across the world whose works have contributed to some of our favourite branding projects.
A French designer based in Paris, Alexis Jamet’s work caught our eye when we featured the sublime identity and label design for non-alcoholic wine brand Ambijus. The centrepiece of the concept, created by Oslo-based design studio Olssøn Barbieri, is a series of abstract static and moving illustrations. Through a combination of digital and analogue techniques, Jamet’s illustrations result in a dream-like atmosphere that is both soft and bold; expressing an evocative visualisation of flavour while bringing to life both the emotional and chemical nature of the product. Filled with warmth and nostalgia, his work has been commissioned by a multitude of clients, such as Hermès, Le Monde and Nike.
Living and working in the Norwegian former-town of Hvitsten, Espen Friberg’s drawings feel loose and simple, with a charming child-like mischievousness. In a chronically-online era of design, the ink bleed from a pen or brush stroke from a paintbrush are a pleasant reminder of the textures and imperfections of authentic analogue work. Alongside Alexis Jamet, Friberg’s playful drawing style also features in Olssøn Barbieri’s Ambijus identity. Depicting the experimental fermentation process, Friberg contributes an additional illustration style into the mix with a layer of lighthearted humour and wit. His works have also appeared in a wide range of outputs for handfuls of clients, from posters and cassette tapes, to newspapers and medical journals.
A Lithuanian artist and illustrator based in London, Egle Zvirblyte imbues her work with a dazzling kaleidoscope of punchy colour, striking compositions and feminist power. Whatever the context, from vase covers to murals; Dazed to adidas, her work aims to catch the eye. She brought her high-energy and vibrant illustration style to Bowl Grabber, a wine company for laid-back wine drinkers. Working with Malta-based studio Casual Business, Zvirblyte’s quirky and joyful illustrations are paired with a vibrantly uplifting colour palette to create a fun and carefree identity, rebelling against stuffy premium wine designs.
We fell in love with Tomi Um’s illustrations for Intermission, a London-based roaster and café aiming to change the rhythm of the world while being at the forefront of sustainable coffee. Developed by Fieldwork Facility, the visual language celebrates quiet moments of respite, where all walks of life can slow down and enjoy a coffee, captured in the Brooklyn-based illustrator’s delightful monolinear style. Depicting whimsical snippets of daily life, with idiosyncratic characters in metropolitan settings, her character-filled works feel like a ‘Where’s Wally’ for the 21st century. The widespread, relatable appeal of her work is reflected in designs for an abundance of high-profile clients that include Apple, The Washington Post, and The New Yorker.
Manila-based illustrator Patricia Doria delves into the uncomfortable in her surreal and abstracted works. Utilising digital media, and a retro-inspired airbrush technique, her style captures a dreamlike and psychedelic state that feels like it belongs in both the past and the future. Her talents appear in a The Brand Identity favourite, OMSE’s identity and packaging design for Indo-Japanese spirit DOJA. The design system is a dazzling blend of type, photography and illustration. Alongside its gradients and playful use of colour, the identity includes a series of illustrations created by Doria that feature the DOJA botanicals and icons of Japanese and Indian culture. In her signature airbrush style, the glistening images of yuzu lemons, juniper berries and Tamagotchis provide a tantalising and nostalgic magic.
Samuel Nyholm, known as SANY, is a Swedish illustrator and graphic designer. Immediately recognisable for his sketchy figurative cartoon drawings, Nyholm’s wit shines through the slapstick humour and visual motifs that nod to the editorial cartoons of the 20th century. His style appears in Goods’ identity for Norwegian pizza restaurant chain Mano. Mano’s hand illustration – representative of the recognisable and fundamentally Italian gesture – is the focal point of the identity. Created by Nyholm, it is accompanied by a whole world of illustrations that tell the story of the Mano company. All inspired by the cartoon style found within the pink Italian newspaper Gazzetta Dello Sport.