Vector Illustration…Found it!

August 22, 2008

For some time now I’ve noticed an increasing trend for the use of a very distinctive style of graphics across the major advertising media channels of television, print and web. I really liked this style, but unfortunatley I had no idea what this style was called, making further research a bit difficult. My Google guesswork didnt yeild anything exciting – Searching for line art, vector art and other not-quite-right phrases.

Happy to say that I discovered today, by chance that the style is referred to as ‘Vector Illustration’. I found some nice examples on N.Design Studio’s site, and 30 examples of vector illustration used as the foundation for website design on

Some more notable use of vector illustration comes from the Hed Kandi album covers and the Virgin Media TV adverts.

The most effective use of vector illustration has to be when it is blended with stencil art such as Banksy

Vector illustration is no new thing. Traditionally its been used, in the main for technical drawings. If you ‘ve ever had the pleasure (!?) of reparing your own car from instruction in a Haynes manual, you’ll know what I mean. Such images will in fact stay with me for the rest of my life, having spent many hours staring blankly at Haynes manuals, trying to work out what bit goes where!

The distinsgiushing difference between such dry, technical drawings and todays translation of ‘Vector Illustration’ is the use of highly contrasting vibrant colours and bold space-filling shapes. In my (humble) opinion, these two aspects make the style perfect for advertising media, where there is very limited time to catch the viewers attention, and get the message across.


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