Hey, illustrators, what are your plans and prospects for 2019? Rina Shumylo, the co-founder of Ill&Mates illustration agency, is ready to share some ideas on future of digital illustration this year. They are based on practice and observations from the last year.

The аugmented and mixed reality, craft, deep metaphors, and weird stylizations—those are the things that win illustrators’ and viewers’ hearts. Let’s observe each of them closer.

Augmented Reality (AR)

Augmented reality (AR) seems to be gradually covering everything around. The hype with Pokemon Go game in 2017 drew huge attention to the technology. Not only game developers but also advertising agencies, publishers, museums and artists started to master AR actively.

Illustrations and AR are used extensively in educational projects. For example, our Ill&Mates studio worked with Resulta Matriz over the clever “Fun Study” dictionary with augmented reality technology. Interactive illustrations and tests help children study through games.

illustration design

As the success of the last episode of Black Mirror Bandersnatch has shown, people want to be active participants rather than passively consume services and products. An example of Netflix will inspire players more and more in other industries to rethink customer relations and their role.

Mixed Reality (MR)

So far mixed reality (MR) has been widely used in the military sector, urban design and construction. Microsoft is developing this technology through products such as Windows Mixed Reality and HoloLens.

For designers, MR opens up new opportunities for experimentation and media upgrades. For example, the poster is not just a printed or digital poster, but interactive space now.

Craft Illustration

Although there is now a boom in technology, craft keeps up being trendy and hand-made illustrations are highly valued. The uniqueness of the shapes, textures, imperfect perfection, lines in which the artist’s impulse feels—all that makes us love craft illustrations so much.

Ink illustrations, Ugo Gatton / Hennessy / Master Blender’s Selection N ° 2

Modeling clay, Natacha Olive de Cherisey & Marion Dervaux. And here you can see it live.

Another example:

craft illustration trend

Drawings, Philippe Weisbecker / East Japan Railway Company / SLOW TRAIN, SLOW LIFE. “Get Back, Tohoku”.

Weird Styles

Such styles are typically loved in the editorial, where freshness and uniqueness are valued more than perfect and brilliant graphics. Advertising is also beginning to be interested in this aspect of illustration in recent years. And brave brands even choose “weird illustrations” as a part of their brand identity.

dropbox illustration design dropbox illustration design

Dropbox redesign

illustration trends

Illustrator: Sophie Koko Gate / Google / iPhone People Talking Pixel 2

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Illustrator: Giulia Bavagnoli / Touch Yourselfsola / Nice And Serious


Witty illustration is gaining more and more popularity these days. It is based on the principles of metaphor, irony and the play of visual elements. One of the brightest examples of 2018 is the re-branding of MailChimp. About 100 illustrations were created by various illustrators and they are all eye-candies that you want to look at and figure out.

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MailChimp rebranding

Or check this:

North Korea / VICE News

digital illustration trends

Illustrator: Sergei Maidukov / The Rise of the Far Right in German

Creativity is more closely interwoven with technology now. And that leads to new hybrid forms as well as a rethinking of old approaches and rules. Illustration is no exception. On the contrary, due to the inexhaustible variations of the visual language, the bright and powerful page-layering, and the emotional component, illustration will soon be able to negotiate with new technologies for further development. All that going beyond the static and standard understanding.

About the author: Rina Shumylo, the co-founder of Ill&Mates illustration agency
The original article was published on Telegraf Design
Title illustration by Dropbox Design

Read the tutorial on the basics of vector illustration, learn how illustrations enhance user experience and check Ouch, the collection of free vector illustrations

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