Monday, April 1, 2013

Mobile Apps: Advice for Illustrators

The use of illustration for mobile apps is widespread. I see plenty of jobs from the Directory of Illustration for mobile apps. Some pay a whole lot of moolah!

We're hearing about mobile app jobs for just about everything and every industry. Some of these projects assigned to illustrators have amazing budgets and some are more mediocre but nevertheless the popularity of mobile applications has continued to rise, as their usage has become increasingly prevalent across mobile phone users. The illustrations used in apps are user friendly, addictive and extremely interactive.

The public demand and the availability of developer tools drove rapid expansion into a lot of categories, such as mobile games, factory automation, GPS and location-based services, banking, order-tracking, and ticket purchases,.apps for personal finance, teaching kids, dating, food guides, medical apps, apps for the gym - they have done it all.

Check out the Windows Phone for Apps & Games and EVERY visual is illustration.

Here's some advice from UX/UI Designer Ryan Whisenhunt, owner and operator of

"Look beyond the software and take a moment for the hardware, how it is used, who the demographic is, where it is used and why it is used. Create with context. In illustration it's all in the details and do not spare them. This is not your 72dpi flip phone anymore, smartphone resolution is higher than ever, the iPhone 5 for example displays at 326 dpi.

With that, so many apps rely on the vector clip art and rarely do you see anything organic and truly unique. An app designed/illustrated by an artist has it's place as long as you keep the user experience in mind because no matter how cool you make it look, if it is hard to use it will not be used.

Push your partnerships with shops by knowing product limitations. A lot of application development companies outsource the cool stuff. This is your chance to do more than artwork framed in a clean gray box. Look at apps, play with them, know that whatever you want to do can most likely be done.

Create so the application is art rather than a frame of your art and always keep the user experience in-mind.

Tip: Think about new or existing apps and rebuild them visually into an app portfolio based on your creative style. Look up some of the hot application development companies like Bottle Rocket Apps (large) or SlimPixel (small) and start sending your work. This will be a unique find for shops and you might be surprised at the response. Show them what they have not thought of and be creative. Companies are looking for unique ways to enter the flooded marketplace, be that unique answer." 
~ Ryan Whisnehunt

© Infomen / Début Art as seen on portfolio

Picasa for mobile
Image by Tom Chitty as seen on Directory of
Interactive in-store display illustration for Google mobile apps

Whisenhunt Design example of organic app design with function


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