Working with an Illustrator for Blog Design

Work with an Illustrator to Create Unique Blog Graphics and Artwork - some really useful tips for briefing and how much you can expect to pay!

If you are looking for a way to make your blog look unique and truly your own then you might want to consider working with a illustrator to create some custom graphics for your blog. There are many ways you can use illustrations to brighten up your blog and add a personal touch.

emma block for what olivia did 1

Emma Block for What Olivia Did

How do you find illustrators? Etsy is a great place to start, or you could try a freelance type site, such as Fiverr. You could ask for recommendations from other bloggers, put a request out on Twitter, or try searching Facebook or looking for networking groups.

Every illustrator works differently and has a different charging structure, some may charge per item where as others may offer a blog design package. Have a think about what you are willing, or able, to spend before contacting anyone. It helps to have a budget in mind before you start. Take time to have a good look around an illustrators website to really get to know their style. Try to choose someone whose previous work really excites you, you want to get something you really love after all.

The best thing to do is have some strong ideas about your brand and how you want things to look, but also really trust the illustrator or designer. Having no ideas of your own and hoping the designer will somehow just ‘get it’ can be tricky, but also micromanaging a designer and telling them exactly how it should look in minute detail leaves no room for creativity. Something in middle where both parties are creatively engaged and open to new ideas always produces the best results. – Emma Block, Emma Block Illustration

In regards to pricing, the field is quite wide. A lot depends on the designer and how they create their images. An illustrator that hand draws images and refines them in photoshop might charge more than someone who is producing a more textual or graphic image. Some ballpark figures we found:

  • Banners £20 – £250
  • Sidebar images £15 – £100
  • Social Media Icons £20 – £80
  • Post Illustrations £20 – £150
Blog Buttons by Sloshy Cadoodle

Blog Buttons by Shoshy Cadoodle

Some designers will ask you to complete a questionnaire, others might like to have a quick Skype call or similar. It can be hard to convey in an email what you are looking for. When approaching a designer be prepared to be clear about what you want. Spend time thinking about your blog or brand. Brainstorm some keywords to help give the designer a feel for your brand or blog. Set your budget and think about timescales – if you have a blog relaunch planned for a particular date you will need to be clear on this from the start.

 Work out some project milestone deadlines. Ask when you can expect to see a first draft and don’t be afraid to ask any other questions about the process. You want to feel that you can trust your illustrator and asking questions is a way of setting your mind at ease. (It’s also a great chance to work out whether they seem to be inspired and excited by the project that you’re enquiring about, which is always important!) – Shoshana,  Shoshy Cadoodle
paleo with mrs p

Angie B Studio

Give plenty of thought to how you want your logo to look. Pinterest is the perfect place to start. Create a secret board and start pinning colour schemes, images, logos and designers work that you like.  Once you have approached a designer you can add them to the board and it can become a collaboration to help you feel involved in the design process.

It’s a great idea to start to collect images and inspiration for your design ideas on a Pinterest board to communicate to your designer the style you’re drawn to before contacting them for a quotation.  Equally pin ideas of what you like and what you don’t like, so the designer also knows what to steer clear from – Angela Browning, Angie B Studio

international astronomy day

Project Black Ltd

Be prepared to be completely honest. The best way to have a successful relationship with an illustrator is to ensure you are clear about what you want, and they are clear about what is included in the price. Be clear about the available budget and timelines and check exactly what is involved (how many times can you tweak the design before you have to pay extra for example). Do not be afraid to let them know if you aren’t happy with how something is progressing – try and explain why and let them know what is different to what you were expecting.

When it comes to a new project, we want to make the process as transparent as possible. We appreciate honesty and if something isn’t quite what you expected, we want to know! We want to know your likes and your dislikes. Whether it’s certain trends or styles, it all helps in creating a design that reflects what you enjoy and who you are. – Nicola Semple, Project Black Ltd

Working with an illustrator makes your blog or brand stand out from the crowd and puts your personality into it. With so much independant talent available online you’re sure to find the illustrator who fits your style.