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Illustration & Graphics

Discussion in 'Illustration Forum:' started by Pigeondave, Apr 29, 2009.

  1. Pigeondave

    Pigeondave New Member

    Hello, this is my first post:

    What is the difference between Illustration & Graphic Design in 2009?

    Myself and a few others hurt our heads thinking about this in the office. With a tardis like artbox of designers, Julien Vallee (Julien Vallée | Illustrophile, Illustration blog, Illustration news, art blog is sitting firmly on the fence. Is Si Scott an illustrator or graphic designer?

    I just don't know.
  2. dogsbody

    dogsbody Member

    I give up trying to keep track of the terminology, one persons job as a designer may well be classed as an artworker by someone else.
  3. Steve_jurado

    Steve_jurado Guest

    Graphic design has a few main "rules". Image, Colour, Typography, layout, style and audience. All are considered when designing and an understanding of marketing is key.

    With Illustration, well, it's a blank, open minded canvas to do what ever you want with (in my opinion). It's an art form, heavily influenced by style colour and skill. You choose to do Illustration and get asked to do Graphic Design (I mean, would you make a 42 page brochure for the hell of it? I wouldn't).
  4. Steve_jurado

    Steve_jurado Guest

    Or, off course. I could just read things properly before I give an answer that in no way relates to the question!!
  5. Gin

    Gin New Member

    I have always known Illustration is more drawing type of Art based and Graphic Design is more Design based, yeah sure a lot can be put into Graphic Design but it is more breifed in a certain way that it becomes specific.
    Now I am a fan of Si Scott's work and he is an Illustrator but most of work falls under what Graphic Designers do He has done editorial logos etc. This makes me think that you can link them together to create an advantage when designing.
    It can be confusing... hope it has helped.. have tried lol!

    VLAHAKISA Member

    Illustration definitions

    Working illustrators get paid to illustrate 'to brief' - so although the artistic flair and ideas come from the Illustrator, they are still working to a specific brief.

    Now the fact that they are working to a brief ... does this mean it is not Illustration? I feel it's still illustration and still has it's artistic merit.

    For instance the work I did for Mums on Call I feel is artistic, but I did work to a brief to match business needs and use of the illustration.

    I don't see how that piece of illustrative work could be called 'graphic design' rather than illustration simply because I was working towards a brief for a commercial client instead of working 'completely freely' to my own whims.

    Illustration is illustration, whether one is working within some parameters or not.

    I always describe myself as a 'graphic designer and illustrator'.

  7. Gin

    Gin New Member

    Yes Illustration is set to a brief and both can fall into one another seperating the two is harder to explain. As you might know within Graphic Design there is a specialty within, called, Illustration so a Graphic Deisgner can be a Graphic Designer plus an Illustrator. It is a complicated area to seperate but if you do the theory upon the two they are different specialties, not hugely but there is a difference.
    I live with two Illustration Students who I will Graduate with this summer so I kinda know a few ins and outs :) I am sorry if i have caused a problem with how i have learnt the slight difference between the two areas.
  8. Steve_jurado

    Steve_jurado Guest

    Your an illustrator if you spend time sketching. Anyone who can use the pen tool can manipulate it into an illustration but I don't fell this makes someone an illustrator.

    Going back to basics is what makes someone an illustrator. Black book, eraser, pencil. Anyone who says they are an illustrator will/should have a sketch book.

    VLAHAKISA Member

    Interesting theory

    I don't sketch by hand, I use the PC and draw vectors only, are you telling me you don't think I'm an illustrator? Lol ... I doubt many would agree with you on that point.

    If anyone can draw as I can draw by simply using the 'pen tool' - go ahead and be my guest and have a crack at it and see if you can come up with a detailed vector illustrated scene including characters just by manipulating the software.

    And I don't mean a tracing of a photo, I mean an illustration, the two are vastly different.

  10. Steve_jurado

    Steve_jurado Guest

    Look love.
    I'm not saying creating something, from scratch with the pen tool doesn't make you an illustrator. I'm saying, manipulating a photo to look like an illustration doesn't make you an illustrator (as so many people do).

    The fundamentals of a good illustrator get overlooked these days because of modern technology. Now, every ones an illustrator!

    Illustration isn't just about creating something. It's a passion and art form, where style is key.
    I'm saying, anyone who really considers themselves an illustrator will have two things . An addiction that leaves them never being able to resit the temptation to draw every time they have a pen in their hand. The other is a sketch book.

    As for your "challenge". Our work can speak for itself. And as for your illustration, love. It's an over used style that I would expect to see on an airline brochure. It lacks flare and individuality. I could add a bunch of links that show just how shoddy it is but you already know where you blagged it from.

    This is my illustration of a robin, hand drawn, by studying the shape of a robin, bird wings and then making an original sketch using my imagination and the all important sketch book. Only then do I rely on my computer to crate a realistic feel and shade it up.
    as for the pattern. Again based on a sketch and drawn from scratch in Illustrator.
  11. GibbW

    GibbW New Member

    I've always taken it as:

    Illustrator: Drawing/Illustrating/Sketching the robin and flower swirls

    Graphic Designer: Putting the robin and flower swirls together into a nice composite (with text and graphics if needed)

    VLAHAKISA Member


    Oh yes, well I agree with that, I see lots of 'illustrations' that are basically the photo tracing I mentioned, those I class as 'graphic design', not illustration. Illustrations are something created from scratch from your own mind, not a tracing of something else.

    To say I have copied my designs is very rude, I do no such thing! Please do tell me where I 'blagged' my illustrations from. If you see something similar how on earth do you not know that they did not blag their work from ME? I have been illustrating professionally for clients for something like 6yrs now.

    Saying I have no flare or imagination across my illustrative works (which encompasses more than the Mums on Call work), I guess is down to the eye of the beholder and many would disagree including Harper Collins Press, who have featured my work in an internationally distributed book.

    Regardless of your opinion, it's very rude to 'slag off' the work of another designer/illustrator, I would never do that even if I thought another designers work wasn't that great. It speaks volumes of your maturity as an individual and professionalism that you think its appropriate conduct in the design community.

    No designer can claim to be the best or perfect, and anyone can show links of 'better illustrators' or 'better designers' but that doesn't mean that my own work is by default 'rubbish' in the grand scheme of things.

    If your work is so original and wonderful, pray tell what design books do you grace the pages of?

    I would suggest to you, as you are clearly new to the world of 'designing as a professional'', that it's not acceptable professional conduct to slag off another designers work. You quite simply look rude and jealous of my professional success to be honest.


    VLAHAKISA Member


    Warren, I agree with you yes ... I think that an illustrator creates the images from scratch and a graphic designer can pull images together but can't actually create them from scratch.
  14. Stationery Direct

    Stationery Direct Administrator Staff Member

    I have to say that I have worked with Amanda on many many occasions and found her to not only be FANTASTIC at what she does, but also very professional. I know of many people that think the same.

    We all have different opinions so to disagree is fine, however, I also think that it is very unprofessional to accuse someone of plagiarism and to criticise their work on a public forum, especially when it is not true.

    This may be acceptable on other Design Forums but not here, we are a friendly community.
  15. Steve_jurado

    Steve_jurado Guest

    Shut up love.
  16. Stationery Direct

    Stationery Direct Administrator Staff Member

    Oh dear...bye love.

    VLAHAKISA Member

    Rude People

    Oh dear! :)

    Thanks Boss Hog, I thought "Maybe I'm being overly sensitive but that all sounded really rude and needless to me"

    I Googled his name (Steven) to see his work, as obviously his website isn't live. He works for a design studio from what I can tell, I won't give their url though because I don't want to sully their reputation with his public behavior.

    I did get a chance to see his work also. No comment because I shall try to rise above that type of behaviour, lol :icon_tongue_smilie:

  18. Pigeondave

    Pigeondave New Member

    it's getting hot in here

    Wow, that stirred up some heat.

    I thought i'd quickly share my views on this.

    Both illustration and graphic design run parallel, take care and consideration to colour, composition and its audience. They both rely on innovative ideas and pushing boundaries. The list goes on.

    However I must say this...

    Any half decent illustrator does not conjure an illustration from the top of their head, relying solely on their imagination to create an image. I thought this perspective of the bourjois life of an illustrator highly amusing.

    Oh and Steve, confidence is a virtue, but only if you can back it up...awful, awful illustrations.

    In my opinion.

    Lots of love


    Pigeon Press

    VLAHAKISA Member


    I agree Pigeon, rarely does an illustrator pull new imaginative illustrations out of thin air. Usually an illustrator is inspired by everything they see and what they create is often an amalgamation of all their inspirations.

    This has been the way for all creative people since the dawn of time.

    Your website is sooo cool by the way! OMG, I just watched 'Daddy Cool' ... wow, genius ... what makes it really good is the gathering pace and expression of the character as he races across the screen. Really captures the emotion and humour of it all. Very good.

    Why do I get the feeling you are a fan of American Dad? Something about the expression of the character really reminded me of Stan.


    VLAHAKISA Member


    Ha ha.... you are sick man, but I love Pet Hate also! :)

    I'm seriously laughing out loud. Do these cartoons get used anywhere? They are brilliant.

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