24 Styles

FUN :: GRAPHIC :: EXPRESSIVE :: REALISTIC :: MINIMALIST :: PENCILS  

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24 Styles are here for you to give ideas a voice, or clothes – an identity.

24 Styles are two dozen ways to say whatever you want.
You can also combine these ‘voices’ if you like in order to say what you want, more exactly. 
There’s also a Portfolio you can download and/or print out. (23 Mb)

Among the 24 Styles, unique to me are the Legend and the Fotomelt styles. 
Each style brings its own mood, so the right style(s) needs some thought.

FUN 

GROBBY ICING | PAPER | STYLISED

 

 

When the meaning is obvious and we can play a little, these fun styles are a welcome change from ‘normal’ illustrations.

Use the Icing style to resemble traditional African embroidery, as an alternative to the Legend style. Or it can resemble icing.

Paper is stylised and elegant, so choose this one to show simple concepts effectively and add interest to what otherwise might be rather dry or earnest material without being flippant.

Grobby is inspired by the work of Kristofer Ström. Also, it has many variations within it, so overall it’s great for showing emotion and humour, especially for teens to adult readers. Younger children might wonder why a child has illustrated the book…

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REALISTIC

AIRBRUSH  |  3D GRAPHICS  |  COLLAGE  |  FOTOMELT

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Combine Airbrush and 3D graphics for technical info as in some of the samples.
The end result is clearer than a photo.  
Use them together or singly, to entertain, explain, or promote.

Collage comprises pictures from creative commons sites or my own photos. 
It conveys mood well, in poems and stories for language studies in schoolbooks.

The last style in this family is Fotomelt.
Like Collage, it’s composed of many photos jigsawed together
to form a completely new picture.  
Fotomelt illustrates stories using imagery that newly literate people can easily, with more info than simple flat colours can give.
One also captures detail important to indigenous people, that the artist may be unaware of.
The image is then pulled together with a decorative, painterly effect.

 

GRAPHIC

CUTOUT  |  ICON |  LEGEND  |  SCRAPERBOARD

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Icon has thick coloured outlines.

Cutout (aka the Flat Style by many) is just flat shapes forming a picture. 
Sometimes Cutout resembles Paper Shapes, but without a third dimension.
(UPDATE 2016: Cutout gets texture!)

Legend has the same sort of outlines as Icon, but they are black. Inspired by the work of the Ndebele people, Legend is great for African folk tales or ‘ethnic’ logos. Sometimes it’s embossed like leather, as shown in the samples. Or check out Icing,under Novelty styles.

Scraperboard has a similar indigenous African feel to Legend, with more texture within the shapes themselves. Both convey an ethnic/handmade feel, with as much or as little detail as the story needs, and inevitably these two styles meld sometimes.

PENCILS

PENCIL & COLOUR | PENCIL CRAYON | 
PURE PENCIL | TINTED STROKES

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The ‘hand-drawn styles’ are good for conservative pictures that tell a story or convey information. If there’s some leeway for a bit of artistry, these add interest.

This family of styles is great for more serious, real-life stories with a bit of drama.
Pure Pencil  is good to use for books printed in one colour on cheap paper, or you may want to consider thin line drawings in the simple style (see below).

EXPRESSIVE 

LOOSE SCRIBBLE | SQUISHY HARD | SQUISHY SOFT

Lines of a variable thickness, with either a hard or soft edge.

Squishy Hard often combines with Loose Scribble or even just adds some dimension to Simple Line.  Squishy isn’t fussy. It’s great for putting across information in either a relaxed or serious way.

Squishy Soft is more decorative, and can become quite sentimental on occasion.

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MINIMALIST 

ZEN JAPANESE  |  SIMPLE LINE  |  TECHNICAL  |  
ZEN CHINESE |  ZEN ZANY

The ‘clean styles’, and more or less self-explanatory.

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Japanese Zen looks well… Japanese.
Simple Line just puts it across with as little fuss as possible.
Technical is as perfect as human hand plus machine can produce.
Zen Chinese has only the brushstroke lines – a loose but still minimal style.
Zen Zany is distorted and funky, but cleaner and not as extreme as Grobby.  
(more on zen zany)

These are my minimalist styles. To clarify it still more: it’s mainly about the line.