An illustration is more than a drawing

Illustration is drawing plus two extra elements: composition and narrative. Three elements that contain much more than we think.

The drawing. Essential, of course. Along with lettering and the use of typeface, they can do magic in terms of brand visibility and recognition.

Composition and narrative. Paramount. You can be a bad illustrator but communicate well. The audience has to understand the message we want to convey to them. Decoding is basic. But an illustration can (and must) also excite, trigger expectations and memories, and - why not? - sway decisions.

People are often unaware of the potential of illustration in terms of corporate identity and branding. But we are fully aware. We know that there's a direct relationship between the perception of the value that a consumer has of a product or service, and what they're willing to pay for it. Illustration, either through graphic design or character design, can showcase the benefits or virtues of a brand and build this perceived value in a clearer and more synthetic way.
CGI and Illustration - Vasava

We don't draw

There are many other advantages of illustration that we always have in mind:

  • An original, attractive and creative illustration will help us meaningfully stand out above the competition. When a product struggles to differentiate itself from its rivals, a way of connecting with the user can be via characters with which it identifies and appeals to human sensitivity thanks to empathy.
  • Using illustration can help us simplify corporate messages. Practically everything is far easier to understand if it's accompanied by an illustration that represents it and makes it tangible.
  • Given different options a well conceptualised and designed illustration can sway the consumer towards our brand.
  • An illustration fits our communication needs like a glove. It portrays what doesn't exist at our whim and can be applied to any piece of design that our strategy features.
  • Illustration is also without question a resource that bolsters brand personality. With it, we can even shape all the intangibles on which any brand can be built.
  • An illustration can give a product the chance to place itself in extraordinary and/or unlikely situations. Illustration opens the doors to an array of possibilities that make the universe of the brand practically unlimited.

The power of communication through images is a tool that is perfect for brands and that is being used more and more often. It's a universal language that excites people, moves people and simplifies things, while also making things look more beautiful.

Never before have brands resorted to illustration with such intensity and effectiveness to convey their values and reach new audiences. A fashion? We're not that sure. An imperative need for differentiation? We veer more towards this second hypothesis. Illustration is a resource that most definitely has enabled many brands to establish certain margins of differentiation with respect to the competition, but this formula has been repeated so many times that the use of illustration is practically one step away from abuse. In this context of total overexploitation of illustration, the truly differentiating and disruptive factor is no longer resorting to it. What's really unique now is the technique used, the level of demand and quality established, the originality achieved, the innovation given to the work and - above all - the meanings conveyed.
CGI and Illustration - Vasava
We're pixel artisans

When it comes to creating quality images, it's clear that every pixel counts. Style, technique, concept, delivery, colouring, composition, rhythm, texture, detail, intention, impact... All these concepts have a specific function and coincide in a delicate balance that forces us to work with the precision of a surgeon who's also an alchemist.

No matter the difficulty, the style or the technique.

Our experience stretches back more than two decades, so we have an extraordinary ability to create images in almost any style imaginable:

Key visuals, infographics, pictograms, typographic treatments, CGI (computer-generated imagery), retouching, phototypesetting, digital painting, speed painting, posters, concept art, still lifes, photographic compositions, collages, character design, licensing, murals...
Illustration opens the doors to an unlimited brand universe
CGI and Illustration - Vasava
We don't have powers. What we do have is experience

We can illustrate using very diverse mediums. However, we often work now with digital tools that recreate all these techniques in a much more controlled way and with total precision. We work with colour palettes and computers to create bitmap or vector images with which we can communicate and move people with the same efficiency.

CGI? What? Me no understand. CGI stands for computer-generated imagery. This term is generally used to refer to graphics generated with 3D creation software, either moving or static. CGI is another technique that we're experts in. Yes, you might think it's hard for us to walk upright from all the medals we've put around our neck :)

We don't have any favourite technique or any special medium. We're passionate about something that Game of Thrones Season 8 makes very clear, according to its creators.
Most of the action of this outstanding series takes place in Westeros, a continent located in the far west of the known world. To give shape and credibility to this universe, and all the mythology that revolves around it, the creators resorted to computer-generated imagery. The series is full of very well thought-out and implemented CGI. However, this universe, recreated in such a way that it surrounds us and teleports us, has its remote corners to which a computer and CGI cannot reach or be guided by Jon Snow. As incredible as it may seem, there's a special effect which, far from being so, is anchored in reality: how the dragons breathe. Whenever you see a dragon spewing out fire from its mouth, what you're seeing is real fire and people trying to take the brunt of and control the impact of the heat.

In a recent interview, the creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss commented that the dragon breath effects are achieved in "a decidedly old-school and super-heated way". The main difference between what you see on the screen and what’s actually happening on the set has more to do with swapping out the green-screen backdrops than in adding in fake CGI flames. It seems that Benioff and Weiss have worked hand in hand with Sam Comway (special effects supervisor) and his "traditional" special effects unit to achieve a truly burning fire that convinced viewers.
CGI and Illustration - Vasava
This is what we really love: the challenge of fusing different techniques and taking on an illustration and CGI project from different starting points, if necessary, to achieve the perfect result. Technology? Yes. In a tyrannical way? Never. We like the desired result and quality standards to determine the technique that most easily guarantees them.

But, and going back to the medals, this huge scope of our expertise is thanks to the fact that we have a team of in-house artists who are extremely well trained in the noble art of painting and illustration, and specialised in constructing surprising, ingenious and beautifully executed images.

Wax on, wax off

CGI and Illustration - Vasava
Our never-ending quest for new languages and supports is a form of R&D that purifies and broadens our knowledge and techniques, which we then use for our customers' projects.

And, again, this is thanks both to our team and to our tireless desire to learn. When we don't know how to do something, we research, practise, research again and practise again, and so on until we end up turning a shortcoming into another asset into our portfolio of 'tricks' and techniques.

Tricks, yes. Our ability to respond is like a magician's hat: absolutely everything can come out of it. The range of registers, skills and aesthetics that we use can excite children, centennials, millennials, Gen Xers, boomers and older.

From street graffiti or digital painting to advanced airbrushing to polished compositions and 3D infographics, there's no area of image creation that bogs us down or holds us back.
CGI and Illustration - Vasava

What you feel is called obsession

Our work system in this field is also worth a special mention.

We take on these projects compulsively. This needs a little more explanation, we're quite aware. When we say this, what we mean is that we're already frantically writing things down without anyone asking us. That we're always on fire and ready to get going. That we're obsessed by the outline, the light, the style, the expressiveness or the composition. After all the 'thats', the loops come around. What do we mean by loops here at Vasava? We create a sketch. We destroy it. Another new sketch. Damn, it's not right or particularly convincing. Yet another sketch. Another sketch ruled out. And we repeat this process until we believe that we've reached perfection, with however many sketches destroyed along the way. With this system, it comes as no surprise that we sometime finish a piece in the early hours. On other occasions, we go to sleep with the paint so fresh that it ends up tinting our dreams. Sounded good, huh? Well, it's the truth and nothing but the truth.
CGI and Illustration - Vasava

A T-shirt in New York. A magazine in Madrid

Our illustration-based images are travelling all over the world. As you're reading this, there might just be someone jogging along the streets of New York with a T-shirt featuring an illustration of ours. Or right now, there may be someone opening up the Washington Post and seeing an infographic that we created a few days ago. In a bar in Madrid, someone might be having a relaxing cup of café con leche in Plaza Mayor while looking at a magazine cover of ours. And who knows? Perhaps on the day you least expect, you'll come across one of our illustrations on a phone case, in the lining of a jacket, in a deck of cards, on some socks, in your favourite book or in your turn-to magazine.
CGI and Illustration - Vasava
CGI and Illustration - Vasava