Illustration

A lighthearted approach to portraying the ever-changing experience of the modern workforce

Illustration overview

Illustration is a great tool for conveying ideas, emotions, and complex or intangible concepts. Although we have different types, all of our illustrations embody our brand personality through their authentic hand-drawn style and humanistic approach.

Because illustrations are bound by licensing rights, we can’t modify or mimic them to create new versions. If you want to commission an illustration or need help finding an appropriate illustration in our library, send us a message.

When to use illustration

Consider using illustration when photography is unable to support the message you’re trying to convey.

Always use illustrations that are relevant to your subject matter. Don’t use illustrations just to fill space or as decoration.

These social examples show how illustration can engage your audience, and quickly provide context for your subject matter.

These banners use illustrations that directly support their main message.

Types of illustrations

Illustration is an effective communication device for a range of scenarios, like a global marketing campaign or a PowerPoint presentation. Because these have different purposes and needs, we offer two types of illustrations:
1) Brand and campaign illustrations—for communications that represent Citrix as a whole and aren’t tied to a single product, solution, or audience.
2) General-use illustrations—for conveying the story of our products and solutions, and how they fit in to our market categories.

Brand and campaign illustration

These illustrations are reserved for brand advertising, product-agnostic social posts, and high-profile Citrix events. Their content is usually focused on big-picture concepts related to the Citrix story.

Below are several examples that were commissioned by the Brand and Advertising teams. (The Brand team is currently evaluating all requests for using brand/campaign illustrations; these examples and other works by these illustrators are not available on the Downloads tab.)

Illustrations by Matt Blease
Illustrations by the Nathan Love animation studio
Illustrations by the Huge creative agency

General-use illustration

We commissioned illustrator Joseph Carrington to create a library of general-use illustrations that you can use in a variety of applications. The Downloads tab includes the following options:

Concepts—vignettes
Concepts—excerpts
Characters
Environments
Items

The illustrations are available in either a PowerPoint file or as Adobe Illustrator (AI) files:

  • The PowerPoint versions all have black outlines and white fills. You can copy and paste them into your presentations.
  • The AI files are intended for graphic designers or production professionals. They include a layer for turning on/off the white fills so you can add color using the guidance in the color section below.

Concepts
We designed vignettes to convey the richness and complexity of some our most important concepts. Whether using them for presentations or collateral materials, vignettes should be placed at the maximum width of your page layout (the minimum width is 3/4 of a page).

These are very detailed illustrations; if they’re placed any smaller, the “story” may not be clear to your audience. For partial-page placements, you can use excerpts of the vignettes.

You can use vignettes as a featured element in your presentations. Place them at full width (3/4-width minimum).

Use excerpts to support your story line.

Use excerpts to support your points about product benefits.

This collateral example uses a vignette on the cover and an excerpt on an inside page, reinforcing the theme throughout the piece.

Kit of parts
This is a library of environments, items, and characters that you can use separately or in combination to suit your needs. Combining pieces is a thoughtful, judicious process. Do so with the goal of intentionally and effectively communicating your story or concept.

You can combine an environment, item, and character to create a unique composition that supports your story line.
Combine characters on their own.
Combine characters and items.
Don’t overcrowd your layout with too many illustrations.
Don’t place illustrations out of scale to each other.
This example uses a scene on the cover and a figure on an inside page, reinforcing the theme throughout the piece.
Use items to support your points in PowerPoint presentations.

Animation

As the Brand and Advertising teams create more animations, we’ll continue to update our guidance. In the meantime, here are some general tips:

  • The style we’re going for is the look produced by hand-drawn, frame-by-frame animation. You should give your agencies existing brand-approved examples.
  • Character movements should appear as natural and fluid as possible, avoiding mechanical or robotic movements.
  • The audience should be able to identify with the characters or situation depicted.
  • Don’t rely on icons or diagrams to do your storytelling.

The animation examples below address all of these points. If you need more animation examples or guidance working with an agency, send us a message.

Animation created by the Huge creative agency

Motion graphic by Matt Blease

Animation created by the Nathan Love animation studio

Color

The illustrations may be used in all colors of our palette:

  • Five color families (30 total colors)
  • Grays (6 versions)
  • Black and white

Visit the color page to see all the colors. With such a wide range of illustration colors, it’s important to follow the color usage guidelines in the following sections.

Tone on tone

When using a line illustration on a colored background, apply a 2-step difference to ensure sufficient contrast. Line work and background color combinations must stay within their respective color family.

Line work in Blue 60 can sit on Blue 10, 20, or 30 backgrounds. (The same guidance applies to each color family.) Illustrations may also use white fills to provide more emphasis (see Choosing a color option).

Black on color

Black line work can be used on color backgrounds; follow the parameters below to ensure sufficient contrast.

Black line work can sit on the 10, 20, and 30 values of each color. (The same guidance applies to each color family.) Illustrations may also use white fills to provide more emphasis (see Choosing a color option).

Black on white

A black illustration can sit on a white background.

Grays on white

Illustrations in Gray 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60 can sit on a white background.

Choosing a color option

When selecting the color of an illustration, you should consider how much emphasis you’d like it to have. By changing the fill, line, and background colors, you can make an illustration appear more or less prominent. These examples demonstrate how this is achieved:

Use a white fill to provide the most emphasis for your illustrations. To reduce emphasis, remove the fill and adjust the line work and background colors to achieve the desired effect. Follow the Tone on tone and Black on color sections above for guidance on color combinations.

Please note: The PowerPoint illustrations are only available with black line work and a white fill, which will work for most situations.

Things to avoid

Don't knock out of dark backgrounds.
Don't colorize.
Don't use low contrast color combinations.
Don't use at a small scale that is hard to understand.
Don't distort.
Avoid crop that may impact the meaning of the original illustration.

Help

Click a question below to see the answer.

Are we still using the Matt Blease illustrations?

Yes, however, those illustrations are reserved for brand advertising, product-agnostic social posts, and high-profile Citrix events. Their content is usually focused on big-picture concepts related to the Citrix story. If you’d like to use a Blease illustration. You can complete a request here.

How do I request to use a Matt Blease illustration?

Please complete our intake form that you can find here. Select “Illustration use request” in the Brand Project category field. We review new requests on Tuesdays.

Where and how do I use illustration?

Illustrations are a great way to work with abstract ideas. Use illustration to convey high-level thinking, complex solutions, and concepts related to Citrix. Illustrations are often useful as part of the design language of events, which offer multiple design touchpoints, including signage and exhibits.

Still have a question? Send us a message.