Social distancing, photography and the graphic alternatives

While social distancing rules remain in place, commissioning photography to support your annual review or publication may be a challenge; particularly if the people being featured are in a Covid-19 ‘vulnerable’ category.


Fortunately, illustrations, infographics and animation are all excellent ways to deliver your narrative – and could be particularly effective for communicating key messages, post pandemic.

Our Senior Designer Miguel is a talented illustrator and a great advocate of this genre. He has provided imaginative visuals for many of our clients including a recent set of Covid-19 icons and illustrations for the RMBI. Here he identifies five key benefits of a graphic approach.

1. Tone can be adjusted through illustration

As organisations strive to find the right tone as we move on from lockdown, a talented illustrator can add layers of meaning through their graphics – something which is harder to achieve with photography; clever illustrations can be as sensitive or pragmatic as you like and get to the point quickly.

2. Graphics simplify complexity

Illustration can streamline the way we communicate dense and difficult information – something that may be particularly useful for describing the impact of the virus on your organisation. Icons and infographics are particularly helpful. Bold, straightforward graphics should be intuitive and are usually the first thing to be noticed by readers.

3. Illustrations surprise readers

Illustrations offer a great opportunity to delight your audience with something new and different. Adding the creative element of illustration produces endless possibilities and the results often exceed expectations.

4. You’ll create a timeless brand asset

Unlike photographs which capture a specific moment in time, illustrations and graphics provide a resource of timeless images which can become part of your brand assets. You can use them time and again; across digital and social media and in future publications.

5. Consent won’t be a problem

Every individual will have a slightly different view on what is safe, and what a safe distance is, as we come out of the Coronavirus pandemic. Photography is already fraught with consent issues – getting consent for use, and multiple uses can be complicated – particularly for vulnerable adults and children. Illustrations and infographics avoid these hurdles by communicating the message without showing specific individuals.


Contact Miguel

As a designer, Miguel is often on hand at client briefings which puts him in the perfect position to assess the opportunities for illustrations and graphics on any particular project. If you would like to talk to him about illustration you can contact him directly through miguel@nimdesign.com.

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