The challenge
The challenge was to visualize the style the client had in mind. In the maintenance software space, stock illustration is common. The challenge was to set MC free from the usual and build a custom, recognizable style of its own. A system that worked for web page banners of all sizes, email newsletters, display ads, digital docs, web body banners and social media had to be created. It also had to be easily reproduced by the external marketing company employees who would use the system often to create assets for MC.

Maintenance worker sketches (left) with vector version (right).

My role
As the graphic designer, I created an illustration system for MC. I chose appropriate sizing for web pages and established tiers for the system. The three tiers included full illustrations where backgrounds were needed, spot illustrations and icons. I sketched concepts and digitally illustrated graphics to build the database of assets that formed the system. I created guidelines and templates for a seamless handover to the client and their marketing company. Lastly, I redesigned website menu icons to align with the new aesthetic.

I sketched concepts of the maintenance man, maintenance workers and custom scene layout.

An early concept featured a comic superhero style.

Later concepts dropped the extended colour red and kept to the blue and orange of the MC identity, focusing on industrial.

The solution
The solution was a tiered illustration system that exceeded the requested style. It included instructions, folder structure in a shared Drive, PDF guidelines, templates and training. Orange represented the tech side of the business, while blue and grey represented the industrial side. We delivered the completed system to the marketing company so they could create graphics when needed.

Tier 1 (left) was spot illustrations. Tier 2 (middle) worked for email newsletters, display ads, social media and digital docs. Tier 3 (right) was custom scenes made for landing page heroes and blog covers.

Tier 1 illustrations included the MC gear in the corner of the blue circle. The subject's position determined which quadrant the gear appeared in.

Social media post graphics were built using tier 2 illustrations.

Display ads were also built using tier 2 illustrations.

I redesigned the website menu icons to align with the illustrations. I used a grid with simple shapes to ensure consistency in the illustrated brand.

The before (left) and after (right) of the MC website icons.

By layering the tier 1 illustrations, I made creating social media post graphics easy.

I built the tier 2 illustrations in layers for a simple step-by-step process for making assets like email newsletter graphics.

The stepped process built complex tier 3 illustrations for landing page hero images.

I created tier 1 icons for people, hands, features, industries, tools and safety categories.

Tier 2 icons featured an orange highlight because they would not be paired with the orange gear on top of the blue circles as they are in tier 1.

I created hero illustrations for the home, industry, features and general pages. They followed responsive design without compromising the subjects.

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