The Goal: Show readers that this is not "just another career blog"
When thinking about career blogs, the picture that often comes to mind is happy "stock" faces and generic office shots of nice desks (ofc, perfectly organised, with a coffee, a notebook, etc.).
When I joined the Enhancv team, my main focus was to break that "picture" and let the blog live it's own life. Make it feel human. Make it look like the company cares about the content and that it's not another generic "resume-article-with-fake-examples".
Until then the blog visual style relied a lot on photos and mock ups. This made it hard to express complicated ideas with metaphors and it didn’t help differ from other career blogs.
I worked closely with the content team to develop a brief “visuals” part of the Editorial guidelines that aimed to help overcome those key problems.
Before we started the project
The blog today
After reading the current Editorial guidelines and after a bit of research, the main challenge was to come up with a way to make images consistent without using the same visual style every time. Because if you see the same style artworks in the gallery every time, it'll get boring, right?
Still, there should be something that makes the blog visuals consistent. After a bit of brainstorming, the first rule was born: Instead of the same visual style, we need to be consistent with the story behind.
Rule 1: Visuals should be insightful and sophisticated, yet understandable and approachable. Try to look for the different point of view and use metaphors. Do not make things too complicated, stick to simple ideas with strong message.
Thankfully, we all agreed to say "no" to stock images. Because if you want people to invest time in reading your stories, you need to invest more time in the stories yourself.
Rule 2: Use hand drawn or mixed media techniques for illustrations that remind of a quality magazine. Some sophistication would make people interested in the story behind the visual.
And last, but not least.
Rule 3: Bring value to users, make it personal. Illustrate situations or stories in which people can recognize themselves. That would give readers the feeling they’re not alone and other people experience similar struggles in their careers.
I’ve worked with Radi for over an year. She stands out as an illustrator with her unique talent of developing concepts and translating them into memorable yet simple and scalable illustrations.
It’s easy to work with Radi; she listens actively, she’s dedicated, ambitious, focused, and curious to learn every day.
— Vessy Tasheva, CMO at Enhancv
How I implement the guidelines in my work
While reading an article we need visuals for, I always have a pen and paper at hand. Taking notes and writing down keywords helps me generate ideas later on when I start sketching.
My brain works better on paper when it comes to generating ideas. Keeping the tools simple and the thumbnails quick and dirty helps me focus on the actual brainstorming.
When I finish the sketching, I discuss with the author of the article which thumbnail would work best. Once I have the idea in mind, the rest is easy. Going digital and making things happen is the final piece of the puzzle. When the cover’s ready, it's time for in-article images (in case we need any).
Cover image for a "first job resume" article (Process)
Let’s chat on illustration process, the wisdom of animated movies or the pros and cons of social media.
If you're looking to join forces with an illustrator, I'd be happy to hear more about your goals.