Illustration Design System

Design system

An inclusive illustration design system that showcases and reflects our brand

Challenge

Create an illustration design system that is consistent, reflects our commitment to inclusivity, and builds brand recognition.
 

Outcome

An inclusive illustration design system that acts as a reference bank and provides a strong foundation for establishing brand consistency across all touchpoints.
 

Impact

The new illustration design system ensured that DPDK delivers consistent, unique, inclusive, and on-brand experiences. 

Strong
visual identity

Strategy

The idea of an illustration design system took root when we launched our blog. Sharing our stories regularly pushed us to ensure that our visual style consistently reflects our brand across all touchpoints. 

We started with basic graphic elements and simple characters. From there, we developed a rudimentary first version of the illustration design system and slowly evolved it to be more extensive. The new illustration design system enabled smoother collaboration across our design team, which in turn helped us quickly scale our outputs. The design system easily allowed our style to remain consistent and in line with our brand identity. 

Next, we focused on integrating a sense of inclusivity into the design system in order to reflect our commitment to inclusivity, equality, and diversity. We diversified the skin colors and appearances of the characters to reflect the world we live in.

Creative

We started off with a few PDFs which have matured over time into a live library. These Adobe XD documents consist of a mix of patterns, brushes, components, shapes, illustration characters, and guidelines.  

When we started, we created everything on a white background. This led to a set of characters with mostly white skin tones. In an effort to manifest more inclusive designs, we evolved our characters into diverse figures with a range of skin colors, body shapes, fashionable outfits, and hairstyles. 

We established a set of guidelines to determine characters' dimensions, proportions, skin tones, and how we wanted them to be perceived. We took inspiration from real-life photos as well as our own team and translated that imagery into our designs. 

Innovation didn’t stop once we built the library. We constantly expand and update the design system by having monthly retrospectives to assess the illustration design system and our diversity efforts.

‘Our illustration design system is a true reflection of our ethos as a company. We strive to innovate and to produce exceptional design. But our work is not created in a vacuum. At DPDK, we are fully invested in promoting inclusivity and diversity through our brand and our designs.’

Michael Vromans
Chief Creative Officer

Technology

The illustrations and design elements are stored in the Adobe XD library. This library is essentially a collection of Lego blocks from which any designer can easily create new illustrations. 

Tech partners

Highlights

  • A unique and consistent design system that reflects the world we live in.  
  • The new illustration design system has taken DPDK’s brand identity to the next level.  
  • We’re proud of the constant evolution of our design system. Innovation never stops.  
DPDK | 2020
Michael Vromans
Chief Creative Officer

Need help building your illustration design system?

Contact Michael