Illustrations making stand-out ads

Our friends at Cross Compliance Solutions help farm businesses to keep their paperwork, systems and safety procedures on the right side of both the spirit and detail of legislation. Having worked shoulder to shoulder on a rebrand we discussed new ad campaigns to appear in national and regional farming publications.

The challenge was to present their messages in an eye-catching way which makes the reader stop and take notice. Then we want them to quickly get the gist of the benefits on offer; not just efficient paperwork but the certainty of essential farm payments; and not just the mandatory risk assessments kept in an office folder but the peace of mind that all that should be done is being done to safeguard staff and visitors to the farm – unfortunately still one of the highest risk working environments.

We considered photography but were concerned that staging a shoot on location with such complex subject matter may blow the budget and potentially strangle the nuanced messages we had in mind. So our thoughts turned to illustration, enlisting Chris Knight our in-house illustrator and designer.

Illustrations are used increasingly as an effective and contemporary way to distil complex messages into bite-sized chunks for a discerning public. CXCS had some hesitation in the proposed route but agreed with our rationale. The path to the ads you see was quite involved, primarily as we needed to agree on situations which captured the essence of the problems CXCS are solving. We exchanged ideas and agreed on a small number of potential scenarios. Chris would sketch them very loosely and after further discussion the preferred angles would be refined and detailed. Then the pencil sketches were scanned and developed into digital illustrations which incorporporated a colour palette in keeping with the CXCS brand – ready to drop into the adverts.

The feedback has been really positive. Good news for CXCS who trusted our judgement for the creative impact illustrations can play across many media.