When we started planning the redesign of APEX Experience magazine four years ago, we integrated illustrations knowing they would play a fundamental role in the overall look and feel of the publication. To date we’ve incorporated hundreds of illustrations and collaborated with illustrators from all over the world with the goal of expanding the visual universe of the passenger experience (PaxEx) industry.
In a diverse industry such as PaxEx, where most of the design focuses on promoting products and services, illustrations allow for enhanced visual interpretations, adding character to attract a different type of reader.
We’ve used illustrations to simplify complex concepts, such as biometrics technologies, LiFi, cryptocurrency or the algorithms behind in-flight entertainment (IFE). Through such artwork, we can imagine products that don’t yet exist or are intangible, such as connectivity in future airports, game immersion or the concept of comfort.
Illustrations have allowed us to take creative licenses, like putting an airplane seat in the middle of a forest to explain meditation as a means to reduce one’s fear of flying. Or to describe what a pilot called “Place Lag,” defined as the moment when you step out of the airport and enter an undiscovered world.
In the last few years, many tech companies have included illustrations as part of their visual identity. Companies such as Google, Dropbox, Slack and Shopify used the art form to represent their products in a simple and approachable way. For some, this trend could explain the tech industry’s need to show that behind all that technology are human beings. And much like the APEX Experience magazine, tech companies use artwork to further concepts that they cannot photograph or otherwise explain.
Top illustration: “Second Screening” by Jorge De la Paz.