Illustrating for Medium

Last month I was commissioned by Medium to create promo illustrations for their new website.

I pretty much discovered Medium with this opportunity, so I thought it would be nice to give it a try and tell you a bit more about the project.

I worked with Medium’s creative team on a set of 8 illustrations that you might already have seen while using Medium.

The set includes 4 horizontal scenes that illustrate the following messages: Create an account, Follow people, Share your story and Engage the conversation. My goal was to avoid being too obvious or literal leaving room for me to explore and to find the right metaphor for each message.

“Follow” illustration
“Share” illustration

Each illustration had to have a different color scheme, so as not to confuse the reader. I sketched everything in black and white, focusing on the messages, then I picked the colors afterwards to suit the subject of each illustration without repeating the color palette.

For a series of illustrations it usually works the other way around, one color scheme has to work on a series of illustration to help consistency. So it was interesting to work that way, using the scale and framing to unite the set.

B&W sketch for the “Conversation” illustration
“Conversation” illustration

Medium’s team planned to have a responsive new layout which adapts the content depending on the screen you use. To make that work smoothly without having plain or repeated background, each illustration had to be extended on the side (to fit bigger screens).

On the “Create an account” illustration, I felt like extending the background without adding something, wouldn’t make any sense. What is the girl jumping from? Maybe a boat ? But I didn’t want to repeat the boat.

“Create an account” illustration
Work on Progress on the background extention for “Create an account”

I feel very lucky when the brief is pretty flexible, this allows me to draw things I like. I love diving boards, so I went for a floating platform inspired by one I once saw in Switzerland.

“Create an account” extended illustration
“Conversation” extended illustration

The set also includes 3 smaller illustrations to be placed on the sidebar of the website, those had to be more simple and literal with no background. In this case, I felt that physical objects would work well.

Sketch and final illustration for “Write on Medium”
“Writing prompt” and “Unlisted Stories” illustrations

The last part of the brief was to create a landscape that would be used as a background. It had to have a Californian feeling, including city and nature.

I loved visiting California because of its mix of dynamic cities and wild areas, stepping back from the city is sometimes the best way to refresh ones creativity. Maybe that’s what I need right now and maybe you need it too, in order to write your next story on Medium.

Background landscape

I am a freelance illustrator and designer based in London. I work on various projects with clients including Microsoft, The New Republic, Wired and Architect Magazine.

You can find out more about me and my work on my Website.

Social media: Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Behance.