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Repurpose Your Illustrations (They’re Part Of Your Content)

January 20, 2021

I featured the Mona Lisa Triplets in a recent post. Here’s the original illo:blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

How to create great content like Leonardo da Vinci Mona Lisa being curious, observing life with binoculars, indulging fantasy thinking about deluxe ice cream sundae

I’m bringing them back because they’re perfect for an object lesson; namely: you can always get more mileage out of an illustration.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

The New Yorker has a cartoon caption contest on the last page of every issue. They print an old cartoon and delete the original caption. They challenge readers to submit their own captions for the cartoon.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

The same idea can be applied to illustrations.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

Brands commission custom illustrations because they want something unique. Something specially crafted to support the brand.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

It makes sense to repurpose those illustrations to maximize their value.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Brands need to look at every illustration and ask: how can I get more use out of it?blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

I decided to turn “Triple Mona” into an infographic and upload it to my online store. All I did was tweak the header text:blank vertical space, 24 pixels highHow to How to be creative tips from Leonardo da Vinci his friend Mona Lisa being curious, observing life with binoculars, indulging fantasy thinking about deluxe ice cream sundae

blank vertical space, 16 pixels highWith Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I was also thinking about Valentine card designs.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

It occurred to me that I could create three different cards by tweaking the three Monas and coming up with inside greetings for each card that would serve as punch lines.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Here’s what I came up with for the front of each card:blank vertical space, 24 pixels highMona Lisa Valentine card designs I'm curious Oh my I can't help it enigmatic smile binoculars left shade up removed shirt fantisizing wild desires ice cream sundae

blank vertical space, 16 pixels highI added text, the color red, and some hearts, and if you look closely, you’ll see I shifted the pupils in the Curious Mona’s eyes so she’s looking directly at the viewer.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

But essentially, the images are the same.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Bottom line: you can always get more mileage out of an illustration. Always. Don’t settle for one-time use.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

A few additional suggestions:blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

1. Think about maximizing image use ahead of time. Make it part of your content strategy.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

2. Discuss it with your illustrator when you commission an illustration. Ask the illustrator to design the illustration with maximum use in mind.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

For example: Ask the illustrator to put some white space between the various objects and people in the illustration. That way, each element can be broken out and used as a separate spot illustration.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

3. A lot of times all you need to do is add new text: new header text, new caption, new dialogue in word balloons.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

4. Ask different people to contribute ideas. Multiple heads are definitely better than one when it comes to thinking up new ways to use an illo.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

5. It’s never too late to get more use out of an illustration. Dig out old illos and ask yourself how they might be used in light of new circumstances or marketing campaigns.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

6. Go back to the original illustrator and ask him or her for ideas on how to reuse the work in a new way. Believe me, illustrators love that kind of challenge. At least I do.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

FWIW: I came up 6 or 7 possible inside greetings for each card. You can see them here. Just click on each image, then scroll down to see the inside greetings in the Description field.
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About Mark: I’m an illustrator specializing in humor, editorial, branding, social media, and content marketing. My images are different, like your brand needs to be.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

You can view my portfolio, and connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Questions? Send me an email.blank vertical space, 40 pixels highRecommendation testimonial for Mark Armstrong Illustration from Jim Dickrell editor associate publisher farm journal media

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