The 15 Most Popular Illustration Types

We’ve compiled a list of the most popular illustration types, and what you can do with them. Some are for kids, some are for adults – we have it all!

Type 1: Drawing

Drawings are great because they can be created based on anything that comes to mind. They’re also a lot of fun to create! Illustrations like this are perfect for children’s books or fun kids’ gifts.

Type 2: Cartooning

Cartoons are illustrations that combine drawing with humor and exaggeration. This is used in order to make people laugh or feel better about themselves. Illustration types like this are perfect for greeting cards and gifts.

Type 3: Graphic Design

Graphic design is an art form in which visual communication principles such as typography and image composition create messages through still images. Graphic design’s primary purpose is to produce aesthetically appealing products that deliver certain messages or information.

Type 4 : Painting

Paintings have been around since the beginning of time, but their popularity has never dwindled. Paintings can be created based on any scene you want to express – whether it be a peaceful meadow, an elegant ballroom, or even outer space! They’re also great because they work well with people who enjoy creating art as a hobby.

Type 5: Photography

Photography is another illustration type that has stood the test of time and continues to grow in popularity. Using photography means being able to capture images using your phone camera instead of drawing them by hand (which makes them more accessible than other illustration types).

Type 6: Digital Sketching

Digital sketching is an illustration type that has been growing in popularity for a few years now. This style of sketches can be done using either a tablet or computer and they resemble traditional hand-drawn sketches the most out of all other styles like digital painting, graphic design, etc.

Type 7: Vector Art

Vector art is another popular form of illustration because it’s so versatile – you’re not limited to just flat images! You can create stunning three-dimensional objects by using only vector shapes when creating this kind of artwork. They also work well with cropped/edited photos too if you want your image to have some sort of realistic feel to them at all times (in which case we recommend our Adobe Stock account).

Types 8: Hand Drawn Illustrations

Hand-drawn illustrations are probably what you think of when someone says “illustration”. They’re created using pen and paper which makes them super realistic because the lines look like they’ve been carefully hand-drawn by an artist.

Types 9: Collage Illustrations

Collage illustrations are created using lots of different textures and images to make a complete piece. They can be really fun and interesting because there’s no right or wrong way to create them (you don’t even need to use your own photos, you could find free stock images online). This is why they’re also a popular choice for bloggers!

Types 10: Chalk Illustrations

Chalk illustrations are super cool because they’re created using chalk on a blackboard. You can achieve this look with just your phone or tablet and an app – no need for fancy equipment! The only downside is that the lines don’t come out as defined as pen drawings, but if you add texture to the background, it can actually look really nice.

Types 11: Watercolor Illustrations

If you’re looking for a more traditional illustration format, watercolors are the way to go! They have an old school feel that’s super popular in blog posts and social media accounts because people love their vintage aesthetic. Most of us don’t have access to fancy watercolor kits, though.

Types 12: Pen Illustrations

If you want to get technical with your illustrations or if you’re looking for precise lines in the drawings (like when illustrating a product), then the pen is definitely the way to go! It’s also great because it can look really polished and professional. One downside of using pens is that the lines can sometimes be a bit harsh and it might feel like you’re drawing with sharpies.

Types 13:  Colored Pencil Illustrations

I love colored pencil illustrations because they’re super cute and the colors are always so vibrant! They can also look really polished (if you don’t use too many layers). Some people find them hard to do, though. The biggest downside of using these is that it takes a long time for some color pencil drawings to dry.

Types 14:  Pen & Ink Illustrations

These are great because they look super professional and the lines are always clean, crisp, and bold! They’re usually really simple to do as well. The downside of these is that it can sometimes be hard to get the colors you want without mixing them yourself (I’m not very good at that).

Types 15:  Hand-Lettered Illustrations

These are really cool, and they don’t even need to look like handwriting either. You can use them as a pretty background element for your main focus (the illustration or graphic that you’re trying to promote), or if you want something more official, you can use them to take up the entire graphic. The downside is that they’re not very popular yet, so there are only a few fonts out there for this type of illustration (not like watercolor or two-tone). Some people might also think it’s too much work…


Illustrations are an important part of marketing and visual communications. They can be used to promote a product, create interest in content, or convey emotion with just one image. To help you better understand the different types of illustrations that exist today, we’ve compiled a list of 15 popular illustration styles below. We hope this article has been helpful as well as interesting! Stay tuned for more posts about illustration coming soon on the Artmeet blog – Sign up now to stay connected with our latest updates!

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