Check Out No.1 Illustration Design in 2021 | Branding Agency Print Graphics

Illustration Design


Water Doodle Mat brought Stan Agency an advanced illustration design challenge. The company sells coloring books, water markers, and coloring mats for children. The new coloring mat needed custom illustrations that appealed to parents and children alike.

Challenge Components
  • Saturated market
  • Kid friendliness
  • Aesthetics

Industry Research

Amusement for children is a broad market; however, we researched it all the same. When looking at coloring products, we found that custom illustration was relatively standard. Additionally, we found that the industry moved more towards cartoon-based illustration design in recent years for its appeal.

Audience Research

While the final illustration design needed to appeal to children, it also needed to look suitable for parents. Parents are the individuals with the money to spend on the product, so we dug into their preferences. As it turns out, the open creativity of the product has a broader appeal to some parents than coloring books do.

Illustration Research as a Custom Illustration Firm

We did examine illustrations on competitor products. This market research conveyed trends towards a specific cartoon style in the illustrations themselves. The digging also included investigations into other custom illustration designs. From there, we were able to reduce the results to which trends we did not want to include in the final design.

Bonus Challenge

The dual audience was a challenge for this project. On the one hand, we needed kids to enjoy the illustration design so they would use it. On the other hand, parents are the ones with the money to buy the product. We needed to ensure that our graphic design illustration appealed to both parties so the coloring mats would fly off the shelves.

Brand Symbology

Water Doodle Mat uses a bright and straightforward brand across the product line. The overall effect appeals to parents looking for uncomplicated fun for their children, so we knew we wanted to match that closely.

Design Inspiration

Apart from the company requesting a dinosaur theme, we used illustration and graphic design principles for inspiration. We wanted to create a design that was just busy enough to be attractive, so we used all our research as inspiration as well. Additionally, we decided to use existing dinosaur concepts that match parents’ personal conceptions.

Element Decisions

Many of the decisions, such as which dinosaurs to use, w left up to our custom illustrators. Since the product uses water markers, we decided to include that element where possible. Additionally, since the markers in the product produce a rainbow effect, the team decided to try to incorporate as many distinct colors as we could coordinate.

Narrowing Down the Final Options

The custom illustration design team produced several amazing concepts. We began by eliminating designs we didn’t think appealed to the dual audience. Then we looked at how closely ideas matched the brand. From there, we did a few focus groups to help decide which designs were most appealing.


Water Doodle Mat’s team loved the design and sent it to the company’s manufacturer as soon as possible. As a result, mass delivery began within a couple of months. Water Doodle Mat recently let us know that the dinosaur coloring mat was slowly working its way up the company’s internal product chart.

The Deliverable

The Final Package:
  • One complete custom illustration set
  • Separate illustration design elements for reuse
For the final design, we incorporated well-saturated colors into every facet. The booklet features cartoon dinosaurs around a pond, so our illustration design mimicked that look on the mat itself. The unique appearance draws the eye to the center of the mat, where the children color. We look forward to working with Water Doodle Mat again as the company expands.
Check Out No.1 Illustration Design in 2021 | Branding Agency Print Graphics