How a signature motif can make your work stand out

In the competitive world of illustration, adopting a signature motif or icon in your work can help you grow your brand and your career. Here, CR speaks to three illustrators about the benefits and challenges of making one element your trademark

As in most creative careers, being an illustrator means competing in a talented pool of people, and trying to find a way to be noticed or stand out from the crowd. In the past we’ve written about finding your unique style, but there are some artists who’ve taken this a step further and developed a signature character or motif that they utilise in their work instead. 

From body parts to abstract symbols, having a trademark element to your images can give an illustator more ownership of their work. But is there ever a danger that it can become limiting or repetitive? Or does it provide more freedom than a specific aesthetic that takes over the whole image?

Hollie Fuller

“It’s like a little world that I’ve built myself. Every character slots in and makes themselves at home,” says UK-based illustrator Hollie Fuller. “My style is playful, and my characters have exaggerated proportions: simple faces, big old ears, small heads, sometimes big heads, massive feet. Those proportions make so much sense to me now that I find it quite funny when people mention them.”