Illustration usage

Illustration is a powerful tool that can make complex ideas emotionally resonant and visually unify diverse assets. It is important to understand how to appropriately use illustration and when to choose different illustration styles that are part of our brand standards.


Hero illustrations

Our hero illustration style is bold, elegant, and whimsical. It is a visual representation of our Brand Values. Hero illustrations help communicate essential Twilio messages and are often paired with a product or category launch or campaign. We use these illustrations consistently and repeatedly to help reinforce the meaning of the illustration in the mind of our customers.

Learn more about our hero illustration style

What’s the big idea?

The core message must be established before the illustration is created. This big idea helps inform the illustration, which, in turn reinforces and spreads the big idea further. It is important to bear in mind that an illustration does not need to be a literal representation of the product or message. Like the accompanying headline, it succeeds when it communicates the high-level value we offer to our customers in a memorable way.

Consistency is key

To maximize awareness, illustrations are coordinated across the website, digital campaigns, content marketing, and events. The illustration generally appears in full on our website. To best conform to other media, the illustration may be deconstructed or modified at the discretion of the designer.

Consider the context

Always consider what type of information you are trying to convey and what level of engagement you can expect from your audience. This understanding will help you determine whether you need to use a more specific and technical illustration or an illustration that is more about emotionally conveying a big idea.

Website illustrations



  • Promote the human side of technology
  • Tell a compelling story
  • Make the product itself central
  • Use iconic imagery when possible
  • Use simplified and abstracted interfaces



  • Be clear
  • Turn down the whimsy to low
  • Keep it simple



  • Use the style of the hero illustrations
  • Focus on a simple, fun, and memorable concept
  • Be evocative rather than literal
  • Feature people succeeding in novel ways

Use cases


  • Use simplified but familiar UI components
  • Tell a story that is relatable to our customer
  • Show how Twilio technology is embedded in the best customer experiences
  • Turn down the whimsy, but give a little wink
  • Sprinkle in one or two illustrative elements like freelines or shapes

Event illustration


  • Generally, event illustration style aligns with hero illustrations
  • Illustrative elements may be deconstructed to fill space and create texture
  • In specific cases an event style may align with a large campaign style
  • Illustrations should align conceptually with core event messaging
  • SIGNAL has its own style
  • TKO has its own style
What about SIGNAL and TKO?

Some large events, like SIGNAL and TKO, have unique brands and illustration styles. These styles are updated every year and may or may not include the illustration styles documented on this page.

Campaign illustration

Campaigns are specific messaging run for a specific amount of time centered around a specific goal. Often a visual identity and messaging toolkit are put together to align with the campaign strategy. Unless your messaging and goals align with the campaign, always use the core brand identity.

Awareness campaigns and industry marketing


This is general advertising that is not associated with an existing campaign or event.

  • Use hero illustration style
  • The illustration should reinforce the message in the headline
  • Do not use UI cloud illustrations
  • Do not use free or paid stock illustrations

Report campaign


Includes ebooks and State of Customer Engagement Reports, among others.

  • Illustration must align with the style of the report
  • Illustration may appear within a mockup of the report
  • Do not use free or paid stock illustrations in campaigns

Brand campaign

Brand campaigns are tied to a specific business objective.

  • Large campaigns may either have a unique visual style or align closely with hero illustrations
  • Visually, campaigns must be internally consistent
  • Keep it simple, a complex story or concept will get lost
  • Boil it down to one idea and make sure that that idea sings
  • If you need unique illustrations, remember to budget for the art
  • Do not use free or paid stock illustrations in campaigns

Event campaign

Includes SIGNAL, Engage, Webinars, and Twitch.

  • The style of event campaign illustration must align with the event visual identity
  • Do not use free or paid stock illustrations

Ebook illustration


  • Use the hero illustration style on covers and in internal spreads where appropriate
  • Use simple techniques like scale, repetition, and color to tell a story related to the title of the ebook
  • Do not use free or stock illustrations

Office illustration



  • All illustrations should contribute to the larger “Museum of Telephony” theme of our offices
  • Stylistic liberties may be taken at the discretion of the designer
  • Must align with the Twilio Brand Personality
  • Create a unique environment for employees
  • Generally, avoid using hero illustration style
  • Use the extended brand color palette

Download office guidelines

Editorial illustration


  • Treat editorial content like The Current and The State of Customer Engagement Report like a magazine
  • Styles should be carefully curated, but not strictly related
  • Avoid using hero illustration style
  • Use styles or hire artists that complement the hero illustration style
  • Be evocative in illustrating the concept
  • Tell the story emotionally, not necessarily literally
  • Must align with the Twilio Brand Personality
  • Make use of the extended brand color palette, but be restrained
  • Feature Twilio Red

Internal brand illustration


  • Designers may choose to use hero illustrations or create unique illustrations
  • Consider the stage of an employee’s relationship with the Twilio brand
  • Align illustrations with Twilio values
  • Be engaging and evocative
  • This is the only time that it is appropriate to depict an owl in relation to Twilio

Console illustrations

Hero illustrations are used occasionally in the Twilio Console to maintain a consistent brand presence.

  • Primarily useful at key moments of success or failure
  • Uses the hero style illustration
  • Not necessary to display throughout the console environment