iStock | Getty Images

Project Deliverables: Branding, print design, digital design, writing, and production management

My Role: Graphic design, Art Direction, print design, digital design, branding, and writing

Project Overview 

iStock is a Royalty-Free image licensing company, with their main office located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. As the Senior Illustration Manager, I was responsible for all of the illustration content on the site, as well as the website of our parent company, Getty Images. I wore many hats over my 16 year tenure with the company, so here is a small selection of the projects I am most proud of!

iStock Illustration Landing Page: Curation

On the iStock Illustration homepage, clients are presented with a selection of illustration categories to choose from. These categories were chosen based on keyword search popularity and trends, and included subjects like Lifestyle, Patterns, Icons, Business, Holidays, Templates, Icon sets, and so on. There are literally hundreds of categories, sub-categories, and sub-sub categories of curated content available to help guide clients to find the exact content they need.  

My role was to choose beautiful illustrations that visually represented each search topic, and were trendy, colorful, eye-catching, and worked together harmoniously as a group. These dedicated search pages benefitted our SEO, and we could send dedicated links to specific categories to clients looking for a subject. I would update these graphics regularly to keep up with style trends and keep everything looking fresh and engaging for repeat visitors. 

iStock and Getty Images design by Jenn Borton

Client Resources: Support and Tutorials

The amazing iStock Client Relations team assists clients when they have any issues with images they have licensed from the website. Since vectors can be difficult to edit for non-designers, we received many support tickets from clients who had licensed a vector file, but weren't sure how to edit it. 

Whenever these inquiries came up, I would write out brief step-by-step instructions that the Support team could pass along to the clients. Some common issues included clients not knowing how to unlock a layer, change the color of a vector shape, add the file to whatever design program they were using, and so on. Over time, we had accumulated a large collection of how-tos, vector FAQs, and tutorials, so I decided to start to organize them into one-page PDFs that could be emailed to clients as needed. These PDFs included screen captures of vector editing software to show the client where they needed to click in order to edit a file. 

I frequently checked in with the Client Relations management to identify any new roadblocks that were affecting our vector clients, and would regularly add new tutorials to the series. Here are two examples. The first is a 'Client Guide' that includes short, easy to follow tutorials on the most frequently asked questions. The second spread is a comprehensive two-page article that walks newbies through the fundamental differences between a raster (JPEG, PNG) and a vector file (EPS, AI, SVG):

iStock and Getty Images design by Jenn Borton
iStock and Getty Images design by Jenn Borton

Client Resources: iStock Blog

The iStock Blog is a great resource for clients, covering trends, creative inspiration, and general tips and tricks for anyone looking to license Royalty Free. My responsibility was to identify topics for blog posts, source the image examples used, and provide technical vector terminology and tutorials that our writers could then use to create these posts. Here are a few examples of articles I was involved in:

Contributor Resources: Support Articles

iStock and Getty Images have a contributor-facing website called the 'Contributor Community'. This is where photographers, videographers, and illustrators log in to upload their submissions for review. It also contains a wide variety of articles, announcements, tutorials, technical requirements, a forum, and basically everything a contributor needs to know in order to upload to iStock and/or Getty Images.

I was responsible for identifying, writing, and building out any helpful information for our illustration community. This covered a wide range of topics, from step-by-step instructions on how to save the correct vector file format, to our policies regarding copyright ownership and trademarked subjects. By browsing our library of helpful articles, our illustration community was able to quickly and easily find out information about all things vector illustration related on the site. 

iStock and Getty Images design by Jenn Borton

Contributor Resources: Creative Briefs

Another resource on our Contributor Community portal were 'Creative Briefs'. Creative Briefs are short, focused overviews of content that is trending with clients. I was able to identify these topics by researching keyword search trends, getting feedback from our Client Relations team, and keeping an eye on style trends in the industry. Briefs were published several times a month and covered both style and subject trends. 

Our illustrators could go through these Briefs and when they created a new illustration, they could use a numeric code while uploading. This allowed us to track the content that was being submitted for each Brief. The Briefs were also available in the Getty Images Contributor App

iStock and Getty Images design by Jenn Borton

Contributor Resources: #ShootUploadRepeat Branding

Our Contributor Relations team runs the @shootuploadrepeat Instagram account, where we showcase our favorite submissions each week. It's a great way to celebrate the Contributor Community and their incredible creativity, skills, and hard work. 

I was asked to create the branding for the account. This included designing a wordmark, as well as creating a series of icons that could be used for Stories on the landing page. I went with bright, bold colors that can be mixed and matched, with thin line icons and a dramatic high-contrast side shadow:

iStock and Getty Images design by Jenn Borton

Internal Resources: Illustration History & Trends Presentation

A major part of my job was staying up-to-date on illustration trends. I would regularly publish contributor-facing articles on trends, and contributed to the iStock client-facing blog. But, Getty Images is a huge company, and very few people worked directly with my Content department, and many had no idea what a vector illustration actually was! 

So, we put on an internal, company-wide 'Lunch and Learn' presentation to give a crash course in vector illustration to over 3,000 employees. I focused on the origins and history of the vector file format, how illustration style trends have changed, and what is currently trending. Here is a selection of some of my favorite slides:

Internal Resources: Sharepoint

My role at iStock/Getty Images covered both our contributor side (the illustrators who submit their work), and the client side (the people who then license these vectors). Over the years, I compiled an impressive amount of links, resources, tutorials, FAQs, and other information! We needed a place to store it so other departments within the companies could quickly and easily find the information they needed.

As we used Sharepoint, I was given my own sub-site specifically for illustration related content. I was able to add in helpful beginner-level vector tutorials for clients, information on trends, data on illustration-specific keyword searches, share fun illustration related articles and links, as well as training materials for my team of illustration editors. We were finally able to bring everything under one umbrella and everyone within the company could access the information they needed.

iStock and Getty Images design by Jenn Borton

Client Projects

In addition to my work with iStock clients and contributors, I would occasionally get to work on partnership projects. One of these was the incredible #ShowUs campaign. Dove, Getty Images, and GirlGaze partnered with women & nonbinary individuals everywhere to create a collection of 10,000+ images that are available for licensing on Getty Images. This collection offered a more inclusive vision of beauty for all media and advertisers to use. 

I designed a social media campaign for our photographers that was posted on our contributor-facing social accounts. The campaign laid out a series of pledges for our photographers to follow when creating imagery for the #ShowUs collection, including:

Here are some examples from the campaign:

iStock and Getty Images design by Jenn Borton