Opower Tip Illustrations

Using action orientated illustrations to motivate people to save energy.

Worked on @ Opower


Opower needed a way to communicate energy saving tips without relying on less than ideal stock photography.


Extending Opower's illustration system for energy saving tips.


A series of 30 tip illustrations which are viewed by millions of utility customers on printed reports and websites.

Illustration Goals

What a tip illustration has to do in order to be successful.

These illustrations had to be as clear as possible explaining some rather esoteric energy saving tips.

Follow Visual Style
The illustrations had to follow a consistent visual style to fit within the system of illustrations as well as the rest of Opower's information.

Fit Context
These tips had to exist in small and large formats, in printed and digital contexts for a variety of utility companies around the world.

Tip Illustration Process

1. Sketching

Drawing at a small scale helped me to rapidly iterate on the best approach to visually communicate the action described in each tip.

2. Rough Digital Sketch

Working with a content expert and fellow designers, I began developing the illustrations in large and small format digitally. This step was focused on finding the right level of detail, and ensuring that the action of the tip was clearly communicated.

3. Refinement and Delivery

With a solid understanding of which direction to move in, I would then refine each illustration at small and large sizes to fit within the illustration system and alongside the other elements of Opower's style guide.

4. Tips in Context

This project was interesting design challenge because of the variety of contexts the illustrations would live in. Digital and print formats, large and small, these illustrations had to hold up in every different touchpoint.