Illustration System



Art direction ❋ Design systems ❋ Illustration ❋ Mobile Design


Ty Lettau ❋ Chris Ereneta ❋ Christopher Mah


Square’s marketing and product teams needed an illustration system to help communicate more delightfully with merchants and to help explain complex ideas.

Illustrating for product and email

While on the brand team at Square, I collaborated heavily with almost every product team because we wanted to bring the same delight we were using for email into the product.

These faces kickstarted the need to build a system. We used them for an onboarding email, the one welcoming you to Square. Each face represented a different product, which also aligned to the color used. Above is the US version, below the Japan variant featuring Japanese characters which we made as a consideration for JP localization.
I developed this color system to represent natural skintones and hair colors. The Square color palette at the time didn’t account for skintones, so it was necessary to build an entirely new palette, rather than just use #ffffff for skintones.
Illustration series for Square Invoices

Illustrating for presentations

These systems can be combined, just as I've done for this infographic which demonstrates app partnerships used by a real Square merchant. This was presented by Alyssa Henry at a conference.
I made this with the Square system for a talk about illustration systems at Config 2020. This system is available to use in your projects via Figma Community. You can see this and other systems at
These 4 illustrations were a collaboration with the Square Comms Design team for our All Hands presentations. Each illustration featured a season and with that season, 4 products at Square.

IIlustrating for web and animation

I've worked as an illustrator and art director to produce illustration across multiple media.

This homepage for the Caviar product was also developed into a browser-based game.
Working the the web team, I created an illustration to help communicate security and compliance, one of the first ever uses of illustration on the Square marketing site.
This was part of a tutorial series I built with the video team.
Animated by Chris Mah.

Illustrating for social

Winter season; animated by Chris Mah
Valentine's Day
Of Size community month

The biggest testament to BK’s effectiveness is that nearly 1.5 years after she left Square, we were still actively using the illustration library she left for us. I consistently and constantly wished she was still on our staff, so much so that we outsourced work to her long after her departure.

Helen Shaffer, Senior Product Designer, Square